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Postecoglou praises appointment of Farina

MELBOURNE VICTORY coach Ange Postecoglou says the A-League desperately needs Sydney FC to be a competitive team and appointing Frank Farina as coach for the rest of the season is a positive move.

Postecoglou, who claimed two titles at Brisbane Roar before heading south this season, says former Roar and Socceroos mentor Farina will give the last-placed Sky Blues the boost they need.

''It's good to see him back. I worked with Frank at the Socceroos,'' Postecoglou said.

''He's had a very good coaching career. We love to write people off, particularly coaches, in this country. If you have one failure it's almost like he's gone, that's it, you're finished.

''He'll make them a pretty tough outfit to beat for the rest of the year. I'm pleased for him personally but it's good for the competition because you need Sydney to be going strongly.''

The Sky Blues are on the bottom of the table with six losses from eight games. ''They've had a rough start for sure but there's still some quality in their team. I've got no doubt they can still make an impact,'' Postecoglou said.


Farina was named the Sky Blues' seventh coach in eight seasons on Wednesday. Ian Crook stepped down from the position earlier this month.

The Roar axed Farina in October 2009 over drink-driving charges.

Meanwhile, Postecoglou has poached his first player from his former club, further reducing the battling Roar's defensive options.

The Victory has swooped on Young Socceroo Jason Geria and signed him to a three-year deal at a time he was close to making an A-League debut for the Roar.

Brisbane will be without first-choice defenders Matt Smith and Ivan Franjic against Newcastle on Saturday night due to their Socceroos call-up for the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament.

Youth squad member Geria, 19, had been vying with Japanese import Yuji Takahashi and James Donachie to partner Matt Jurman in central defence but was a notable absentee from Roar training on Thursday morning.

On training formations, it appears Takahashi will again be overlooked with tall teenager Donachie, a contracted senior player, to start against the Emile Heskey-powered Jets at Suncorp Stadium.

Heskey has scored five goals in eight games for fourth-placed Newcastle and the former England striker is sure to provide the inexperienced Roar defensive line with a major challenge.