Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold.
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold. Cameron Spencer

Sky Blues lock in 'best coach in the country'

FOOTBALL: He already thinks Sydney FC can go through the A-League season unbeaten, now coach Graham Arnold says the club is a long way to achieving its goal of becoming the "Manchester United of Australia”.

Arnold unveiled the club's lofty ambitions after signing a new two-year deal, which will keep him with the Sky Blues until the end of the 2018-19 A-League season.

The 53-year-old is set to become Sydney's longest-serving coach after he joined the club in May 2014.

He has led the team to 11 unbeaten games in the league this season and a lead of seven points going into Christmas.

Arnold said the club was in a good spot now but there was still work to be done.

"When I first came to this club two and a half years ago ... I wanted this club to be he Manchester United of Australia,” he said.

"I think we're getting there.

"As Scott (Barlow, Sydney FC chairman) said, we're 60%, 70% of our journey, and that journey will continue.

"I have all the confidence in what we're doing, that we will not only win the championship, but we will be one of the top clubs in Asia.”

The Sky Blues reached the FFA Cup final last month and Arnold also led the team to the last 16 of the Asian Champions League, defeating Asian club giants Guangzhou Evergrande and Pohang Steelers along the way.

Barlow said the extension was a sign the club was building for a successful future.

"We believe Graham is the best coach in the country and absolutely the right man to continue to take us forward,” he said.

"We have had an outstanding start to the season and this announcement provides us with further stability and continuity as we build towards our goals for this season and beyond.”

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