Double departure: Popovic bags Brillante as Noone joins City exodus


Fringe Socceroo Josh Brillante is set to exit Melbourne City to join Tony Popovic and his Australian contingent at newly-relegated Greek outfit Xanthi.

The 27-year-old midfielder is joined in the City departure lounge by 32-year-old English winger Craig Noone, who is also understood to be parting company with the A-League grand finalists.

The duo made 53 appearances between them last season and were key elements of coach Erick Mombaerts’ side before he returned to France and Patrick Kisnorbo took the reins.

With acrimony and uncertainly lingering over a new pay agreement between the clubs and players, and no definite start date locked in for next season’s competition, the pair are poised to join a spate of recent A-League departures.

Former Perth Glory coach Popovic is looking to build a team capable of bouncing straight back to the Greek Super League next season at a club owned by Sydney Olympic boss Bill Papas, and also counting fellow Australians Zeljko Kalac and Arthur Diles as assistants.

Former Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC mainstay Brillante, who signed for City last season, first tried his luck overseas back in 2014 when he joined Serie A Fiorentina.

But he made only two appearances before being loaned out to Empoli and then Como.

It’s unclear where former Bolton, Cardiff and Brighton attacking weapon Noone will go next.

Melbourne City were approached for comment.

Source SBS The World Game