Sydney FC parts ways with Lavicka

Goodbye ... Vitezslav Lavicka will leave Sydney FC at the end of the season (Getty Images)

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka will leave the club at the end of the 2012-2013 A-League campaign, with a replacement yet to be named.

The club's chief executive Dirk Melton announced on Friday that Lavicka's contract will not be renewed by mutual agreement.

Lavicka will remain at the club until the end of the season as the sixth-placed team battles to make the finals.

The Czech arrived in Sydney in 2009 and guided the Sky Blues to the 2009-2010 A-League Championship and Premiership double, but the team has struggled in the past two seasons.

No replacement for Lavicka has been named, with the decision made at a meeting between Lavicka and club CEO Dirk Melton earlier this week.

"The Sydney FC board has decided not to renew the contract of Vitezslav Lavicka beyond the 2011-2012 Hyundai A-League season," Melton said.

"At the same time, Vitezslav decided he wants to return home to be with his family and continue his career in Europe."

Lavicka said he wanted to focus on Sydney's finals push this season.

"I have enjoyed my time at Sydney FC and I want to continue to do my best and work hard with the players and staff at Sydney FC to be as successful as possible this season," he said.

"But for next year I am living too far away from my family and they are very important.

"Since I came to Sydney I have been lucky to meet many good people, work with professional people - staff and players - and we managed to achieve great success in the first year.

"I will always have good memories of my time in Sydney, especially the Sydney FC Members and fans."

Melton announced Lavicka's contribution to the club would be honoured with his name being given to the annual clubman of the year award.

"Vitezslav as a man is beyond reproach," Melton said. "He is driven by values that make him a tremendous role model. He has incredible integrity, humility and honour and his warm smile, welcoming handshake and positive outlook have set a standard for everyone at the club."

Melton said the Sky Blues would immediately begin their search for a 2012/13 coach and would consider both international and domestic candidates.

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold and Italian great Gianfranco Zola are among some early names being linked with the club, but Melton stressed the process to find a replacement would be a thorough one.

"There's a pretty structured framework that we're working through in regards to the recruitment so, like the recruitment of any senior position in any business or industry in the world, it's got to be done in the right way," Melton said.

"We'll be looking here and overseas and we've got to work out of the set attributes; what are the must-haves, what can we afford and what can we make happen?"

The Sky Blues are hanging on to sixth spot with eight matches to go this season and captain Terry McFlynn said news of Lavicka's departure would inspire them heading into Sunday's clash with Newcastle at the Sydney Football Stadium.

"The boss has been fantastic since he came to the club," McFlynn said.

"The first season he was here we won the double so it's important for us as players now to send him out as a winner."

Lavicka said he would give his all in making his final months at the club a success and would leave the club proud of his achievements.

"I have enjoyed my time at Sydney FC and I want to continue to do my best and work hard with the players and staff at Sydney FC to be as successful as possible this season," Lavicka said.

"But for next year, I am living too far away from my family and they are very important.

"Since I came to Sydney, I have been lucky to meet many good people, work with professional people - staff and players - and we managed to achieve great success in the first year.

"I will always have good memories of my time in Sydney, especially the Sydney FC members and fans."

Melton announced Lavicka's contribution to the club would be honoured with his name being given to the annual clubman of the year award.

"Vitezslav as a man is beyond reproach," Melton said.

"He is driven by values that make him a tremendous role model. He has incredible integrity, humility and honour and his warm smile, welcoming handshake and positive outlook have set a standard for everyone at the club."

Former Sparta Prague and Czech under 21s coach Lavicka is Sydney's longest serving coach after stints by Pierre Littbarksi, Terry Butcher, Branko Culina and John Kosmina.