When Tony Popovic sensationally walked out of the Wanderers to join Turkish side Karabukspor just days before last season’s opening game, it was a shock the club failed to recover from.

Popovic's replacement Josep Gombau new playing style bombed and it led to several players such as captain Robbie Cornthwaite abandoning ship.

The Spaniard was only six months into his three-year contract when he was sacked and after winning just eight of their 27 matches, Western Sydney failed to make the finals.

Ahead of the 2018/19 season kick off, Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas admits the early season bombshell was a disaster for the club.

“It certainly set us back a lot,” he said. “It was very tough. Just five days out from the start of the season you lose your coach and we certainly ended up paying the price for that.

“It certainly caught the players out and made it difficult for the playing group and the change in coach did not work out.

“We don’t want a repeat of that any time soon and you have seen by our response in a very short period of time thereafter that we mean business.”

Not aiming to repeat last season’s coaching crisis, the Wanderers took early and direct action for the upcoming campaign signing former Liverpool and Bayern Munich star Markus Babbel back in June.

The former German international not only has experience coaching in the top flight of Europe, but his time at Bundesliga club Stuttgart featured a Champions League campaign that made the knockout stages.

In the past three seasons Babbel has been coaching in Switzerland and the Wanderers CEO revealed that it took just one conversation to convince the German to rebuild Western Sydney.

“He believed in what I said and he told me, ‘I see the fire in your eyes’, Tsatsimas said.

“He said, ‘I see what you are telling me. I can feel it. I believe in the vision and what you are doing.

“I told him about the new stadium, the Western Sydney demographic, the fans that we have and also our training facility where we are going to have nine pitches in the same area where our training and our administration base will be.

After last season’s coaching roundabout Tsatsimas believes Babbel will be a steady hand for a club that lost its way last season.

“This man is a stable coach,” he said. “We are proud to have him here and it’s certainly an indicator where this club sits in people’s thinking and it’s a statement of intent from us.

“He spent the last three years at Luzern, he’s been at three Bundesliga clubs, he’s won the Bundesliga 2, he’s got a great history as a player, he’s had success at Liverpool and was a prominent player at Bayern Munich - we are talking about a top class CV .

“We’ve not only brought in Markus , we’ve also brought in  John Paul DeMarigny and a raft of new background staff that will certainly provide us every opportunity to elevate ourselves to where we should be.”