SOCCEROO Mile Jedinak has hailed his Crystal Palace boss Tony Popovic as both Sydney FC and the new West Sydney club vie for the veteran to take their coaching hotseat.
Jedinak has been hoping to catch up with the Palace first team coach while they are both currently back in Sydney.
But Popovic's tight schedule of meetings with Sydney FC and the FFA have so far ruled out a catch up.
And while Jedinak wants to see his coach go on to take charge of his own team, he'd be sad to see him go.
"It's going to be up to him and what he wants to do as a coach - but I hope he stays with me!" Jedinak told au.fourfourtwo.com today. "He's a great coach in my opinion."
Popovic has emerged as the top choice for both Sydney clubs after the sky blues were left in the lurch by a late change of mind from Central Coast Mariners boss, Graham Arnold.
The FFA are also keen to bring Popovic home to run their new West Sydney side next season.
Both believe the former Socceroo is ready to make the step up after almost three years as an assistant coach at Sydney FC before returning to Palace last year as first team coach under manager Dougie Freedman.
"He's got a lot of say at Crystal Palace," revealed Jedinak. "He does a lot of hands on work which is great and he's been influential on our season this year along with the other management
"He's one guy who doesn't leave any stone unturned, whose attention to details is really great and he's great to work with. I just really really enjoy working with him.
"Even though he is relatively young in coaching terms, he has a lot of knowledge and works very hard."
But Jedinak wasn't certain Popovic is ready to return home just yet.
"It's a tough question," he said. "Obviously he's based in London which is a big thing, but I don't even ask him about the subject.
"We do speak to each other quite often but whatever is his business I don't bring up. It's his personal stuff."
However one-time Central Coast Mariners injury replacement Jedinak - now a Socceroo regular and European veteran - is still excited by the arrival at last of a West Sydney side.
He grew up in the western suburbs and cut his teeth playing for Sydney United before finally getting his big break with the Mariners at the age of 21.
"It's going to be a huge thing for the league," he said. "I think a WS team is fantastic, especially being a local boy.
"I've been training out at Parramatta Stadium for the past week and the faciltities and set-up there is quite good. There's a really good football feel to it.
But so far, Jedinak, 27, is not planning a return to the A-League just yet.
He added: "Who knows about the future but currently it's the furthest thing from my mind.
"It's not on my radar at the moment but you never know..."