Former Sparta Prague coach Vitezslav Lavicka will take charge at Australian A-League club Sydney FC next season. Lavicka's appointment follows local mentor John Kosmina's sacking last weekend, after Sydney FC failed to make the end-of-season play-offs.

The 45-year-old will be Sydney's fifth coach in five turbulent seasons since the commencement of the A-League. Lavicka follows in the footsteps of German Pierre Littbarski, Englishman Terry Butcher and Australians Branko Culina and Kosmina.

Lavicka was named Czech coach of the year in 2006 after winning the Czech league with FC Slovan Liberec, and taking the side to the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League. Last year, Lavicka guided Sparta Prague to the UEFA Cup and also worked with the Czech Republic U-21 national side.

Reports in Australia said he was personally selected by new Sydney owner, Russian businessman David Traktovenko. Lavicka will be joined by his assistant with the Czech U-21 side, Michal Zach, who will work as co-assistant coach with former Australia defender and Sydney captain Tony Popovic.