FORMER Colchester United favourite Richard Garcia is Perth Glory's new head coach.

The 39-year-old, who won promotion with the U's under Phil Parkinson in 2006, has been appointed as the Australian Hyundai A-League club's new boss for the next two seasons.

Garcia, who takes over from Tony Popovic in the role, made more than 50 appearances as a player for Glory and skippered the side.

He also worked as an assistant first team coach and head youth coach of the PGFC Academy since retiring from playing, in 2017.

And Garcia, who featured for the Socceroos at the 2010 World Cup and won 18 senior international caps, has now taken charge at his hometown club.

Garcia told the Perth Glory website: “I’m extremely happy to have been given this opportunity.

“Being a proud WA boy and having played for and captained Perth Glory, it’s a great honour to now be in a position to take the club forward.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal Members and fans for their ongoing support during what has been a very testing year due to the issues caused by COVID-19 and I hope we will have them back at HBF Park roaring us on in the near future.”

Garcia joined Colchester from West Ham United, in 2004.

He spent three seasons at Layer Road and made nearly 100 league and cup appearances for the U's, scoring 21 goals in the process.

In the 2005-06 season, Garcia helped the U’s secure promotion to the Championship for the first time in the club’s history.

The attacker scored Colchester's first goal in their first-ever season in the second tier on the opening day of the 2006-07 season, at Birmingham City.

He left Colchester in 2007 when he joined Hull City and helped them win promotion to the Premier League, playing 114 games for the Tigers before returning to his native Australia.

Glory Owner and Chairman Tony Sage told the Perth Glory website: "Richard is an outstanding young West Australian coach who has a deep understanding of our football club and what it represents within the WA football community," he said.

"He served Perth Glory with distinction as a player and I know he will do likewise as Head Coach.

"Through his outstanding work as PGFC Academy Head Coach he has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the talented young WA players we have within our system and I look forward to seeing those players continue their development into the senior ranks under Richard’s guidance.

"Richard has learned his trade working under and alongside a host of top-quality coaches both in Australia and overseas and has all the qualities required to develop a team and a style of play that makes us all proud.

"This is an appointment that our Members and fans can feel really genuinely excited about."