Foda given Sturm chance

Franco Foda has been confirmed as the new coach of Austrian club SK Sturm Graz.

Franco Foda has been confirmed as the new coach of Austrian club SK Sturm Graz following the resignation of Ivica Osim in September.

Osim departure
The 36-year-old German was named as caretaker coach after Osim departed the Bundesliga outfit on September 14 but Foda has now been offered a contract until 2004.

'Knows the club'
Club president Hannes Kartnig turned to Foda after failing to lure Christoph Daum to the Arnold Schwarzenegger stadium. "He [Foda] is a man of the future, he knows the club," Kartnig said. "For me the decision was clear for a few weeks but I wanted to hear what the fans and the board thought about him."

Lofty ambitions
Foda has already set his side lofty ambitions, saying: "We want to play in Europe again next year". In his interim spell as caretaker coach, Foda guided Sturm to six wins, a draw and three defeats in ten games. They currently lie in third place, 14 points behind leaders FK Austria Wien.

Playing career
Foda began his playing career with German club 1. FC Kaiserslautern, before moving to DSC Arminia Bielefeld in 1984. Spells with 1.FC Saarbrücken, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart and FC Basel followed prior to his arrival in Austria with Sturm in 1987. The centre-back made 99 appearances for the club before taking the reigns at the Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Euro hopefuls
UEFA Cup hopefuls Sturm hold a 1-0 advantage over Bulgarian club PFC Levski Sofia ahead of their second round second-leg tie in Sofia on Thursday.