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Socceroos searching for new coach

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is being touted as the favoured candidate to take over the head coaching role of the Socceroos following the weekend sacking of Holger Osieck. The two-time A-League championship winner is seen as having the right mix of tactical nous and knowledge of our football landscape in order to get our national side back on track for the next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Despite successfully leading Australia to World Cup qualification, Osieck was relieved of his duties following the Socceroos consecutive 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France. The nature of the defeats, coupled with the belief there has been a lack of rejuvenation in the national setup being the primary factors behind the move.    

At this stage it is unclear whether Football Federation Australia (FFA) will seek to appoint a new coach from home or abroad, with numerous other names being linked to the role. Among them are former coach Guus Hiddink, who led Australia’s successful World Cup campaign in Germany and former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Mateo.

As far as the local contingent is concerned both Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic are also considered to be strong candidates. Meanwhile former Socceroo goalkeeper and football analyst Mark Bosnich has called on the FFA to lure legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson out of retirement to fill the void.

''We need someone who can bring world class technical expertise to the job as well as understanding Australia's great sporting heritage and Australian football's desire to compete well against anyone that we come up against,'' FFA chief executive David Gallop said.

As such, in making their appointment the FFA must decide whether to pursue a high profile coach to lead us to the World Cup or whether the Socceroos would be best served under the direction of an Aussie. The fact that the new A-League season has only just kicked off will no doubt be an important consideration. Meanwhile Australia’s hosting of the Asian Cup in 2015 will also play a part in the discussion in terms of the length of the contract that is offered.

''It makes sense for an Australian to coach our national team at some point. Whether we are at that point right now is not something we can immediately answer,'' Gallop said. ''We want to be producing coaches of world class quality and we want a coach of our national team who can fulfil the requirements to coach our team and represent us off the pitch.''

The Socceroos will go into tomorrow’s international against Canada under the guidance of interim coach Tony Vidmar. The FFA would ideally like to have a new coach in place by next month, with the Socceroos set to take part in further internationals as they prepare for the biggest tournament in world sport.

The Socceroos match against Canada takes place in London later tonight, (0600 Wednesday 16 October AEST). We’ll be screening replays of the match throughout the day so come down and catch a glimpse of a hopefully much improved Socceroos performance.

Damien Bellemore

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