The process of appointing a new Socceroos coach to replace Ange Postecoglou has begun in earnest, with the FFA conducting a first round of videolink interviews with two international experts appointed as part of an advisory panel to help the FFA with its selection.
The identity of the experts has not been revealed but others on the panel include former Socceroos greats Stan Lazaridis, Mark Bresciano, and Mark Schwarzer.
Others involved in the panel are FFA head of national performance Luke Casserly, FFA national technical director Eric Abrams, FFA chief medical officer Dr Mark Jones, and Socceroos Assistant coach Ante Milicic.
For Lazaridis, the appointment to the panel follows his appointment last year to another FFA post, as a member of the FFA’s football development committee.
An international search and consulting firm, Sri Executive, will coordinate the placement process.
According to Luke Casserly, there has been no shortage of interest in the job with the FFA having received “loads of CVs and expressions of interest” from agents. Some of the higher profile names mentioned have been former Brazil and Chelsea coach Felipe Scolari and former England manager Sven Goran Eriksen.
With the panel currently involved in discussions defining the candidate profile, a clearer picture of what the next Socceroos coach will look like should emerge by the middle of next week with interviews set to commence in early January. A final decision is set to be made in late January or early February prior to the Socceroos’ next scheduled friendly match in March.
One debate over selection centres around whether the next Socceroos coach should be a foreign coach or a homegrown coach, with Graham Arnold appearing to be the favourite amongst the potential domestic candidates including Kevin Muscat and Tony Popovic.
A related issue is whether the coach should be a long-term appointment extending beyond the Russia World Cup to include the next Asia Cup and World Cup qualifiers, or whether the appointment should be short term geared specifically towards the World Cup finals beginning in June 2018.
As you would expect, we have had a high level of interest already,” FFA CEO David Gallop said.
“We are open-minded about whether the coach is Australian or someone from overseas but they must live in Australia, embrace the progress on and off the field that has been achieved with national teams over the past four years – especially in the areas of technical development and sports science – and be prepared to be an ambassador for our sport here and abroad.
“FFA’s starting point is to appoint a coach for the long term but we will be advised on this and other matters by our expert panel.”