A recent run of poor performances has led to the Socceroos axing their coach Holger Osieck.
The Socceroos are now set to announce a home grown manager, which will be the first since 2005 when Frank Farina last coached the national team.
Frank Lowy, chairman of the Football Federation Australia last night stated: “When we
appointed Holger as coach three years ago, you may recall my words that 'I hope
the next coach will be Australian'. That was the plan, and it's still the plan."
The three contenders for the new post all currently coach in Australia’s national league the “A-league” and are considered the logical choices for the job.
Ange Postecoglu is the favourite to take the position after taking Brisbane Roar to back to back titles in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Graham Arnold is another contender, who is the reigning A-league champion. Then there
is Tony Popovic, who took the Western Sydney Wanderers to top spot in their inaugural season, however is considered too inexperienced for the job.
The decision is a critical one for the growth of the game in Australia. Many believe that a short term manager with a big reputation, similar to the appointment of Guus Hiddink in 2005 is not the answer, as Australia needs to focus on blooding new talent that will lead them to the heights of the 2006 World Cup where they qualified to the round of 16, only to lose dramatically 1-0 to Italy who went on the win the tournament.
Instead, the general consensus is geared towards appointing a manger with a long term plan that aims to nurture a new crop of Australian players.
A major factor for the recent bad performances is the reliance on an ageing group of players that were part of a “golden era” of Australian football which saw the Socceroos qualify for the 2006 World Cup after a 32 year hiatus from football's leading tournament.
Since then, there has been a mandate for Socceroos managers to bring through a new generation of players with the aid of the experience players; however this has failed to be implemented correctly.
This has been both due to young Australians not being at a high enough standard to represent their country, and the fear of the managers trying untested players with the added
pressure of the Australian football community now expecting to be at every FIFA World Cup finals.
Oseick had been in charge from 2010, and began with a wonderful start to his reign that included a win against Germany and leading Australia to its third successive FIFA World Cup through Asian qualifying.
However that was not enough for the German to keep his job as a string of bad results led
to an immediate response in sacking him.
His last two results in international friendlies were 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France respectively, leading the governing body of football in Australia with no other option but to look for a new manager to lead the team to the World Cup.
The appointment of the new coach is likely to be announced in the next couple of weeks.
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