Australia Sets February Deadline for Hiring Socceroos' World Cup Coach

Australia's FA has selected a panel that will choose the coach to guide the Socceroos at the World Cup.
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SYDNEY (AP) – With the likes of Sven Goran Eriksson and Jurgen Klinsmann being reported as possible candidates, Football Federation Australia has created a selection panel to choose a head coach by February to take the Socceroos to the World Cup.

''As you would expect, we have had a high level of interest already,'' FFA chief executive David Gallop said. ''As things stand, no one is ruled in or out.

''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.''

Australia doesn't have another game until March.

Ange Postecoglou quit as head coach a week after Australia secured its spot for the World Cup in Russia, following a qualifying run of 22 games including an Asian playoff against Syria and an intercontinental playoff against Honduras.

Postecoglou took over in late 2013 and guided the Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and to the country's first Asian Cup title in 2015.

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The selection panel will include former Australia players Mark Schwarzer, Mark Bresciano and Stan Lazaridis.

''FFA's starting point is to appoint a coach for the long term but we will be advised on this by our expert panel,'' Gallop said. ''We are confident that we will attract the right person to lead the Socceroos at the World Cup and hopefully beyond.''

Australia, competing in its fourth consecutive World Cup, has been drawn in Group C with France, Peru and Denmark. The Australians open against France at Kazan on June 16.