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Australia World Cup coach decision in February

Australia do not expect to appoint a coach for next year’s World Cup until February, with former Socceroos Mark Schwarzer and Stan Lazaridis drafted onto a selection committee Tuesday.

Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop said there had been “a high level of interest” since Ange Postecoglou quit last month after guiding the team to the finals in Russia.

Over the weekend, reports said former United States boss Jurgen Klinsmann was keen on the job and had commissioned one of his closest friends to scout out the possibility.

Gallop said the decision on who will lead Australia in Russia would not be rushed.

“As things stand, no one is ruled in or out. We are open-minded about whether the coach is Australian or someone from overseas,” said Gallop.

But he said the new coach must be prepared to live in Australia and “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”.

“We are confident that we will attract the right person to lead the Socceroos at the FIFA World Cup and hopefully beyond.”

Klinsmann, the German legend who was sacked in 2016 after a poor start to the US team’s World Cup qualifying campaign, reportedly made the inquiry after Postecoglou walked away to pursue overseas opportunities.

Gallop said Schwarzer, Lazaridis, and Mark Bresciano, who have 253 international caps between them and all played at the World Cup, would be among a panel of experts who advise FFA on the appointment.

A final decision would be made by mid-February, allowing the successful candidate more than a month to prepare before the Socceroos next games in March, he added.

Australia have been drawn in a tough Group C at the World Cup, along with higher-ranked teams France, Denmark and Peru.

They play France in Kazan on June 16, Denmark in Samara on June 21 and Peru in Sochi on June 26.

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