FFA focussing on local replacement, with Guus Hiddink not in the running.
Football Federation Australia will be concentrating on a local replacement for dumped national coach Holger Osieck, chairman Frank Lowy said on Tuesday.
Lowy said it will be a three-horse race between A-League coaches Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic with a decision to be made within the next fortnight.
The property retail tycoon said the FFA does not intend on employing a short-term coach, but the chosen candidate will see Australia through next year’s World Cup in Brazil, the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia and beyond.
Osieck was sacked on Saturday just eight months out from the World Cup after the Socceroos were thrashed 6-0 by France in an international friendly in Paris.
“When we appointed Holger (Osieck) coach three years ago, I recall I said words to the effect `I hope the next coach will be an Australian’,” Lowy said.
“That was the plan and is still the plan. Our preference is clearly for an Australian coach.
“Three names are being talked about and it’s not wrong that we have three possible Australian candidates.”
Lowy said a major deciding factor would be making sure the impacted A-League club was left in a stable condition, adding that in the unlikely event that none of the three candidates were able to accept the national job then the FFA would consider an option from abroad.
Dutchman Guus Hiddink was immediately linked to a return after guiding the Socceroos to the second round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, along with Argentine Marcelo Bielsa as likely overseas targets.