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By ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2006

Australia seek full-time coach to replace Hiddink

SYDNEY, April 11 (Reuters) - Australia hope to appoint a full-time coach to replace Guus Hiddink when the Dutchman leaves the job after this year's World Cup in Germany.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) wants the new coach to spend a lot of his time in Australia, unlike Hiddink who is combining the role with coaching Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.

'We are keen to have a national coach who is able to be full-time and in between the direct Socceroos commitments we would be looking to tap into his experience in all manner of ways,' John Boultbee, the FFA's head of high performance, told reporters on Tuesday.

'We would certainly expect the new national coach to spend a considerable amount of time in Australia beyond the time that the Socceroos are together.'

The FFA, which has not ruled out hiring an Australian, said it would be happy for assistant coach Graham Arnold to lead the team in their opening Asian Cup qualifiers if necessary.

'The local candidates are led by the people we've got working for us at the moment, Graham Arnold,' Boultbee said.

'We're in a very good situation in that it will be seamless when Guus leaves with Graham Arnold and Johann Neeskens ready to take our teams to the Asian Cup if we haven't totally completed the task of naming a new coach.

'We are absolutely confident that we will be able to attract a coach of a very good calibre,' he said.

'The reputation and the performances of the socceroos has made Australia a very interesting prospect for very high calibre coaches.'

Hiddink, who guided Australia to a first World Cup appearance in 32 years, is poised to sign a four-year contract to lead Russia through to the 2010 tournament in South Africa.