ANGE Postecoglou has urged caution about the growing push for a homegrown Socceroos coach, insisting ability matters far more than nationality.
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop says feelers have already been put out to find Holger Osieck’s replacement.
Internationals including Guus Hiddink and Gerrard Houllier have been linked with the vacant role while Australian coaches such as Postecoglou and Graham Arnold are also believed to be in the frame.
Arnold has already put his hand up and says he believes the time is right for a local to lead the Socceroos.
That view has been strongly backed by fellow A-League coaches John Aloisi and Alistair Edwards, while Gallop says having an Australian coach is the long-term preference, regardless of whether a local is appointed this time.
While Postecoglou said he would do whatever he can to help grow the game in Australia, he added that appointing a coach just because they’re Australian would be the wrong approach.
“The only thing I would recommend strongly is to appoint the best person for the job,” Postecoglou told reporters.
“I don’t like this whole ‘Let’s go local as opposed to overseas.’
“It’s our national team, whoever the best person for the job is, that’s who should get it.”
But Arnold believes it’s time to have an Australian.
“I do believe Australian coaches are now ready. Probably the criticism a few years ago was right and was correct because I didn’t even have a pro licence,” he said.
“But now I do have a pro licence and the coaching across the board is so much better.
“I do believe that probably an Australian with the passion and the pride to coach the Socceroos would be fantastic, whoever it is, whether it’s Ange, Tony Popovic or whoever.”
Aloisi, the former Socceroo whose penalty goal famously put Australia into the 2006 World Cup, agreed there were coaches in the A-League ready to step up either now, or in the near future.
“Are we bringing in foreign coaches just for the sake of it or have we got coaches good enough to end up coaching at that level?” he said
“I think that we’ve got a few that are good enough.”
Edwards said Postecoglou would be his choice, based on his experience and domestic achievements.
“It’s always good to look overseas to see what we can learn from but I think we’ve done that and I think the coaches we have in the A-League now and the brand of football that is being played, on and off the park, they’re good managers, they’re good technical coaches and I think the time is right for us to put in a local coach,” Edwards said.