Football Federation Australia has formed a nine-person panel - including former Socceroos icons Mark Bresciano, Stan Lazaridis and Mark Schwarzer - to help pick the man who will take the team to next year's World Cup in Russia.
Source:
AAP
5 Dec 2017 - 3:26 PM  UPDATED 5 Dec 2017 - 3:26 PM

The trio, who have 253 international caps between them and all represented Australia at the World Cup, will be working with Socceroos Assistant Coach Ante Milicic, FFA’s Head of National Performance, Luke Casserly, FFA’s National Technical Director Eric Abrams and FFA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Mark Jones.

Two more international experts are also to be appointed to the panel in the near future, the FFA have confirmed.

The governing body says the appointment will not be made until mid-February, giving the new coach just a month before Australia's next fixtures in March.

“As you would expect, we have had a high level of interest already,” FFA CEO 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.

“FFA’s starting point is to appoint a coach for the long term but we will be advised on this and other matters by our expert panel.

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

Sven Goran Eriksson has emerged as a shock candidate for the vacant  role, with the former England and Lazio boss keen on taking Australia to the World Cup, which would be his fourth as a coach.

"Yes of course I'm interested," the 69-year-old Swede tolt News Corp.

The chance to take a country to the World Cup has attracted significant interest from coaches across the world, but Eriksson is the first big name to publicly express his desire.

Jurgen Klinsmann, Marcelo Bielsa and Gianni De Biasi have been linked to the role, as have A-League bosses Graham Arnold, Kevin Muscat and Josep Gombau.

Australia were drawn with France, Denmark and Peru in next June's tournament, with Eriksson adamant the Socceroos can reach the knockout round.

"It will be a fight for second place between Australia, Peru and Denmark. I think the chances for Australia are good," he said.

"The whole world would say France is favourite to win that group, but second I think is very tight ... why not Australia?"