Advocaat near certain to coach Socceroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Advocaat near certain to coach Socceroos

By Guy Hand 14/08/2007 07:51:21 PM Comments (0)

Graham Arnold faces double duty and date clashes for the next few months after it emerged former Dutch and South Korean coach Dick Advocaat is almost certain to take over the Socceroos in the New Year.

Advocaat is believed to have to agreed a deal to coach the Socceroos through the 2010 World Cup campaign after his contract with Russian club Zenit St Petersburg ends in November.

The 59-year-old coached Holland at the 1994 World Cup and 2004 European Championships, as well as taking South Korea to the 2006 World Cup finals.

Dutchman Advocaat's appointment is set to be announced after his current contract expires, and would allow him a short break before the Socceroos' World Cup qualifying process is expected to kick off in February.

It means current Olyroos coach Arnold, who led the Socceroos' unsuccessful Asian Cup assault before being told he would be replaced in the top job, could face a huge workload over the next few months.

He may be asked to coach three internationals in one week including the Socceroos' clash with Argentina on September 11 in Melbourne.

That friendly is sandwiched between two Olyroos' Olympic Games qualifiers - one against North Korea on September 8 and the other against Lebanon on September 12.

Football Federation Australia is set to decide soon how best to organise the coaching for the Socceroos and Olyroos for the rest of the year.

Arnold is expected to name his Olyroos squad on Wednesday for the opening qualifier against Iraq on August 22.

Despite his looming replacement as senior national coach, Arnold has a three-year contract with the FFA - primarily to lead Australia's under-23s to next year's Olympics.

The Socceroos will also need a caretaker coach for their friendly against China on October 13 in Sydney, which is just four days before another Olyroos qualifier.

Advocaat would not be available by then as he concentrates on guiding Zenit to the Russian league title, meaning Arnold may again be pressed into double duty.

The Dutchman has all but confirmed he will leave Zenit as season's end, telling Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf this week: "I would like to stop coaching clubs and I would like to take on a national team.

"There is only a faint chance I will stay at Zenit. There is a possibility that I will go to Australia."

Advocaat's appointment as Socceroos coach would continue a strange procession of he and ex-Australian coach Guus Hiddink chasing each other in and out of jobs.

Hiddink succeeded Advocaat as Dutch coach after the 1994 World Cup while like Hiddink, Advocaat has also coached Dutch club PSV Eindhoven and South Korea.

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