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Aussies Going Dutch?

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Australia set to move for Hiddink

BBC Sport

Australia's Football Federation (FFA) is hoping to persuade Dutchman Guus Hiddink to take over as national boss.

Hiddink, 58, is reportedly "excited" at the prospect of leading the Socceroos on a part-time basis, while maintaining his present role with PSV Eindhoven.

The move for the ex-South Korea boss comes after Frank Farina quit the post.

"We're talking to a small number of candidates, of which he is one. We are making good progress," confirmed FFA high performance manager John Boultbee.

"We're looking for a person who has the right type and level of experience to take us to the next level."

Boultbee added that World Cup experience was "very important" and following his success with South Korea at the 2002 tournament Hiddink has all the necessary qualities.

He led the co-hosts to the semi-finals and was expected to link up with them again in Germany but is believed to have rejected their approaches.

Instead, he reportedly impressed the FFA with his knowledge of Australian players and his interest in the under-20 team's progress at the recent World Youth Championship.

"We need somebody who will be available whenever the team is assembled, to be able to visit players and their clubs whenever they're not assembled and to be in Australia to look at A-League players," added Boultbee.

The FFA is hopeful that Hiddink will travel to Sydney within the next two weeks once his pre-season commitments with PSV Eindhoven in South Korea are completed.

If the appointment proves a success, he may be offered the job on a full-time basis.

And if he decides against taking on the role, compatriot Dick Advocaat is also being lined up to replace Farina.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Australia cancel London friendly

Australia have cancelled next month's friendly against Colombia in London as they search for a new coach.

Football Federation Australia chief executive John O'Neill said the short-listed candidates would all prefer a training camp.

The match had been scheduled to be played at Fulham's Craven Cottage Ground on 17 August.

Frank Farina ended his six-year spell as coach following the Confederations Cup in Germany last month.

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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 06:30 GMT 07:30 UK

Hiddink gets Australia coach role

PSV Eindhoven coach Guus Hiddink has been put in charge of Australia's bid to reach the 2006 World Cup finals.

Hiddink, 58, will take control of the Socceroos immediately but also continue to work with Dutch champions PSV.

He replaces Frank Farina, who stood down as Australia's coach in June after a poor Confederations Cup campaign.

"It gives us every chance of success in the World Cup play-offs and, hopefully, the finals," said Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy.

"He has had a distinguished career and his record speaks for itself. We could not have hoped for a more qualified, internationally-recognised coach to lead us on the road to Germany," added Lowy.

His first opportunity to work with the Australian side will be next month when the team assembles for a training camp in Holland.

Australia cancelled a friendly with Colombia in London in August after the coach asked for the training camp instead.

The Dutchman will remain with the Australian side until after the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, should they qualify.

Hiddink became the most successful coach in the Dutch first division earlier this year when PSV won the league, giving him his fifth title. He also guided the side to the Dutch Cup and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Hiddink initially won four Dutch titles and the European Cup with PSV before he went on to guide Holland (1998) and South Korea (2002) to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

He also managed Real Madrid after leaving the Dutch job.

Australia's next matches are the home-and-away 2006 World Cup qualifiers against the Solomon Islands in September, the winners going on to play the fifth-placed South American team over two legs in November for a place in Germany.

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