Ange for Socceroos no worry: A-League boss

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A-League boss Damien de Bohun says the possible loss of two-time championship winning coach Ange Postecoglou to the Socceroos’ helm would only be a good thing for the league.

And he says the coming change in Socceroos coach should prove a huge spur for all Australian players in the A-League to push their case ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Melbourne Victory coach Postecoglou has firmed as a favourite to fill the national team job following German Holger Osieck’s sacking while Central Coast’s Graham Arnold is also considered a contender.

De Bohun feels it speaks volumes for the rising standard of the A-League that Postecoglou, Australia’s most successful domestic coach, and Arnold, who took the Mariners to championship glory last season, are being seriously considered to lead the Socceroos.

And he’s not concerned taking one of them away could have a negative impact on the league.

“The standard of coaching has improved dramatically over the seasons,” de Bohun said on Monday.

“So to have two of our coaches being mentioned very seriously in consideration to be the next national coach is a very exciting time and I think it only strengthens the league.

“There’s a lot of people waiting in the wings for coaching roles in the A-League and it may well create an opportunity if it went that way.”

Record numbers in crowd attendance and broadcast audiences were set in the opening round of the A-League.

And, while the Socceroos’ back-to-back 6-0 drubbings by Brazil and France have caused dismay for fans, de Bohun says it’s the A-League’s role to re-invigorate supporters.

“The A-League and the Socceroos really work hand in hand,” de Bohun said.

“When you look what’s happened with the national team and you put it in context of the big picture, we’ve qualified for the World Cup in Brazil.

“Obviously the preparations against two world-class teams have been difficult but there’s a time of change now; there’ll be a new coach in place.

“The other great thing from an A-League perspective is that with so much change, every player is going out there who’s Australian with an expectation that they are playing for a spot on that plane to Brazil.”

A record 100,998 fans flocked to the five matches in the opening round – the highest attendance in a single round – with the grand final replay between the Mariners and the Western Sydney Wanderers at Bluetongue Stadium sold out.

With Adelaide’s match against Victory at Hindmarsh on Friday also sold out and the first Sydney derby between Sydney FC and the Wanderers at Allianz Stadium on October 26 on track for a capacity crowd, de Bohun feels records will continue to tumble in this ninth edition of the competition.

“The fans are powering the game in a way that Australian football hasn’t seen before,” he said. “It has exceeded our expectations.

“This has been a great start … and we expect it to build from here.

“We do think sellouts will become quite common.”

© AAP 2014
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