Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is open to the possibility of taking over the struggling Socceroos after Holger Osieck's sacking.
Osieck may have led Australia to World Cup qualification but consecutive 6-0 defeats by Brazil and France forced the hand of Football Federation Australia [FFA] chief executive David Gallop, who terminated the German's contract within hours of the debacle in Paris.
Reports suggest Gallop has stepped up his pursuit of Australia's 2006 World Cup coach Guus Hiddink, but Postecoglou and Central Coast coach Graham Arnold remain contenders to take over as the FFA desperately look to turn things around eight months out from the World Cup.
Speaking after Victory's 0-0 Melbourne derby draw with Heart on Saturday night, Postecoglou was quick to say his primary responsibility was to his current side and that any discussions linking him to the Socceroos were merely 'hypothetical'.
But when repeatedly pressed by journalists, Postecoglou refused to rule out taking on the job.
"I'm driven by one thing. I want to grow the game in this country," declared Postecoglou.
"That's all I'm interested in, so wherever I'm best placed to do it, I'll do it."
Many commentators have suggested the Socceroos need a local coach after international managers Pim Verbeek and Osieck have struggled to develop the side since the 2006 World Cup.
But Postecoglou said FFA couldn't afford to hire local just for the sake of it.
"Would I be interested, will I wake up tomorrow morning, I mean who knows," said Postecoglou.
"Look at the end of the day, they'll make a decision and I guess the commentary will run that obviously my name will be in there.
"I guess the only thing I would recommend strongly is to appoint the best person for the job.
"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, it's too important.
"I've never been into tokenism or just doing things because it seems right.
"I certainly believe that obviously it's a very important role in our structure and it should go to the person who's best suited to it."
Heart coach John Aloisi – the player whose famous penalty secured qualification for Germany 2006 – felt a local Socceroos coach was a definite possibility but wondered whether FFA would be brave enough to make such an appointment so close to a World Cup.
"Are we just bringing in foreign coaches just for the sake of it or have we got coaches good enough to end up coaching at that level?" Aloisi asked.
"I think we've got a few that are good enough.
"It's not up to me of course, it's up to the FFA what they want to do with it.
"I'm not sure what they're going to do. I'm sure the FFA are now working through the mains and hopefully we'll end up getting someone good in.
"Because no-one wants to see us performing like we have in the last two games and losing like that," he added.
"It's disappointing, disappointing as an ex-Socceroo. I follow the national team quite closely. I won't say embarrassing but it was pretty bad."