Socceroos centre-half Trent Sainsbury says he is keen for an Australian to be given the national team job long-term, and believes the World Cup experience shouldn't be handed to a foreign manager.
Football Federation Australia have commenced their search to replace Ange Postecoglou and are widely believed to be favouring an overseas coach to lead the team to Russia, before a local coach assumes the role after next year's showpiece.
However, in the first strong statement by an Socceroos player on the coach hunt, Sainsbury told 20Four that he wants an Australian to take over the role long term, and hinted that his former Central Coast Mariners mentor Graham Arnold would be his choice.
"My preference would definitely be an Australian coach," Sainsbury said.
"I think if they are going to go Aussie they have to go for the long term – this World Cup, next World Cup (Qatar 2022) and the Asian Cup (2023) after that.
"People probably say I’m biased if I said Graham Arnold.
"If they go international, it will just be for the (2018) World Cup – I don’t think they should take it through to the (2019) Asian Cup.
"Why give this experience to a foreign coach when you can give it to an Aussie to have this experience and put that on their CV?"
Postecoglou stepped down as Socceroos leader after securing qualification to Russia with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Honduras in the intercontinental playoff earlier this month.
The FFA have said they won't be rushed to appoint a successor with the team's next match not until the international window in March next year.
It's not the first time Australia has been in this situation with both Guus Hiddink and Postecoglou appointed Socceroos coach in the months before the 2006 and 2014 World Cups respectively.