Gullit interested in coaching Australia

London, May 31 (IANS) Former Dutch star and Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit is considering taking up the role as Australia coach when Pim Verbeek steps down after the football World Cup finals in South Africa.

The search has started for Verbeek’s replacement, who revealed in March that he would step down after two-and-a half year stint because of demands on family and his desire to return to Europe.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a host of coaches have been linked to the job, including Gullit’s former teammate Frank Rijkaard.

Gullit, who made 66 appearances for Holland including at the 1990 World Cup, said that he would be happy to speak to the Football Federation Australia about taking control of the Socceroos in the lead-up to the 2011 Asian Cup.

‘Of course I would consider it (coaching Australia). It’s very nice there. I love Australia, I’ve been to Sydney. What I like about Australia is the people are very sport minded, very much, they love it. And of course the temperature is nice, the environment is nice,’ Gullit was quoted as saying by the daily.

‘Maybe that’s the reason why the Dutch coaches do so well.’

Australia’s past two coaches have been Dutch, with Guus Hiddink leading them to the 2006 World Cup finals before Verbeek was handed the role.

Australian football has also sought to follow a Dutch blueprint for success, the national curriculum is based on teaching young players the 4-3-3 system employed in the Netherlands, to further boost Gullit’s claims.

The 47-year-old Gullit had a decorated playing career with PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord, AC Milan and Chelsea, while he rose to player-manager at Stamford Bridge, leading the club to its first trophy in 26 years by winning the 1997 FA Cup.

His managerial career also included spells at Newcastle, Feyenoord and LA Galaxy. However, he has not coached since August 2008, when he was sacked by the Galaxy.