City should go for Aussie Guus or our Harry

LEFT FIELD CHOICE: Melbourne City could look to 'Aussie Guus' Hiddink as its new manager, writes Phil Dillon.
LEFT FIELD CHOICE: Melbourne City could look to 'Aussie Guus' Hiddink as its new manager, writes Phil Dillon. Kirsty Wigglesworth

IT could be on for young and old as Melbourne City goes on the search for a new coach after John van't Schip's departure, writes PHIL DILLON.

The club went into last night's game against Western Sydney Wanderers with Michael Valkanis in charge in a caretaker capacity, but no disrespect to Valkanis, Melbourne City's rising status in the game down under means the club should be going for a bigger name in the coaching world.

With the backing of City Football Group, the Melbourne club no doubt has the cash to attract a big name but just who should that be?

Valkanis has the experience to steer the club through the interim period, but City Group chief Brian Marwood and City football boss Michael Petrillo - who have both been charged with drawing up a shortlist - will want to have that available sooner rather than later.

As is always the case when a club is on the search for a new coach, several names have been bandied about already, including Sydney FC mentor Graham Arnold, former Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau, his successor Guillermo Amor, and Ante Milovic, the man overlooked for the Melbourne job when van't Schip quite the post last time in 2012.

Brisbane Roar's John Aloisi, who did get that job, was another mentioned as a possible candidate but with all those blokes already employed elsewhere, they seem long shots to take over.

There are others out there who could easily do the job and high on my list would be Guus Hiddink and Harry Kewell.

As I said previously, the club needs a well-known coach, but I also reckon whoever takes over has to have a big link to Australian football and not many will have as much connection with the game down under than these two.

If the club wants to go down the experienced route, then not many coaches will have a better resume than the man nicknamed "Aussie Guus”.

Fans will identify with the man who took the Socceroos to their first World Cup finals since 1974 and had them almost reaching the quarter-finals in 2006.

Hiddink is 70 but is still working for the Chelsea youth team.

His last big job was when he took over the first team at Stamford Bridge for a second time after Jose Mourinho's sacking last year.

The Dutchman might just want one more last hurrah and a return to Australia in his twilight years might just be the job he craves.

There is no doubt the City Football Group will have the money to entice him out of semi-retirement but it will be all down to the man himself.

If Hiddink does not want the job, then City should target Kewell.

He is on the other end of the scale when it comes to coaching experience but obviously his connection with Australia and the club cannot be questioned.

Kewell's final playing stint was at Melbourne Heart, where he played 16 times in the 2013-14 season, so he knows the club.

He also knows the culture of Australian football, having played with Melbourne Victory in the 2011-12 campaign and represented his country with pride on 56 occasions.

Kewell is believed to be enjoying his first job in coaching with Watford's under-21 side in England but he too could be persuaded to take on his first head-coach role if the price was right.

At only 38 and with little experience, Kewell might be a gamble but it could one worth taking.

Kewell has been quoted as looking at the A-League as a possible destination for his first senior coaching position.

These two choices might be a bit left field but why not go for it?

Topics:  harry kewell melbourne city fc

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