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Troussier keen to coach S Korea
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-31 06:10

TOKYO: Former Japan coach Philippe Troussier has expressed his interest in the vacant South Korea job.

The Frenchman, who guided Japan to the second round of the 2002 World Cup, believes he can help the Koreans challenge at next year's finals, although he favours a short-term deal.

"I am available. I am considering this mission," Troussier said yesterday.

"The country have qualified for the World Cup and their potential is very high when you look at their performance in 2002."

Co-hosts South Korea reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup under Dutchman Guus Hiddink but are currently seeking a replacement for his compatriot Jo Bonfrere.

Bonfrere quit earlier this month after a string of poor results and the Korea Football Association (KFA) want to appoint a new coach quickly with the World Cup less than a year away.

Troussier rejected an offer to coach Nigeria in July because of a knee injury but he said he would postpone further surgery if the KFA made an offer.

"I am ready to reconsider the date of this operation," the 50-year-old said. "If the KFA think about me it would be a great honour and a great challenge."

Former Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield, now in charge of Korean club Pusan I-Park, Sunderland's Mick McCarthy and former Senegal coach Bruno Metsu are also in the picture.

However, Troussier's experience and track record of making a quick impact could make him an attractive option for the KFA.

He led Nigeria to the 1998 World Cup but parted company before the finals where he coached South Africa.

Troussier became known as the "white witch doctor" during successful spells with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. He also led Japan to the final of the 2001 Confederations Cup during his four years in charge.

His most recent job was coach of Olympique Marseille but he was sacked at the end of last season.

South Korea qualified for their sixth consecutive World Cup finals in June but never looked particularly convincing, leading to intense pressure on Bonfrere.

(China Daily 08/31/2005 page15)

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