Kerr looks to manage South Africa

 

Former Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr is one of a number of candidates to be considered for the post of South Africa manager.

Kerr, whose contract was not renewed by the FAI after his side finished fourth in Group Four of the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, is among 43 applicants for the job.  The South African Football Association (Safa) is not expected to announce the choice until after the African Cup of Nations on February 10th.

Speaking to the Irish Times last night Kerr's agent Fintan Drury confirmed the former St. Patrick's Athletic boss had applied to manage the host nation of the 2010 World Cup.

"He has applied. He is interested in the job, its an attractive job," Drury said. "He wants to be involved in professional football. Ideally, although not exclusively, he is attracted to international football."

"They are looking for somebody who has international experience but also they are very keen on the technical development side, which obviously he has done very successfully with the FAI. So he ticks a lot of their boxes," added Drury.

It has also emerged that Kerr turned down a job offer from another international football federation in the last fortnight. 

Kerr had been linked with a number of club jobs in recent weeks, including vacancies at Hearts in the Scottish Premier League where there was brief contact.  He was also named in the back up plans for Premiership strugglers Portsmouth, although it was always likely that Harry Redknapp would end up in charge of the Fratton Park side. 

Securing the job would be a huge fillip for Kerr after the disappointment of missing out on qualification for Germany 2006.  The South Africa job is among the most high profile on the continent and will be firmly on the map when the World Cup is staged there in four and a half years time.

Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz guided the side to World Cup qualification in 2002, while former Japan coach Philippe Troussier, who brought the 2002 co-hosts to the second round of the competition, took charge at France '98.

South Africa missed out on qualification for Germany's showpiece after a 2-0 defeat to Ghana in their final qualifier.  The result led to the resignation of English coach Stuart Baxter.

Speaking yesterday Safa chief executive Raymond Hack confirmed there has been 43 applications to succeed Baxter but insisted that none had been considered as yet and would not be until after the next month's final in Egypt. 

"At the end of February hopefully we'll be in a position to announce who the new manager will be," Hack told the Irish Times.

Romanian-born Ted Dumitru is currently in temporary charge of the side and may indeed hold on to the job if his side emerge as African champions or beaten finalists in Cairo in February.