Vidmar named new Australia assistant

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SYDNEY - Aurelio Vidmar has been named assistant coach of Australia as the Socceroos look to nurture domestic managerial talent to lead them in the future.

Australia have frequently looked to foreign coaches with Dutchman Pim Verbeek, who succeeded compatriot Guus Hiddink, in charge for World Cup beginning on June 11.

However, Vidmar's appointment is seen as a way of grooming him for the top job.

"Aurelio is a great young coach and a position like this is a fantastic stepping stone for him and it will give him the opportunity to aspire to the head coaching role down the track," Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO Ben Buckley said in a statement on Thursday.

Vidmar, 43, who has stepped down as boss of A-League side Adelaide United, will take up his new role, also involving being in charge of Australia's 2012 Olympic side, after the World Cup.

Vidmar will travel to South Africa for the finals on a development trip the FFA told Reuters but will not begin coaching until after the tournament.

Australia have been drawn in Group D with Germany, Serbia and Ghana.

The timing of additions to the coaching staff is a surprise with Verbeek due to step down as boss after the World Cup and no replacement named.

Media reports this week have linked former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit to the position.

Vidmar and the new manager's first task will to prepare the team for the January 7-29 Asian Cup finals in Qatar.

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