Kerr hoping for return to international coaching in South Africa

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The Independent Online

Brian Kerr, the former Republic of Ireland coach, has applied for the vacant post as the coach of South Africa. The 52-year-old Dubliner had recently been linked with jobs at Hearts, in the Scottish Premier League, and Portsmouth, in the Premiership.

However, Fintan Drury, Kerr's agent, said that he had favoured a return to international football and was one of a reported 43 people who had applied for the South Africa job.

"Brian has applied. He is interested in it and it's an attractive job," Drury said. "He wants to be involved in professional football. Ideally, although not exclusively, he is attracted to international football."

Kerr's contract as Ireland's coach was not renewed in October after their failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. He took over the senior team in January 2003, when their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2004 already looked slim.

Kerr had spent six years as a highly successful coach with the country's youth teams, and had previously led St Patrick's Athletic, in Dublin, to the domestic double on two occasions.

Drury said South Africa were looking for someone with international experience, but were also keen on improving the team's technical development - an area in which Kerr had done well with the Football Association of Ireland.

South Africa also failed to qualify for next summer's World Cup finals, which led Stuart Baxter, their English-born coach, to step down last month. The South African Football Association is expected to name their new coach in February, after the African Cup of Nations.

The Romanian-born Ted Dumitru is in temporary charge of the Bafana Bafana who, since being readmitted to world football 13 years ago, have had 11 coaches.

However, South Africa will not have the problem of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals because they are the hosts.

Elsewhere, Theodoros Zagorakis, 34, the captain of Greece, has been offered a job with his national team, working alongside the coach Otto Rehhagel, should he decide to stop playing.

The PAOK Salonika midfielder led Greece to victory in Euro 2004, but has indicated that he may retire soon.