Sydney FC squad delighted as Graham Arnold rules out World Cup job
Sydney FC players are both heartened and delighted to be the sole focus of manager Graham Arnold, who ruled himself out of the running to coach the Socceroos at the 2018 World Cup.
The former national coach this week confirmed he would remain in charge of the Sky Blues until at least the end of the season.
That effectively precluded him from taking the national team to Russia.
Sydney captain Alex Brosque said it was pleasing to finally have the matter settled, weeks after Arnold first addressed players about it.
"Since it first came out, he has been 100 percent behind us," Brosque told reporters on Wednesday.
"We knew he'd be silly to not even consider it ... but to have him turn it down, move away from it and focus on us does give the players a real lift."
With Sydney strong favourites to become the first A-League club to finish top of the table in consecutive seasons, Arnold was the leading local contender for the job.
He could yet take charge of the national team on a full-time basis after Russia 2018.
Football Federation Australia appear to favour a big-name foreign coach for a four-month stint leading up to and including the World Cup.
Bert van Marwijk, who took the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final, confirmed this week he is on the FFA's shortlist.
Heavy conjecture has also surrounded Roberto Mancini, Jurgen Klinsmann, Slaven Bilic, Louis van Gaal and Marcelo Bielsa.
The FFA said earlier this month a Socceroos coach would be installed by the middle of February.