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NPL Victoria season preview South Melbourne Melbourne Knights Heidelberg

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THE highest calibre coaching duo in Australia may well be situated in Victoria’s NPL coaching dugouts this season.

Adelaide United’s Marco Kurz is the only one to have coached in one of the world’s ‘big five’ leagues, but Aljosa Asanovic and Dean Racunica boast imposing collective CV’s headlined by lengthy spells in the Croatian national team set up.

Melbourne Knights’ stunning coaching coup owes much to its decorated past and while the NSL has been airbrushed by sections of Australian soccer, Asanovic and his assistant Racunica have not forgotten.

Certainly no other coach in Australia boasts a playing CV as decorated as Asanovic’s, having played in four of the ‘big five’ — Napoli (Italy), Derby County (England), Real Valladolid (Spain) and Metz, Cannes, Montpellier (France) — and winning 62 caps for Croatia including a stunning 1998 World Cup semi-final assist.

But after assistant coaching spells with Croatia and Russians Lokomotiv Moscow and a technical director’s job in Slovakia, he’s taken a step back for his first head coaching role.

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West Ham ready to halt Chelsea's Declan Rice transfer plans with plan hatched to keep star

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West Ham are set to launch a bid to keep Declan Rice at the London Stadium.

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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent Chelsea warning over sack pressure despite PSG win

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer alleviated some pressure with an encouraging Champions League win over PSG on Tuesday night.

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Football news 2020, Socceroos, Australia vs England, friendly, New Zealand, COVID-19, latest, fixtures

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England will face the Republic of Ireland at Wembley after Australia pulled the plug on talks to replace neighbours New Zealand in the November international.

According to the Daily Mail, the Socceroos were in advanced talks to face Gareth Southgate’s side in a friendly after the Kiwis pulled out of the originally-arranged fixture due to “restrictions on their return home”.

And now Australia have followed suit, abandoning plans due to ‘complexities’ in travelling to and from the UK and playing sport in Europe amid the current pandemic.

The proposed game with the USA, also in London, will similarly not be able to go ahead.

With infection rates rising again across Europe and particularly in the UK, the FFA decided it would not be safe or responsible to play at this time.

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