Brisbane Roar head coach Robbie Fowler is not returning to the A-League club. It opens the door for a local coach to show what he can do. But who to pick? There are a few options.
In encouraging news, an Australian head coach is the A-League club's preferred choice.
While the news was somewhat surprising given Fowler was on track for an A-League finals finish (Roar sat fourth on the A-League ladder with 10 wins, five draws) Roar were not playing a particularly attractive brand of football.
This coaching change gives Roar a chance to reset and refocus to bring a sustained level of success back to the three-time A-League title holders.
Luckily for Queensland's flagship club, a handful of experienced and hungry Australasian coaches may be available to step in.
Here are five names that should be on the shortlist...
A proud Queenslander born on the Gold Coast and a former Roar defender, Dodd’s commitment to his state and flagship A-League club is undeniable.
His CV is both remarkable and impressive.
After a playing career in Scotland (where he faced the likes of Celtic with his club Falkirk) and in the A-League with multiple clubs, Dodd was always going to be a coach following his retirement aged just 31.
After experience as a coach in the QLD NPL, the 39-year-old transitioned directly to a national team job in 2017 with the Guam Football Association.
It was quite a career move.
This allowed him a unique and broad education both in Guam and across Asia, including coaching against Italian master Marcello Lippi when Guam faced China at a packed Guangzhou last year.
The former A-League defender at Roar, Phoenix, and Fury has been able to supercharge his coaching development in a role that has more challenges than most (he's also had former A-League goal machine Daniel McBreen as one of his assistants in Guam).
"Our country is finally starting to buy in as a whole. Karl has brought a football culture and mindset and philosophy,” Guam player Marcus Lopez told Optus Sport recently.
The Roar job could be a perfect fit as the club look to cement its playing identity and regain state pride in the A-League.
With Victory and Adelaide United also looking for head coaches, little wonder Papas’ name is being mentioned regularly.
Many believe he is a future Ange Postecoglou.
Papas is a Postecoglou prodigy, having helped lift the J-League championship trophy in late 2019 as an assistant to the former Socceroos boss.
Papas is in many ways similar to Postecoglou: he is very clear on what he wants and is unwavering in his vision.
And he's not a defensive coach, he wants to boss possession and dominate teams.
At 40, Papas is coming into his best years as a coach after stints as an assistant in the A-League (Jets, Heart), the national youth system at the AIS, in India and in Saudi.
With Postecoglou, a Roar legend following his two championships in 2011 and 2012, Papas’s link with the ex-Brisbane boss may be a strong attraction for Roar.
The question is, would Papas want to leave the highly-prized J-League for the A-League?
Cahn has been attracting interest from Asia and the A-League over the last year, which is testament to the job he’s done in the semi-pro QLD NPL (he's actually employed full-time).
In short, the 30-something is very much on the radar of A-League clubs as either a head coach or an assistant with the potential to move up.
The former Fulham trainee Cahn has been coaching in Queensland for over eight years, beginning as a 25-year-old.
He has A-League experience after working in the Mariners youth development program, where he caught the eye as a coach who understands modern players and the modern game.
Cahn is currently at Olympic FC in Brisbane though for how long he remains in Australia's second-tier is the question.