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.
The Queenslander may fly under the radar in Norway, but he'd be an excellent choice for an A-League club.
Why? He has experience on the pitch. He knows the A-League as a player, he is a former Socceroo and has played for a number of Norwegian clubs (Moss, Lillestrom, and Fredrikstad are the three Norwegian clubs).
And he has experience as a coach: the last four years the Oslo-based Aussie been working as an assistant coach in Norway, his second home.
At 42, he’s absolutely ready to take on an A-League challenge.
And Wehrman knows Queensland football well and has a strong link with Brisbane. He began in the NSL winning a title with the Strikers in 1997.
He later played Perth in the NSL and for the Newcastle in the A-League.
At the national team level, he was in the Olyroos 2000 side and has 12 caps for the Socceroos during the Golden Generation.
Interim head coach Darren Davies and assistant Moon will look after Roar in July/August as they complete the season.
Moon could be a very handy assistant coach if, like Davies, he misses out on the head coach role.
Moon knows the club well both as a player (having played alongside Dodd back in the Queensland Roar days) and now in his managerial role with Brisbane’s Academy.
English-born Moon built his reputation in the FFA Cup with Queensland club Lions FC and has many admirers in Queensland football.
Like Cahn, Zadkovich is very much on the radar of A-League clubs.
The former Socceroo and Olyroo ticks all the boxes: he’s very much a modern manager in terms of the way he manages players, and he’s had success in the second-tier competition at Broadmeadow Magic.
Zadkovich was able to turn Magic into just that, scoring the most goals, the highest number of clean sheets and they made the last 16 of the FFA Cup just a year after taking over.
In his early 30s, the former Derby County and Sydney FC midfielder can count on former Glory boss Kenny Lowe as a mentor.
Herbert has both A-League and international experience on an impressive CV.
The Kiwi coach who guided Wellington Phoenix to their first A-League finals series and New Zealand to an unbeaten 2010 World Cup campaign, remains in touch with the A-League through his many contacts in the game.
And the Kiwi great remains just as passionate about coaching.
If Roar opt for a coach who knows the A-League, has great experience, and can build a new club culture, Herbert could be a perfect fit.
He did it at Phoenix and he could do it again in Australia.