SCOTT Miller may not be a familiar name to A-League fans, but the Melbourne-born former Fulham assistant has emerged as a contender to coach the Newcastle Jets.
The 33-year-old has spent the past seven years at the Premier League and now Championship club and has been a member of Ange Postecoglou's backroom staff at the Socceroos, who are in camp in Dubai ahead of their opening World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan. Miller is not part of the current national set-up, but he is in Dubai.
Miller has a UEFA A licence as well as sports science and psychology degrees and was head coach of the under-21 side at Fulham, where former Jets golden boot Adam Taggart now plays.
Last year he was reportedly offered the assistant coach's role at Premier League Newcastle United, but the deal fell through, and it is believed he set his sights on an A-League coaching job.
Fulham confirmed on June 1 that Miller had left the club to "pursue other opportunities".
Postecoglou heads an FFA coaching panel in charge of appointing the new Jets coach.
Miller - not to be mistaken for the former Perth Glory midfielder of the same name - joined Fulham in 2007 as a strength and conditioning coach and has filled a variety of roles, including first-team assistant coach.
Postecoglou brought Miller in for his first camp in charge of the Socceroos in 2013 after axing incumbent conditioning coach Robbie Hooker.
During his time in West London, Miller has worked under current England boss Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes, Martin Jol, Rene Muelensteen and Felix Magath.
The Jets have been without a coach since Phil Stubbins was let go after Football Federation Australia took over the club from Nathan Tinkler.
Fox Sports analyst Mark Rudan had been the leading candidate, but the Herald understands that negotiations between the former Sydney FC defender and FFA broke down last week.
According to sources, the sticking point involved contractual guarantees and a potential settlement should a new owner take control of the club and want to bring in their own coach.
Jets chief executive Mitchell Murphy was confident a coach would be on the ground by the end of the month.
In the meantime, Murphy has been compiling a dossier of potential playing recruits for the new coach.
The Jets have 11 places available on their roster, including three visa spots, after Scott Neville and Jacob Pepper left this week for Western Sydney.
‘‘The most important point to make from the outset is that the head coach will select all the remaining spots on the roster,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘I have been active in staying in close contact with a wide variety of player agents.
‘‘There is a lot of interest from a a lot of players available on the market to join us.
‘‘But quite rightly they want to know who the head coach is.
‘‘I’m not concerned about us missing out on good-quality players who are free agents.
‘‘Furthermore, there are several players who may come on the market who are contracted at A-League clubs but may be able to secure releases due to salary-cap pressure at their clubs.
‘‘There is certainly enough depth and quality domestically for the head coach to have a wide variety of choice.’’
A-League clubs are permitted five overseas players.
The Jets have Serbian winger Enver Alivodic and Korean defender Lee Ki-je, but Murphy said at this stage they were looking at adding only one more import.
‘‘Even though the budget is tight, we will have leeway to sign another visa player,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘It will probably be one, but it’s very fluid.
‘‘You might be able to pick up a visa player at the right price due to circumstances in their current environment.’’
Stubbins spent a fortnight in Europe on a scouting mission before the FFA took control.
Murphy said that information would be passed on to the new coach.
‘‘I was aware of the players Phil was looking at,’’ Murphy said.
‘‘We have retained that intelligence and will hand it over in a dossier for the head coach to review.’’