Marcel Koller named new Austria coach

BY foxsports • October 4, 2011

Austria chose Marcel Koller of Switzerland as its new coach on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old Koller, who played 55 times for the Swiss national team in the 1980s and '90s, replaces Dietmar Constantini, who stepped down last month after Austria failed to qualify for the 2012 European Championship.

The Austrian football federation said Koller, who had been without club after leaving Bochum in 2009, has signed a two-year contract.

''He works very accurately and has proven that he is capable of developing a team and young players,'' the federation's president Leo Windtner said.

Interim coach Willi Ruttensteiner will remain in charge for Austria's final qualifying matches against Kazakhstan on Friday and Azerbaijan four days later.

Koller will make his debut at a friendly against Ukraine on Nov. 15.

''There are many young players with the talent to become better,'' said Koller, who has not yet named his coaching staff. ''The team plays with passion. Mostly just some minor things have been missing.''

In its search for Constantini's successor, the federation focused on a coach from abroad.

''Koller has no history here and can fulfill his tasks from a neutral perspective,'' Windtner said. ''He can leave his own mark in Austria.''

Koller played as a defender with Grasshoppers for his whole career, making more than 400 appearances for the Zurich club from 1982-96.

Koller worked as a coach with several Swiss clubs before joining FC Koeln in 2003 and Bochum two years later.

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