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Japan's French national coach Philippe Troussier returns to the country on Wednesday after a month's holiday in Africa and Europe.

But he'll be concentrating on football rather than finance and the fine details of a new contract...for at least a week or so.

Troussier left Japan the day after a champagne lunch with Japanese Football Association president Shun-ichiro Okano, who told the Frenchman he wanted him to lead Japan right through to the 2002 World Cup.

Troussier's initial contract ended on June 30, but the JFA activated a four-month extension to take in the Sydney Olympics and Asian Cup in Lebanon.

The hard talk will now be about the new deal through to July 2002.

A source close to the talks said: "He (Troussier) will be coming back on Wednesday, but will start preparing for the Olympic team training camp from July 31 to August 2.

"Only when the camp is out of the way will he start negotiating the new contract, probably on August 3 or 4."

The source said there would be some "hard negotiating" with the JFA but added that Troussier wanted everything settled by the end of August, before he takes his team to Sydney.

Troussier took over as Japan's head coach in September 1998 and his initial two-year deal is thought to be worth 80 million yen (around $740,000) a year.

While no doubt asking for a substantial pay rise, having achieved his goals of qualifying for Sydney and Lebanon and putting a new-look national team into place for 2002, Troussier also will be looking for more support from the JFA on certain crucial issues.

One key area is that he wants total freedom to select as many players as he wants from one club for national squad training camps.

"It should be an honour for the club, the players, the coaches and the fans to have five players in the national squad, but they complain to the J.League that they don't have enough players for their own training sessions," Troussier said in a recent interview.

"I am prepared to negotiate on some points, but not on this. I must have the full support of the JFA and J.League. No negotiation."

Although there will be some tough talking, Troussier is keen to stay as he knows the potential of the group of young players he has assembled.
 
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Troussier is one hell of a coach...he did a good job with South Africa and is doing a very good job with Japan. He should have no problems in Asian cup. I saw his work with Japan in the Hassan friendly Tourni back in June, Japan drew with world champs France in a good match,the Japanese could have done better if they hadn't got carried away..
in Sydney they should have no problems, this particular group of players they have in the olympic squad are mainly of the under20 team which played in the last youth world cup and were runners-up after they lost the final match to Spain...with all this great effort Japan has being putting on I hope to see them do well in the upcomming challenges , lets only hope Mr Luck will be on their side.
 
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