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Jobless Footballers Join Dole Rangers To Showcase Their Talent

Austria's job centres are entering the big league - by creating a football team to allow jobless footballers to showcase their talent and get work.

Unemployed footballers will be able to kick-start their careers from next month with the new scheme run by the Public Employment Service (AMS).

Former stars of the Austrian league such as Andreas Dober and Roland Linz - along with 143 others who no longer play professionally - are eligible for the training programme being run by former Austrian football manager Paul Gludovatz.

In order to get plenty of match practise, games will constantly be scheduled against other teams.

"I’m convinced that we’ll be able to make some players professionals again, 60 or 70 percent must still be employable," Gludovatz said. He estimates that his team - in danger of being dubbed the 'Dole Rangers' - will have around 20 players to start with, and possibly some former stars among them.

The decline of Austria’s national team has coincided with the fall from grace of Austria's big clubs. No Austrian club has ever won a European title, but clubs like Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg used to be contenders. The Austrian League is not well known internationally.

(ends)

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