Such is the clamour for new state coaches that Tasmania's decision today to appoint Brian McFadyen will arguably assume as much importance in the short-term in Victoria as it will further south.

From the time that the hunt for a potential successor to Mick O'Sullivan began nearly three months ago, McFadyen had assumed status as one of the frontrunners for the Bushrangers' top job. An increasingly important figure in Victorian cricket in his role as its elite coaching co-ordinator over recent seasons, he looked well placed to inherit even greater responsibility in his home state next summer.

But an outstanding early track record in coaching - and an application that was understood to have included a glowing reference from current Australian coach John Buchanan - also attracted the eye of selection committees in both Queensland and Tasmania.

His decision to accept the Tigers' head coaching role accordingly comes as a major blow to Victorian administrators in that it robs them of one of the most-highly fancied candidates to pilot their team into a new era.

In something of a quirk of fate, the Tasmanian Cricket Association's decision not to re-engage outgoing coach Greg Shipperd also has direct ramifications in Victoria.

Shipperd, who is among those to have been shortlisted by the committee responsible for choosing the Bushrangers' coach, was extensively interviewed for the Victorian position as recently as early last week.

Interest in his claims is now likely to intensify in the wake of the Tigers' announcement, although attention is now understood to be most closely focused on the candidature of former state captain Jamie Siddons and local cricket and football identity Matthew Drain.

Wayne Phillips, currently a coach at the Australian Cricket Academy and the man in control of Australia's unbeaten run through the recently-completed Under-19 World Cup tournament in New Zealand, is also believed to be in the reckoning.

The fallout from Victoria's disastrous 2001-02 season has already extended to include a shake-up of the state team's selection panel, with long-time members Shaun Graf and Neil Buszard both stripped of their positions last week following elections.

A Victorian Cricket Association spokesman confirmed today that deliberations on the new coaching appointment are unlikely to be concluded until the end of this month.