Socceroos find their man in Bert Van Marwijkby Jack Kitson / 25 January 2018, 11:59Tweet
Australia have appointed Bert Van Marwijk as their head coach for the rapidly approaching 2018 World Cup Finals, which is now less than five months away.
The Socceroos were left managerless in November when an emotional Ange Postecoglou quit his post after leading his troops through to the World Cup, following a play-off win over Honduras.
Now, two months later, the Socceroos have named Van Marwijk as their new gaffer, with the Dutchman beating off competition from the likes of Graham Arnold, Slaven Bilic, Marcelo Bielsa and Roberto Mancini to land the job.
It’s a cracking appointment for the Socceroos, as they’ve managed to lure over a manager who has previousl led Netherlands through to the 2010 World Cup Final, while last year he steered Saudi Arabia into the 2018 edition of the tournament for the first time in 12 years, at the expense of the Aussies.
The veteran manager has also had spells in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, and Feyenoord where he won the UEFA Cup.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman Steven Lowy is understandably delighted with the appointment:
“This is a great result for Australian football.
“Bert Van Marwijk is world class. He took the Netherlands to the World Cup Final in 2010, he led the Saudi Arabian team to qualify directly for this year’s Finals and most importantly, he knows a lot about our team and how they play because he studied them closely as an opposition manager in the same group.
"These experiences make him a compelling choice.”
The Socceroos are likely to be more pragmatic than pretty under Van Marwijk but their hopes of ruffling a few feathers in Russia have been significantly boosted now the Dutchman is at the helm.
Van Marwijk’s first match in charge is a friendly against Norway on 23rd March, followed by Colombia four days later, while a couple of warm-up matches will be arranged before the World Cup.
The Socceroos have been placed in Group C alongside France, Peru and Denmark. Van Marwijk’s men can be backed at 25/1 to top the group, 4/1 to be eliminated in the last-16, and 10/3 to finish the tournament as the Best Asian Team.