VERBEEK: ‘ELATED THAT AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED’

Gertjan Verbeek expressed his satisfaction at being able to look forward to taking the reins at De Kip next season as head coach when he was officially presented to the press Monday morning. ‘It’s a great relief now we’ve reached complete agreement. This is a great challenge,’ said Verbeek. Technical manager Peter Bosz confirmed on behalf of the club that Feyenoord were delighted to get their man. ‘The management board was unanimous that it had to be Verbeek.’

General manager Eric Gudde explained how Verbeek came to be selected. ‘On 4 February I was called by Henk Kesler of the KNVB, who said that he wanted to start negotiations with Bert van Marwijk for the job of national coach. That led us to closely re-examine the profile for the new coach and to look at potential candidates. The moment Van Marwijk agreed terms with the KNVB we completed the first round of that process. It produced one candidate and that was Verbeek.’

Verbeek feels the talks with Feyenoord took place in a very professional, harmonious atmosphere. The current coach of Heerenveen said that it made a very good impression on him. ‘In the talks I noticed that Feyenoord thought I was a good candidate and I am very comfortable with the club’s policy plans. I’m really looking forward to it and I cannot start soon enough.’

Peter Bosz feels that Verbeek’s selection says a lot about his performances as a coach in recent years. Bosz actually succeeded Verbeek as head coach at Heracles Almelo in 204. Once installed he found that his predecessor has put a very good organisation in place. ‘And he gets his teams playing shrewd, attacking football. You see that he makes his players better. Sometimes very quickly. And Verbeek’s teams are always very fit.’

It will be the first time that Verbeek has been in charge of one of the big three in the Netherlands, after head coach stints at Heracles and Heerenveen. ‘It’s true that I don’t have a frame of reference in that respect,’ said Verbeek. ‘On the other hand, Heerenveen are making good progress and are getting closer and closer to the national top. But the only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to get the maximum return.’ Bosz added to those words with some of his own: ‘You have to start at a big club sometime. We have every confidence that Gertjan has the requisite qualities.’

The future Feyenoord coach wrapped things up with a few words about how he wants to work. ‘In the contemporary game, more and more is being demanded of coaches and players, and Feyenoord are doing everything they can to advance. I demand a lot from myself and my players, that’s correct.’

There was no news on Verbeek’s support staff Monday. ‘We will look for people with supplementary qualities, but I won’t name names at this stage’ said Verbeek. ‘We’ll be looking at that in the weeks to come.’

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