Born in Deventer to a Rotterdam mother, Gertjan Verbeek spend his playing career at Heerenveen (1984-1986, 1987-1994) and Heracles Almelo (1986-1987) and he was a successful coach at both clubs. In the past three seasons he has steered Heerenveen to fifth, seventh and fifth place in the Eredivisie, qualifying for the UEFA Cup on each occasion. The club even advanced to the later rounds of the competition two out of three times. Heerenveen are currently fifth in the table, which would earn them a place in the Champions League playoffs.
‘After the KNVB made an official approach to take Bert van Marwijk, the management went to work carefully to establish a profile for the new coach,’ explained general manager Eric Gudde. ‘Gertjan Verbeek fits our profile perfectly and he has more than proven his ability. In addition, we got a very good impression from the extensive talks we had with him. At Feyenoord we are all convinced that Verbeek is the coach to take Feyenoord to the next level.’
The appointment is the realisation of a long-held dream for Gertjan Verbeek. ‘In 1974 I went to De Kuip for the first time as a 12-year-old, when I watched the champions game between Feyenoord and FC Twente,’ explained the new coach. ‘I was immediately impressed by the whole setup. You never forget something like that. Every visit to De Kuip as a footballer was great. It’s a fantastic prospect to be coming to work here as Feyenoord coach.’
‘Over the past few years Gertjan Verbeek has proven himself to be a modern coach who is willing and able to get the most out of his teams,’ said technical manager Peter Bosz. ‘His teams are very fit and play attractive, attacking football. What’s more, Verbeek has shown he can improve players, which was a very important factor in our decision given the talented young players in our squad. So we are delighted to have reached an agreement with Gertjan. We will get together with him in the period to come to think about the rest of his staff.’