Bert van Marwijk has been unveiled for the first time since being appointed Australia’s national team manger last week. Just hours after touching down from the Netherlands, van Marwijk faced the media this afternoon in regards to his motives and ambitions for the coming 6 months.
“If I didn’t have confidence (of getting to the knockout stage), I wouldn’t be sitting here. But it won’t be easy,’’ van Marwijk said.
“The mentality of Australia is special; the sports culture is special and I (wanted to) go to the World (Cup). So that’s a good combination.
“I go to the World Cup with only one that counts – surviving the first round. Our opponents are good countries.
“I’m a realistic coach and I like creative football, I like to have the ball. But I also like to win, that’s the most important thing.
“It’s important that we play in a way that fits the players and the coach.”
Having been named Ange Postecoglou’s successor, van Marwijk already has sound knowledge of the current Socceroos setup, having helped Saudi Arabia qualify ahead of the Socceroos in the qualifying group stage.
“It’s important to get to know the players as soon as possible,” he said.
“I’m respectful of the former coach. But I’ll do it in my way.
“It’s a big challenge especially because we have not so much time. It’s short, only a few months.
“I have to get to know the players very well in a very short time, but it makes the challenge for me even bigger.
Van Marwijk also highlighted many qualities that the current Socceroos set up possess, lauding the physical strength of the team. He did, however, make clear that it was his job to help play in a way that helps them have more chance at winning the game.
He also did not rule out bringing fresh faces into the set up in order to experiment before the World Cup in June. With friendlies in March against strong opposition in Colombia and Norway, van Marwijk will use this weekend to scout any A-league prospects, before spending most of his time scouting the ranks of Europe in the coming weeks.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop couldn’t contain his excitement and pleasure with the appointment of van Marwijk, labelling him as our “number 1 target” once the criteria were established.
“We secured a world class coach within the budget plus some of his trusted advisors,” Gallop said.