Former South Korea coach Pim Verbeek has been unveiled as the new coach of Australia.
The Socceroos have been searching for a replacement for Graham Arnold since Zenit St. Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat performed a u-turn on a deal that would have seen him originally take over.
Verbeek, who lead South Korea to third place at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup in July, has signed a deal that runs until the end of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and will begin work immediately.
“I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and I am committed to also helping to develop the game in Australia,” Verbeek to the Football Federation of Australia‘s (FFA) official website.
“I am excited to be involved in what is an exciting time for football in Australia and I look forward to assisting the FFA in developing football in Australia and making myself available to support the national football development plan, in particular working with Australian coaches.”
The 51-year-old coached Dutch sides Feyenoord, Groningen and Fortuna Sittard before moving to Japan to take over at J-League side Omiya Ardija.
He became assistant to Guus Hiddink at South Korea in 2005 before becoming the national team coach in 2006.
“After very careful consideration and a rigorous recruitment process I am delighted that we have secured the services of a very experienced and respected national coach for the Socceroos,” said FFA Chairman Frank Lowy.
“Football fans can rest assured that the FFA has worked diligently to secure a coach with the qualities and enthusiasm that will give the Socceroos every chance of success.
“Pim Verbeek has a vast range of experience he has gained over 25 years in coaching, including several stints in Asia, and we believe he is the right man for the job of leading the Socceroos to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“I would like to pay tribute to Graham Arnold and Rob Baan who have done a very good job as interim coaches while our search has been conducted.”