Socceroos embracing 'funny guy' van Bommel

New Socceroos assistant coach Mark van Bommel is a humorous individual who is bringing a fun atmosphere to training, according to winger Mathew Leckie.

Dutch legend van Bommel, who made 79 appearances and captained the Netherlands, has joined the coaching staff of new Australia coach Bert van Marwijk.

The former PSV, Bayern Munich and Barcelona midfielder, who is married to van Marwijk’s daughter, worked with the Dutchman for two years as part of the Saudi Arabia set up.

Now he is part of the Socceroo camp as van Marwijk’s number two and helping Australia prepare for friendlies against Norway and Colombia. Former VV Geldrop manager and PSV youth coach Jurgen Dirkx is also part of the Australian national team’s technical staff.

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Leckie says van Bommel and the other Dutch coaches are keeping the mood light in Olso as the green and gold prepare for Saturday morning’s (Australian time) clash with Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion.



“He’s funny,” the 27-year-old said.

“They don’t mind a joke, which is cool. It brings in a good atmosphere. They’re happy, they’re always laughing.

“They joke here and there. It’s nice. You’ve always got to have fun playing football. So far it looks like they don’t mind a joke.”

van Bommel had a star-studded playing career with some of the biggest clubs in the world. Starting off at Fortuna Sittard in his hoemland, he had six successful years with PSV before a season with Barcelona, then five trophy-laden campaigns with Bayern Munich, and a season each at AC Milan and then PSV before retiring in 2013.

The 40-year-old won league titles and cups in Holland, Spain, Germany and Italy, as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2006 with Barca. He also skippered the Oranje to the 2010 World Cup final.

Leckie believes the Socceroos can learn a lot from the Dutch great, who has been coaching PSV’s Under-19s.



“Obviously his history as a player, he can bring a lot to us,” the Hertha Berlin forward said.

“I think the mix of the coaches is really good and can help us along the way. If we need advice or something we need explaining, there always there.

“I think we have a really good bunch of coaches here and they’ve chosen well to do the job.”


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Published 22 March 2018 at 11:53am
By John Davidson