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New Adelaide coach aiming to emulate Ajax and Barcelona's style

08:34 EAT 27/06/2019
Gertjen Verbeek Adelaide United
The Dutch coach is looking to bring some serious style to the Reds

Though he's quick to admit Adelaide United aren't on the same level as Ajax and Barcelona, new Reds coach Gertjan Verbeek is hoping to bring their style of football Down Under.

The Dutchman touched down in Australia this week after being appointed as Marco Kurz's replacement.

Verbeek, who had a long playing career as a defender with Heerenveen, has previously coached in Germany and Netherlands with his most recent job being at FC Twente.

While now set to test himself outside of Europe for the first time, Verbeek remains keen to bring some European flair to the way Adelaide will play next season.

"I can only say that the trainer is only as good as his players and we’ll see what the quality of the players are," Verbeek said at his first press conference on Wednesday.

"But the main type of football I like is to play offensive football and when you lose the ball get it back as soon as possible because it’s nice to have the ball. When you run after the ball as a defender it’s not nice, so keep the ball.

"That’s the basic ideas I can say. Maybe you’ve seen Ajax or Barcelona play this year. I don’t think we’ve the quality like Ajax or Barcelona but the way they play football...I’m a follower from the 1974 Netherlands squad coached by Rinus Michels and then Louis van Gaal.

"So I’ve big names in front of me who are from the Dutch football school, if you want to call it like that, and hopefully I can bring some ideas into this team."

Verbeek is not a complete stranger to Australia with a pre-season visit Down Under a few years ago ultimately luring him back to the country. 

"Five or six years ago I was in Australia with the former director of AZ Alkmaar and we made a trip to Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney to see the sports science and how clubs became leaders in sports science," he said.

"We saw a lot of Australian football, we saw cricket and we talked to the teams, the players and the trainers and we got a good impression.

"I was also impressed with the mentality and the way they eat sport, they live it, the sport mentality. And then I said when I get a chance to work here I’ll do it and five or six years later I get a call from Adelaide and they were interested so it was a good match."

While impressed with the Australian mentality and the core squad he's inherited at Adelaide, Verbeek is set to make a number foreign signings in the coming weeks with no shortage of interest back in Europe.

"There are a lot of players playing in Europe that want to play here in Australia," he said.

"Also a lot of agents in Europe have called me and said 'What players do you need?'.

"When you talk about players in the middle of the field, the nine, the 10 or the three or the four you want to have creative players and you want to play offensive football. You want players with a lot of creativity and technical skills."

The Reds finished last season in fourth and only just missed out on the A-League grand final after losing to Perth Glory on penalties.