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Third time lucky? Netherlands appoint Advocaat as new coach

10:06 BST 09/05/2017
Dick Advocaat Fenerbahce
The 69-year-old has been confirmed as Danny Blind's replacement, taking charge of the Dutch national team after two previous spells at the helm

The Dutch football association (KNVB) has confirmed the appointment of Dick Advocaat as Netherlands' new national team coach for a third time.

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Oranje were seeking a replacement following the dismissal of Danny Blind in the wake of the World Cup qualification defeat at the hands of Bulgaria in March and they have now turned to Advocaat once again.

Advocaat has been appointed until the end of Netherlands' qualifying campaign for Russia 2018, with his deal to be extended should they reach the finals.

Ruud Gullit has been chosen as assistant although he and Advocaat face a tall order, with Oranje sitting fourth in Group A with just seven points from five games, six points behind leaders France.

The 69-year-old's return as national team boss is somewhat controversial, with the veteran coach having left his position as Blind's assistant in favour of a move to Fenerbahce in August 2016 just three months after accepting the job.

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The KNVB previously approached Henk ten Cate over the vacancy, but the 62-year-old turned down the job as he did not feel the full support of the association, paving the way for Advocaat to take over.

"I am very happy with the appointment of Advocaat and Gullit," KNVB sporting director Hans van Breukelen said. "We had two options. We either went for a long-term solution or we did everything within our powers to still make it to the World Cup.

"We went for the second option. We needed an experienced coach with authority. A foreigner was never an option. We considered Advocaat, Ten Cate and Huub Stevens.

"I never promised Ten Cate anything. I was still in talks with two candidates. I am surprised Henk thought he'd be the one. He knew I was still talking with Dick as well. When Fred Rutten pulled out as Henk's assistant, it was clear for me that we would not go for Henk.

"I am thinking in couples. Advocaat does not have a clause in his contract this time. His departure as assistant last year? You have to ignore your emotions and go for quality. Advocaat will take charge once Fenerbahce are out of the Turkish cup."

Advocaat first coached Netherlands between 1992 and 1994, leading them to the quarter-finals at the 1994 World Cup, where they were beaten by eventual winners Brazil.

He then returned for a second spell between 2002 and 2004, guiding his country to the semi-finals at Euro 2004.