Get to know… Gertjan Verbeek


After Gertjan Verbeek was announced as Adelaide United’s new Head Coach for the next two seasons, here is an overview of his footballing journey.

The Dutchman enjoyed a successful playing career in his homeland before venturing into coaching following his retirement.

Verbeek boasts an extensive coaching record having managed some of the biggest clubs in the Eredivisie.

He has also coached two sides in Germany in the Bundesliga and second division over a four-year period.

Born in August 1962 in Deventer, a town located around 100km east of Amsterdam, Verbeek began his professional career in 1984 at SC Heerenveen.

In fact, with the exception of a loan spell during the 1986/87 season at Heracles Almelo, Verbeek spent the entirety of his career with the Super Frisians – plying his trade in the Eerste Divisie (Dutch second tier) and top-flight.

He retired in 1994 and remained with Heerenveen as an assistant, working alongside his coach as a player, Foppe de Haan, for the next seven years.

In 2001, Verbeek received his first head coaching role in the Eerste Divisie with Heracles, a position he would hold for three years before returning to Heerenveen to supersede de Haan.

Between 2004 and 2008, Verbeek guided Heerenveen to three fifth placed finishes, while playing an attacking brand of football, and managed the likes of Klaas Jan-Huntelaar, Miralem Sulejmani, Afonso Alves, and Danijel Pranjić.

Indeed during the 2007/08 season, his side scored a prolific 88 goals in 34 matches, second only behind Ajax.

A move to Feyenoord materialised that summer, but his time at the helm lasted only six months.

He returned to Heracles in what was a successful stint in his one season in charge, delivering their highest-ranked finish of sixth in the top-flight since the 1994/95 season.

Verbeek moved to AZ Alkmaar ahead of the 2010/11 campaign, taking the reins from Dick Advocaat.

He secured back-to-back fourth place finishes in his first two seasons at the club with players such as Socceroo Brett Holman at his disposal, and reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Europa League in 2011/12.

In his last full season in charge, the then 50-year-old clinched the 2012/13 KNVB Beker (Cup).

On route to lifting that piece of silverware, AZ dispatched Ajax in the semi-finals before defeating PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in the final, thanks to goals from Adam Maher and Jozy Altidore.

Later that year, Verbeek coached outside of the Netherlands for the first time in his career when he signed with German side 1. FC Nürnberg.

The Dutch tactician found more stability at VfL Bochum in the second tier where he was in command for two-and-a-half seasons, with the closest he got the team to promotion was a fifth-ranked finish in 2016.

His most recent stint before accepting the job at Adelaide was with FC Twente.