At his first official press conference on Wednesday, new Adelaide United Head Coach, Gertjan Verbeek says he wants his side to play an offensive brand of football, while maintaining a strong fitness regime.
The Dutch tactician arrived in Adelaide on Monday and toured Coopers Stadium as well as the Club’s training facility at Playford.
Verbeek, 56, who has previously been in charge of Eredivisie outfits SC Heerenveen, AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord among others revealed his plans for the team.
“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 told reporters at Coopers Stadium in his official unveiling.
“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.”
He added that he draws his footballing inspiration from the way the likes of Ajax and Barcelona play and honed his coaching skills by following in the footsteps of legendary Dutch managers Rinus Michels and Louis van Gaal.
While acknowledging the Reds are not the aforementioned football giants, there is no reason why they cannot adopt a similar attacking style.
“Maybe you’ve seen Ajax or Barcelona play this year,” he said.
“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.”
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He further stated that he is looking to build on the Club’s success from last season, and praised the fact that the majority of the squad had been retained.
“Last year I saw the team has a lot of quality coming fourth and winning the cup and they got to the finals and were a little bit unlucky against Perth,” he explained.
“So a lot of players are still here and that’s a big compliment for the Club that a lot of players want to stay.
“We’ll need some new players to maybe fill in the gaps and maybe we can then go for the championship.”
Verbeek insisted he along with the Football Department will sign players in areas that need strengthening.
“I think everybody knows who follows Adelaide that we need some offensive players in the midfield,” he said.
“The captain has gone and also a central defender, and a right defender and also maybe a left defender. So we have five or six players to get.”
Verbeek also discussed the importance of fitness, particularly gym work and revealed he was one of the pioneers for implementing such training methods back in Europe.
“if you see in my career all my teams were very fit and in Europe the last few years they get better now in fitness and in training in the gym,” he claimed.
“It was not usual in Europe and I started very early this fitness training in the gym and when you’re one of the first you look a bit strange and you get a lot of complaints.
“But I believed in it and every year I’ve shown them that it helps to be a better player and it keeps the players fit and not have a lot of injuries.
“So I’ll do my own thing on my own way with the experience from the staff here because it’s different here in Australia.”