Dutch coach Gertjan Verbeek appointed Adelaide United boss

Experienced Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek says he is relishing the challenge of working in Australia’s A-League after being appointed head coach of Adelaide United.

The 56-year-old brings a wealth of experience, having coached at the highest level in Germany and the Netherlands, including at Feyenoord and FC Nurnberg, with his most recent stint with FC Twente.

“I have followed Australian football for a while now and have admired the work ethic and passion Aussies have for the game,” he said after his appointment on Thursday.

“I am coming to South Australia to improve the quality of football and establish a hungry and competitive team.

“I can promise the Adelaide United fans that our team will be incredibly hard-working and hope to entertain you all with some high-quality football,” he added.

Verbeek replaces Marco Kurz who left after two seasons, with the German increasingly at loggerheads with the Adelaide hierarchy over a perceived lack of funding to recruit players. Adelaide finished fourth on the A-League ladder this year.

Meanwhile, new A-League club Western United have appointed former Wellington Phoenix boss Mark Rudan as their inaugural manager.

The domestic competition revealed plans to expand from 10 to 12 teams last year, with a Melbourne-based club, Western United, joining for the 2019/20 season and a Sydney team, Macarthur FC, a year later.

Rudan, a former Sydney FC skipper, steered Wellington to sixth place and a first finals appearance in four years during his first season in charge this year.

“It’s an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up,” he said of taking up the Western United job.

“To have a blank piece of paper to create what you want … there’s going to be some bumps on the way but I’m more than confident we’ll see those through.”

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