Muscat: Veteran coach Pim Verbeek has been appointed manager of the Oman National Football Team.
The 60-year-old will take charge of the national team on January 1, 2017, having signed a two-year-deal with the Oman Football Association.
The official announcement about the Dutch tactician’s appointment came at a press conference at the Seeb Football Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
“The goal is to once again ensure that Oman is on the forefront. This will be achieved by leading the team to compete in the Asian Football Cup 2019 and in the world cups in future. This is concurrent with the goals of the OFA, the team, and my own,” Verbeek told the media.
Verbeek expressed his admiration for Oman’s national team, and praised the current setup for the resilience it showed in the face of superior opposition.
”During the time when I coached, Oman has been a tough opponent, something rare in Asian football,” he said.
Though Verbeek only has until end of March for the first AFC Cup qualification game, he was confident of putting together the best selection of players in that short span.
“I had six weeks with Australia before their first match, and we won against Qatar in that World Cup qualifier. My target is to have training camps and identify players’ strengths to ensure we make the best selection for the team,” Verbeek said.
His achievements include managing South Korea’s and Australia’s national teams.
During his early international career, Verbeek was assistant manager to South Korea during the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and was later offered the role of the head coach.
He also coached Australia, taking it to the World Cup in 2010. This, however, is not his first spell as coach of an Arab nation. He was the assistant manager of the United Arab Emirates in 2005, and also oversaw the development of Morocco’s Under-23 side between 2010 and 2014.
Known for the wealth of knowledge he brings to the national team, Verbeek expressed his support for the national team players who went abroad to play their domestic football to gain crucial experience.
“I am currently trying to find the best squad I can play with,” he said.“The time is short and I will be selecting players who can perform the best so that we can make it to the bigger competitions. It is always good to have players with international experience that they gained from other clubs and countries, but it is up to the players themselves.”
The meeting was also attended by several top OFA officials, including Jassim Al Shukaili, the second vice chairman of
“The board has voted unanimously to appoint Verbeek,” he said, adding, “We are confident he will meet the high expectations we have of him.”
Al Shukaili also revealed that the OFA was searching for a capable assistant to aid him.
“The position will go to an Omani, and the individual must be highly knowledgeable regarding the sport, as well as world football,” he said, adding that the post would be filled in the coming weeks.
“The board has reached out to different football officials, staff and even former players regarding this position, and has had positive responses regarding the hiring of Verbeek and an assistant coach, whose identity will be revealed in the next few weeks.” added Al Shukaili, emphasising the positive influence that a good coach can have on the team.