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Van Marwijk to succeed Van Basten

Updated: Monday, 31 Mar 2008 12:11

Bert van Marwijk will begin his new job on 1 July
Bert van Marwijk will begin his new job on 1 July

Bert van Marwijk was officially presented by the Dutch football association as the new Holland coach earlier today.

The current Feyenoord coach does not begin his tenure with the national team until after the European Championships this summer, when Marco van Basten will step down from the role.

And despite revealing his pride at being handed the national team reins, the 55-year-old coach admitted he was more concerned with Feyenoord's faltering campaign at present.

The Rotterdammers crashed to a 3-1 defeat at NAC Breda on Sunday to fall to sixth place, and out of the Champions League play-off positions, in the Eredivisie table.

'I am busy with Feyenoord until 1 July, so it hard to speak about being the Oranje manager just yet,' said Van Marwijk who has signed a two-year contract with the KNVB until the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

'I don't find it appropriate to answer questions when the current national team coach is still busy with the team.

'Although I wouldn't have chosen to be presented today, I am of course very content with this new job. It's an enormous challenge to represent this country and work with the best players of Holland towards the World Cup of 2010.'

He added: 'I know that it's not the easiest job to be head coach of Holland, the whole country looks over my shoulders.'

Van Marwijk also confirmed his current assistant at Feyenoord, Dick Voorn, would work alongside him for the Oranje in addition to former national team players Philip Cocu and Frank De Boer.

'I am happy with the composition of my assistant staff, it is what I had in mind,' Van Marwijk said.

'Dick Voorn has, for a few years, been my best advisor, and communicates well with players.

'Frank and Philip have much experience. Together they have played 220 international games and they were part of many big tournaments. They also both played in the axis of the team and they always thought with the coach when they were players.'

Van Marwijk dismissed speculation the decision to appoint three assistant managers was politically motivated, with each holding ties to one of Holland's big three clubs.

He said: 'Is it is a coincidence that I come from Feyenoord, Philip from PSV and Frank from Ajax? Yes, totally. I don't think in such terms. I am not a politician.'