NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) - Australia assistant coach Mark van Bommel will be heading straight to his new job in the Netherlands as coach of PSV Eindhoven if the Socceroos exit the World Cup this week and could be taking coach Bert van Marwijk with him.
Van Bommel was appointed coach of the Dutch champions last week after Phillip Cocu departed for Fenerbahce, and has already confirmed that another member of the Australian coaching staff Jurgen Dirkx will be one of his assistants at the club.
However, also likely to tag along is Van Marwijk, who was coach of the Dutch team when they were World Cup runners-up in 2010, qualified Saudi Arabia for the tournament in Russia and then parachuted in to take charge of Australia.
“That will be made clear shortly,” said PSV’s general manager Toon Gerbrands in response to questions about a role for Van Marwijk. “We are busy talking about how the rest of the technical team is going to look.”
Van Bommel is Van Marwijk’s son-in-law and served as his assistant when the latter took Saudi Arabia though a successful World Cup qualification campaign, only then to be abruptly sacked along with the rest of his back-room team.
But they were all quickly back on course for Russia, appointed in January by Australia after their previous coach, Ange Postecoglu, stepped down.
Dutch media are suggesting now that Van Marwijk, 66, will become either an assistant to his son-in-law at PSV or take up a less formal advisory role, providing an experienced sounding board.
PSV start pre-season training on Wednesday and if Australia are eliminated after their last Group C game against Peru in Sochi on Tuesday, then Van Bommel is expected to be in Eindhoven for the first practice.
“But maybe he only gets here later as a World Cup winner,” said Gerbrands, who said Van Bommel’s step up from working with PSV’s youth teams was a “logical progression”.
The 41-year-old Van Bommel, whose playing career included stints at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan, began his career at PSV and starred for the club for six season before moving abroad.
He also concluded his career at PSV and then began coaching the under-19 side.
Australia only hired the Dutch coaches for the World Cup and have already announced that former international Graham Arnold will take over after the tournament.
Editing by John O'Brien