NEW Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk has earned rave reviews from some of Dutch football’s biggest names as he ramps up preparations to face Norway on Saturday morning AEDT.
Fox Sports News 500’s Daniel Garb is in Oslo for all the build up to the two March friendlies – with the Socceroos playing Colombia on Wednesday – and spoke to recalled goalkeeper Brad Jones about the impact Van Marwijk is already making on the group.
“The one thing I will say is everyone has good things to say about him,” Jones told Fox Sports News 500.
“I spoke with [Robin] van Persie about him, Dirk Kuyt and [Giovanni] van Bronkhorst and literally everyone I spoke to was positive.
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“That’s a good thing but also in terms of him as a coach, the guys that played under him at the 2010 World Cup got to a final, where things didn’t end well, but they did say the atmosphere [in camp] would be very good.
“He focuses on team ethic, working together as a group and I think that’s something our boys will take on board.”
All 26 Socceroos are in camp, with Matthew Jurman and Tom Rogic the last to arrive.
Rogic was the only player to sit out the second session under the new boss, still recovering from his weekend match with Celtic, while Tomi Juric and James Troisi returned to action after being restricted to laps yesterday.
Yet with time at a premium, Van Marwijk continued to push players in an intense session with attention to detail demanded of players.
“The level definitely went up today,” explained Garb to foxsports.com.au. “It was far more intense, more work on short sharp passing drills.
“Bert is demanding perfection and accuracy and he gets annoyed when passes miss their target but they looked sharp and the word is Bert is impressed with the standard.”
Van Marwijk has already proven to be a point of difference to his predecessor Ange Postecoglou, taking a more hands on approach to training which includes putting out the cones.
The Dutchman has brought on board two assistant coaches – son-in-law Mark van Bommel and Roel Coumans – while Ante Milicic remains involved.
Coumans was again in charge of warm ups, while Garb explained Van Bommel is clearly his right hand man with the former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan enforcer also involved in a training mishap with Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury.
He said: “[Bert] again controlled the whole session, you can tell he’s desperate not to waste a minute. He spoke to the players two or three times in a group [and] Van Bommel is definitely his number one right hand man.
“There was a funny moment – Sainsbury hitting [Van Bommel] with a stray pass and knocking his whistle out. They had a laugh about it after.”