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Football: Koeman set to be named Netherlands coach


The Hague (AFP) – Former  Everton manager Ronald Koeman is set to be presented as coach of the Netherlands, Dutch news reports said on Monday, as the football-mad country seeks to revive its flagging fortunes.

“Ronald Koeman is the new national coach of (the) Dutch Eleven. The KNVB will present him at a press conference on Tuesday,” Dutch national news agency ANP reported, citing insider sources.

Koeman, 54, who was sacked by Everton in October after a string of defeats saw The Toffees fall into the relegation zone, will be taking over from Dick Advocaat — the latest in a raft of unsuccessful appointments since 2014.

Advocaat was appointed in May last year for a third stint as national coach, but stepped down seven months later after the once-mighty Oranje failed to qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia.

“Koeman’s appointment as the new trainer does not come as a surprise,” the ANP said, with news reports adding the blond-haired Koeman was already earmarked back in 2014 to replace Louis van Gaal, who left the Dutch squad after taking them to third place in the World Cup in Brazil, and joined Manchester United.

But instead, the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) appointed another stalwart Guus Hiddink, who was then replaced by Danny Blind, followed by Advocaat — all in the space of just over three-and-a-half years as the national team slumped from one disappointment to another, missing out on qualification for both the 2016n Euros and then 2018 World Cup.

An attack-minded central defender, Koeman picked up 78 caps as a player between 1982-94, scoring 14 goals.

He started his coaching career at Vitesse in 2000, having already served as Hiddink’s assistant with the Dutch national team at the 1998 World Cup.

“Koeman will stay on until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” popular daily tabloid De Telegraaf said on Friday.

“Koeman’s sacking at Everton came as a gift from heaven for the KNVB and led to an eventual ‘marriage’ between Koeman and the federation,” the paper said.

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