Antalya: The salaries of eight Socceroos assistant coaches and analysts are coming directly out of the bank account of Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk, who is spending his own funds to help Australia progress past the group stage at the World Cup.
Van Marwijk is on a short-term contract worth a little more than $1 million to guide Australia until the end of the tournament and has dug into his own pocket to employ eight Dutch technical staff to fast track the Socceroos' preparations.
His decision came after Football Federation Australia informed him they would remain faithful to the existing group of backroom staff that helped the Socceroos qualify for the tournament and they did not have the budget to hire a large team of new assistants.
It's not that van Marwijk did not share faith in the Australian staff but with such a short period of time with the team before the World Cup, he needed to have his own trusted people to deliver his message, style of play and tactics as quickly as possible.
"I need that because I dont have the time. When you try to develop a team in such a short time I need to work with people who know me," van Marwijk said.
"They must look through my eyes, they must know what I mean. I cannot afford communication problems. You need time to get to know each other and I dont have the time. I would like to work with Australian people."
His backroom team are all people he has worked with in the past and include four assistant coaches, two video analysts and two scouts. His assistants are Mark van Bommel, Roel Coumans, Jurgen Dirkx and Taco Van den Velde, with the latter working in football operations.
"I need them because they know how I work, they know how I want to work, they know how I want to play," van Marwijk said.
"They have their own initiative and theyre not afraid of me. I know I can trust them and everything. Because of the time, I could not do it another way.
"I know these guys and they dont come for the money, they only come to perform. That must be very professional. When you want to have a chance in the World Cup, those things must be very, very professional and I think thats the case now."
Van Marwijk has two analysts, one whose day job is at PSV and the other who is from FC Utrecht in the Eredevisie. Of his two scouts, one is former Dutch international John Metgod. Both undertook significant analysis for van Marwijk to help evaluate all Australian players available for selection and are now tasked with scouting oppositions.
"I think the former coach [Ange Postecoglou] took the video analyst with him to Japan," van Marwijk said.
His recruitment drive didn't stop there. Van Marwijk has also brought in a famed Dutch osteopath for two short visits to work with the Australian players during their training camp in Turkey.
"He treated me also. He worked for Bayern Munich, he worked for the national team of Germany, he went to the European championships … he treated Usain Bolt for example," he said. "Now the players say its good that he comes and they feel comfortable."
After qualifying with Saudi Arabia but quitting due to personal terms, Van Marwijk jumped at the opportunity to go to the World Cup when the Socceroos made their approach. He does not know what he will do after the tournament, even if he will coach elsewhere in the immediate future, but is happy to spend his personal funds on support staff for the only goal on his horizon.
"I want to survive the first round. Thats the pressure I gave myself and also the players," he said.
"For me, the first important thing is to perform in the World Cup."
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.
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