Though making his FIFA World Cup™ debut as a coach Verbeek has nearly three decades of experience on the bench. He also has been to two previous tournaments as an assistant coach with Korea Republic, firstly under former Australia coach Guus Hiddink at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and then also with Dick Advocaat at Germany 2006.
Verbeek is strongly respected by the players and has built a strong sense of togetherness since his first match in charge against Qatar in February 2008 when Australia kicked-off their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Very much a pragmatist, Verbeek has worked diligently with the team to ensure they are familiar with his system, one which he rarely diverts from. Having been influenced most particularly by Hiddink at both PSV Eindhoven at Korea Republic, Verbeek is also known for his level of preparation and focus.
In March Verbeek announced that he would take up a position with the Morocco youth national teams immediately after South Africa 2010. Since being appointed in December 2007 Australia had lost just four matches prior to June 2010. Qualification for both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 AFC Asian Cup were achieved making Verbeek’s tenure a successful one on results alone. Not afraid to blood young talent he gave senior debuts to well over 30 players including Scott Jamieson, Bruce Djite and Tom Oar. Verbeek was also in charge when Australia reached their highest ever position of 14 in the FIFA Coca-Cola World Ranking in September 2009.
Verbeek spent most of his playing career in his home town with Sparta Rotterdam only for injury to facilitate an early move into the coaching arena. He went on to hold a position at Sparta for three years in his 20s before another 15 years coaching in the Netherlands with De Graafschap, Feyenoord, FC Wageningen, Groningen and Fortuna Sittard. Two years at J.League club Omiya Ardija immediately preceded a further two years with South Korea under Hiddink culminating in the nation’s famous run to the 2002 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. Verbeek’s next senior role was with the Koreans immediately after Advocaat in 2006 where he led the team to third at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.
Verbeek has also been employed by the KNVB (Netherlands Football Association) in a coach development role and with the national team in a scouting role. His younger brother Robert Verbeek is also a football coach, notably looking after the PSV Eindhoven youth team for eight years as well as Eerste Divisie club FC Dordrecht.