Koeman set to be appointed Holland coach

Ronald Koeman has been appointed coach of the Holland national team up to and including the 2022 World Cup, the Dutch football association (KNVB) announced yesterday.

The 54-year-old former international defender is the seventh coach in eight years for the Dutch team.

He replaced Dick Advocaat, who stepped down as coach in November after failing to qualify the team for this year's World Cup in Russia.

Koeman will have the task of resurrecting the fortunes of a team who less than eight years ago were World Cup runners-up but have not played in a major tournament since 2014.

They also missed out on the last European Championship two years ago.

Koeman had been out of work since being dismissed in October by Everton following a horrendous run of form in the English Premier League.

His immediate mission will be high-profile friendlies against England and Portugal next month, as Holland take up the role of sparring partner for World Cup-bound teams.

His ultimate goal, though, will be a place at Euro 2020.

Koeman, who won 78 caps for Holland as a player, brings a wealth of experience to the job, having coached club sides Vitesse Arnhem, Ajax Amsterdam, Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord Rotterdam, Southampton and Everton.

As a Barcelona player, he won the European Cup in 1992.

Dutch media earlier said Everton goalkeeping coach Patrick Lodewijks and former Dutch international Kees van Wonderen would be Koeman's assistants, leaving no place for Ruud Gullit, who had served as assistant to Advocaat. - REUTERS