Former Netherlands national team player John van’t Schip has officially been named coach of Greece’s national team, which is off to a disappointing start in qualifying for the 2020 European Championship. Van’t Schip is a Dutch Canadian born in British Columbia, who has held numerous posts.
The Hellenic Football Federation said Wednesday that the 55-year-old former midfielder would replace Angelos Anastasiadis who has been ousted from the team and whose dismissal was also announced on Wednesday.
After sorting through a number of potential candidates, the Federation decided to hire van’t Schip on a two year contract.
Australian football fans know van’t Schip well following his three seasons at the helm of Melbourne Heart (2009-2012), then had another four-year tenure at the club once it became known as Melbourne City. His work has won him many fans in Australia, and he is considered by many to be one of the best managers to have coached in the A-League. He has played a major role in the growth of the club, helping to elevate it into what it is today.
Besides his work in Melbourne, van’t Schip has also worked at Ajax Amstersdam (as assistant to Marco van Basten) and Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara. He has also coached the Dutch national team, and his most recent work was at Dutch club PEC Zwolle.
Greece, the Euro 2004 champion, has not played in a major tournament since the World Cup in Brazil five years ago, and has lost two of its four qualifying games for Euro 2020, including a 3-0 home defeat to Italy.
It is hoped that van’t Schip will be able to turn around this disappointing start, however he will have his work cut out for him. Greece really need to step up their game if they are to take one of the two top spots of the Euro 2020 qualifying group J that leads to the finals.
The Federation is confident, however, that the Dutchman from Down Under will turn around their fortunes.
Greece is currently ranked fourth behind group leaders Italy, Finland and Armenia. Greece’s next match is against Finland on 5 September.