Clarity finally. Since Marc Overmars was appointed sporting director in March, rumors have swirled around coach Brian Brisky. There was an immediate impression that the Dane’s days at the Tawny Owl were numbered – especially given his mediocre football – though no one wanted to say so. But it wasn’t just speculation: Antwerp effectively began the search for a new coach. He has now found it.
Negotiations with Mark van Bommel reached the last straight lines. There is a verbal agreement with Antwerp about a two-season contract. Dutch sources inform us of this. Van Bommel will put his autograph soon. It will also have a say in the composition of the technical staff. Anders Ulderink (52), who has just left after a “difference in vision” with coach Ron Jans, will indeed be one of the assistants.
At Deurne-Noord, Overmars and President Paul Gheysens are very pleased that they were able to bring this file to a successful conclusion. It wasn’t easy: there was a lot of interest in Van Bommel, despite previous disappointments at Eindhoven and Wolfsburg. Genk also sat around the table with Van Bommel, Club Brugge got the information through intermediaries (without further suspicion) and there was also interest from Germany, but Van Bommel was instantly charmed by Antwerp. Not only are the Overmars – a former Orange teammate – around, Van Bommel also loves the fiery atmosphere in Antwerp. In addition, it is of course a club with many financial opportunities – which is also attractive.
It must be better
For Van Bommel, this is his first job since he was sacked from Wolfsburg in October last year. He is known as the super professional and leadership coach. Ambitious too: the intent is to do a much better job this season. Antwerp finished fourth unevenly in the play-offs and also at the European level and in the cup it was very little. Gheysens hopes Van Bommel can get him closer to his ultimate goal: winning the title.
Priske never came close to this goal, and the lopsided heart of a player did not help him. On Sunday, Al-Ittihad is leading its last match in great old† At Dudenpark, Antwerp still wants to win the play-offs, to bring a touch of color to the end of the season. At the beginning of next week, Antwerp will sit down with Priske to finalize the collaboration. Then it is up to … van Bommel.