Han Berger named new Australia technical director

Han Berger has been named Australia's new technical director.

Han Berger has been named Australia's new technical director.

Berger, 58, takes over from Robert Baan who is retiring after two years in the role.

"We're very pleased to have someone of Han's calibre join us," said Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley.

"At the Annual General Meeting of FFA last Thursday, we made it clear that football development is one of our most important priorities, both in terms of game development and talented player development.

"Han's responsibility as National Technical Director is to bring world best practice to the technical development of talented players."

Berger, 58, joins FFA from Dutch premier league club, De Graafschap, where he has been Director of Football for the past four years.

He has a long and distinguished coaching career including head coach of several other Dutch premier league teams such as FC Utrecht, FC Groningen, Fortuna Sittard and Sparta Rotterdam.

Berger is also a former director of youth teams for the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and head coach of the Dutch Olympic team, and had a stint as head coach of J-League club, Oita Trinita.

"Everything we do in football development is now within a national strategic framework to advance the game in a uniform way across Australia," Buckley said.

“More than anything, it is important that we provide a consistent approach to football development throughout Australia, and Han will have a pivotal role in setting the direction and approach."

Berger's role includes responsibility for tracking, identifying and developing talented male players through the talented player pathway, and working closely with clubs, State and Territory football federations and sports institutes, youth league teams and the National Youth League.

Berger will oversee, but not coach, all national youth teams and work closely with national youth team coaches as well as developing emerging elite level coaches. He will also collaborate with the National Women's Coach and Women's Technical Director, Tom Sermanni.

Berger has a four year contract which ends at the end of 2012.

"Han's role will be critical in meeting our vision not only to host, but also to play in the final of, the 2018 FIFA World Cup."

In the past five years, Australia’s nine national teams have played 377 international games in 144 cities around the world.

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