Dutch master to try his art at Roar

FORMER Dutch international Frans Thijssen will take Brisbane Roar training for the first time this morning after replacing dumped coach Mike Mulvey.

But while the 62-year-old will fill the role until the end of the 2014-15 A-League season, he is not in line to get the job on a permanent basis, regardless of results.

Roar managing director Sean Dobson confirmed Thijssen's appointment yesterday, but added he would take over as technical director at the end of the season.

"Brisbane Roar FC believe Frans Thijssen's background and experience will be a significant asset to the club," Dobson said.

He said the board had "every confidence Frans Thijssen will inject new vigour into the team".

Thijssen made 14 appearances for the Netherlands in a playing career that included spells with English clubs Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest, and Dutch outfits NEC Nijmegen, FC Twente, Fortuna Sittard and FC Groningen.

His coaching debut came in 1995 with Dutch club Vitesse, before moving to Sweden to take charge of Malmo. More recently he has split his time between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in youth and assistant coaching roles.

"I am happy to be in Australia. I know this is not an easy job," Thijssen said.

After taking out the double last year, the Roar has opened the new season with one win from six games and sits third-last on the table with just three points.

Mulvey was axed after losing the support of the players, Dobson saying the decision followed a whole-of-operation review that included recruiting, the style of play under his tenure and the start to the season.

He said the financial strength of the club's owners - Indonesian business conglomerate the Bakrie Group - meant hard decisions like sacking a coach could be made for the benefit of the club.

"It's about looking to the medium and the long-term and not having a regard for the financial implications … we accept the responsibility that comes with these decisions and just want the fans to continue to support the lads out on the field," Dobson told SBS.

He said the club would investigate the circumstances surrounding Mulvey's axing, with media outlets reporting the news early on Sunday morning, before the decision was communicated to the coach.

"The intention was to communicate that decision with Mike, the team and then the media and members. There was a leak and this is being investigated," Dobson said.

- APN SPORTS BUREAU


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