Meet the Caltex Socceroos staff for FIFA World Cup™

We know the players, we know the coaches but there are so many more people pivotal to the Caltex Socceroos and how our boys will perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.

After arriving in their Kazan Base Camp this week, on Tuesday the players and full staff had their official team photo, which demonstrated the enormity of the operation designed around achieving success on the park in Russia.

No detail is overlooked, with Bert van Marwijk helped directly by four assistant coaches, a goalkeeper coach and a team of physios and sports scientists to affect what happens on the training park and on game day.

POLL: Vote for your Caltex Socceroos XI to face France

DAY 25 WRAP: Inside the Caltex Socceroos’ Kazan training base

But away from the pitch, there is also a team of scouts, analysts, logistics managers and gear stewards who make the Caltex Socceroos tick.

Here’s a look at the 34-strong Caltex Socceroos support staff and what their roles are…


Daniel Mazzarella – Team Photographer

The man behind the lens, Mazzarella is responsible for the photos that emerge from Caltex Socceroos camp and has been involved with the team since 2015.

Hub Westhovens – Osteopath

One of 10 Dutch staff brought in by Bert van Marwijk, Westhovens joined up with the Caltex Socceroos staff in Turkey and will assist in treating players.

Vito Basile – Assistant Team Manager

One of the administrative and logistic staff involved in the setup, Basile’s role entails travelling to locations ahead of the team to ensure the facilities are up to scratch as well as assisting Team Manager Joel Freeme. Basile also oversees the Westfield Matildas and women’s youth national team programs.

Tony Franken –  Goalkeeper Coach

A former national team player himself, Franken represented Australia 14 times and has been an ever-present in the technical staff – acting as goalkeeper coach for more than a decade, including during the 2006, 2010, 2014 and current FIFA World Cup™ tournaments.

Goalkeeper coach Tony Franken working with Mat Ryan.
Goalkeeper coach Tony Franken working with Mat Ryan.

Jurgen Dirkx –  Assistant Coach

One of van Marwijk’s four assistant coaches, Dirkx is also assistant coach to Mark van Bommel at PSV’s Under-19 team.

Ante Milicic – Assistant Coach

A six-time capped Australian international, Milicic has been involved with the Caltex Socceroos as assistant coach since 2014 where he was one of Ange Postecoglou’s first appointments. Milicic is also the head coach of the Australian Under-23 side.

Mile Sterjovski – Player Advisor/Ambassador

Sterjovski’s role as Player Advisor sees the former 2006 FIFA World Cup™ player mentor and give guidance to the 23 players in Russia, passing on his experience and assisting them to be best prepared mentally.

READ: Mile Sterjovski’s role in getting inside the players’ minds

Mark van Bommel – Assistant Coach

The former captain of the Dutch national team, van Bommel assists van Marwijk on and off the pitch and was previously involved with the Saudi Arabia national team in the same capacity.

mark van bommel
Mark van Bommel and Taco van den Velde

Taco van den Velde – Football Operations Manager

Also an editor of Dutch football magazine Voetbal International, van den Velde oversees football operations, including scouting, analysis and other logistical matters.

Roel Coumans – Assistant Coach

Coumans was previously coached by van Marwijk and has worked together with the head coach at Hamburg and Saudi Arabia. He is the man who oversees the Caltex Socceroos on-field warm ups.

Joel Freeme – Team Manager

Having been involved with Australian national teams since 2007, Freeme has been Team Manager of the Caltex Socceroos since 2014 and helps with planning daily schedules, arranging travel and other logistics.

Ben O’Neill – Media Manager

O’Neill has previously been a Media Officer at Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners and liaises with media to arrange and oversee interviews.


Luke Attwell – Masseur

A key cog in the Caltex Socceroos machine since 2005, Attwell oversees the management and prevention of soft tissue injuries.

Kurt Lisle – Physiotherapist

Lisle is part of a team of three physios, led by Les Gelis, who helps manage and prevent injuries.

Matt Sheppard – Assistant Equipment Manager

Sheppard assists Baggage Master Dom Sefton in overseeing the 230-plus pieces of team luggage and setting up the dressing rooms and team facilities.

Nino La Scala – Physiotherapist

La Scala is part of a team of three physios, led by Les Gelis, who helps manage and prevent injuries.

Les Gelis – Senior Physiotherapist

Gelis has been involved with the Caltex Socceroos for more than two decades as a team physio and is the longest-serving member of the national team. He leads the team of physios who treat and assist the players.

Les Gelis oversees the pre-training stretching.
Les Gelis oversees the pre-training stretching.

Dr Mark Jones – Team Doctor

Another member of the Caltex Socceroos staff who has been involved for more than a decade, Dr Jones has been Team Doctor for the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup™ campaigns.

Tristan Furney – Social Media 

In charge of producing in camp social content, Furney is part of FFA’s Digital Content team.

Michael McBride – Assistant Technical Analyst

A Caltex Socceroos scout since 2015, McBride is also the assistant coach of the Under-17 national team and is in Russia as part of van Marwijk’s team of analysts

Fabian Ehrmann – Strength & Conditioning Assistant

Ehrmann is the assistant to head of Strength & Conditioning Dr Craig Duncan, with the duo overseeing sports science for the Caltex Socceroos.

Dom Sefton – Equipment Manager

Equipment Manager Sefton oversees the 230-plus pieces of team luggage and setting up the dressing rooms and team facilities. He has been involved with the team since 2004.

Alex Abresch – Video Analyst

Currently the FC Utrecht video analyst, Abresch has been brought into the Caltex Socceroos team by van Marwijk.

Jean-Paul Boomgaart – Cameraman

Abresch works alongside Boomgaart, who acts as the cameraman for the technical staff, filming and analysing team training.

John Metgod – Scout

Metgod has been brought in by van Marwijk to oversee opposition scouting and analysis of opponents.

Robbie Servais – Scout

Servais works with Metgod and is part of van Marwijk’s team. Servais is also the head coach of the Under-19 Singapore national team.

Robbie Kruse has a chat with Craig Duncan.
Robbie Kruse has a chat with Craig Duncan.

Dr Craig Duncan – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Dr Duncan leads the sports science operation of the Catlex Socceroos, having been brought into the national team set up by Ange Postecoglou.  

Ben Coonan – Videographer

Another of the men behind the camera, Coonan has been a regular feature within Caltex Socceroos camp, producing video content and producing FFA TV interviews.

Security Personnel I, Security Personnel II

The Caltex Socceroos have two members of their security staff who assist the team and players during transport and work with local liaison officers and police to ensure things run smoothly and safely.

Eric Abrams – National Technical Director

Abrams has been National Technical Director at FFA since 2014 and oversees the Elite Youth Development and Coach Education pathway.

Luke Casserly –  Head of Performance

Also acting as the Caltex Socceroos Head of Delegation for the FIFA World Cup™, Casserly, a former national team player himself, oversees the entire FFA National Team department.

Vini Capovilla – Team Chef (not present for team photo)

Capovilla started working with the Caltex Socceroos at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in his native Brazil and has travelled with senior national teams to oversee what players eat.

READ: Secret weapons behind the scenes in Caltex Socceroos camp

Vitaly Medvedev – Assistant Team Chef (not present for team photo)

Medvedev is Capovilla’s sous chef and assists in the kitchen to provide Caltex Socceroos players and staff with meals in camp.