Verbeek happy with first camp

Socceroos Pim Verbeek had his first look, up close and personal with his players from the Hyundai A-League and has learnt a lot from the two days in camp.

Socceroos Pim Verbeek had his first look, up close and personal with his players from the Hyundai A-League and has learnt a lot from the two days in camp.

The camp, held at Marconi Stadium in Sydney, is the first of three being held in preparation for the first match of 2010 World Cup qualifying tournament against Qatar on February 6 in Melbourne .

Verbeek also got to see the Qantas Under 23-s for the first time and featured them in a training game against two separate teams of Socceroos players, with the Under 23-s coming out on top with a 2-1 win.

For the Dutchmen, the result of the training game was insignificant, as the most important thing, was it gave him an opportunity to see over 30 players in action, both on and off the field.

“No, because it-s a test; training, it-s not about results,” he said, when asked if he was worried by the result. “Of course, I looked at the way they (23-s) scored their goals, the chances we created or not created; that-s all part of what I am doing here. The score is not so important to me.

“I saw 32 players up close; I saw them being together at breakfast, dinner, on the field, in training, so I have a much better impression about the players. Second, I was able to explain to the players what I expected from them in the future, about the way we are going to play, so I think it was a very fruitful camp.

“It-s good for a coach to look them in the eye and find out a little bit more about their personality.”

Given the little time, he has had with the players, he is not about to be rushed into hinting about which players impressed him or not and will give them, as much opportunity to impress as he can.

“I am not speaking about individual players. The 6th February is the game; the purpose of this camp was to see the players. I have seen a lot; I have learnt a lot, but its too early to say that he was good; he was bad; he was not good and he was terrible.”

Admitting that he would like much more time to spend with the players, especially given that Qatar was going into camp as from today until the match in Melbourne, Verbeek was grateful that the clubs have allowed these small windows of opportunity to get the players together.

“Camp is never long enough; for a coach its never long enough,” he said. “Qatar started today and finish the camp on February 6, so that-s an interesting camp. I am very pleased with the two days that I have; I am very grateful to the clubs that they give the players, but as a coach you want to have players for as long as possible.”

He also refuted suggestions that he doubts and entire Hyundai A-League team would be up to playing against Qatar and that he was keeping all options open at this stage.

“I have never expressed doubts,” he said when asked if he still expressed on the ability of the A-League players. “I have just said I will make up my mind in the next weeks and months without making any promises, because the moment I say I will take only take all foreign players or all A-league players or I will take a mix, I will have everybody jumping on my neck.

“I have always said, I will keep my all options open, that has nothing to do with doubts or uncertainty, I just want to keep all options open.”

Verbeek also said that he has no intention of having a warm-up game prior to Qatar, believing this will hinder valuable training and preparation time, although a training game, similar to today-s is not out of the question.

He also didn-t rule out calling more players in for a look in the following camps, while several players from the Under 23-s certainly put their hand up with strong performances in the training match.