AZ Alkmaar have announced Dick Advocaat as their new coach with the 62-year-old set to combine his role as Belgium national team trainer with the top job at the Eredivisie champions until the end of the season.
With Belgium not at the FIFA World Cup and without a competitive fixture until the start of UEFA EURO 2012™ qualifying in the autumn, the Belgian Football Association has given the veteran coach permission to take the AZ job until the summer. He officially takes charge on Thursday, a day after AZ's final UEFA Champions League Group H game against R. Standard de Liège, meaning his first match in charge pits him against former club PSV Eindhoven on Saturday. Advocaat takes over from Martin Haar who will oversee the game in Liege having replaced the departed Ronald Koeman on a temporary basis following AZ's Eredivise loss to BV Vitesse on Friday.
Advocaat, who led the Netherlands to the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2004™ in his second spell in charge of the Oranje, won the Dutch Cup and Eredivisie title with PSV between 1995 and 1998 before moving to Rangers FC and winning the domestic treble in his first season in Glasgow. After a highly successful spell with FC Zenit St. Petersburg, winning the Premier-Liga in 2007 and the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2008, he became Belgium coach in October. AZ, who are seventh in the Eredivisie, must win in Liege to finish third in Group H and clinch a UEFA Europa League berth.
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