Pim takes parting shot at AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pim takes parting shot at AFL

By Doug Conway 05/06/2010 09:12:57 AM Comments (0)

Pim Verbeek has taken another friendly dig at Australia's premier football code, Aussie Rules.

Puzzled why the Socceroos' World Cup training ground at Ruimsig is in much worse condition than it was last year, the Australian coach said: "Since the Confederations Cup it hasn't been used by whatever football team.

"They don't have AFL here (in South Africa)."

Verbeek, who is leaving the Socceroos after the World Cup to coach Morocco's youth teams, then smiled and said: "I'm leaving Australia, I can say that now.

"I can open up now."

The Dutchman has been perplexed during his two-and-a-half years in charge of the Socceroos why the world's number one game must defer to AFL in Australia.

Before Australia's World Cup farewell match against New Zealand in Melbourne two weeks ago, he praised the training facilities he had been given.

But he was still miffed that his players couldn't train every day at the match venue, the MCG.

That's because it was being used for two AFL matches, the Geelong-Collingwood blockbuster that drew 88,000 spectators, followed the next night by an Essendon-Richmond game that pulled in 64,000.

Verbeek said Football Federation Australia had spent a lot of time and money creating a high-class training facility at St Stithians College in suburban Johannesburg.

But the new training ground at Ruimsig, outside the big smoke, had deteriorated since last year.

"At St Stithians we paid the money and we were in control, but (at Ruimsig) it is completely out of our control," Verbeek said.

"We can't change it so it is useless to waste energy complaining."

Verbeek, admitted, however, he may have to think about a Plan B or Plan C if the FIFA facility at Ruimsig was not up to scratch.

"Last year it was fantastic, one of the best fields," he said.

"I don't know what has happened."

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