Former Dutch international FransThijssen has, not surprisingly, always been fond of Orange, but it now holds an even more special place in his heart as his tenure as Brisbane Roar’s interim Head Coach comes to an end. As he prepares to head home tomorrow after seven months at the helm, Thijssen said he would be a lifelong Roar fan.
Since last month, Dutchman is poised to exit the A-League club at the end of the season with a new coach believed to be waiting in the wings. Thijssen arrived at the Roar in November as a short-term replacement for the sacked Mike Mulvey, under the arrangement that he would become technical director once a new coach was installed.
“My children in the Netherlands watched every Roar game this year so I will have to do that when I am back and I will,” Thijssen said. “I will keep following the guys because now I am very much interested in Australian football.”
FransThijssen enjoyed quite magnificent career as a player before he hang his shoes and started his coaching job in 1995. He started his professional career in 1970 with NEC Nijmegen. In 1973 he moved to FC Twente, where the midfielder played for nearly six seasons. He also had a stint in the NASL with the Vancouver Whitecaps. In 1984 he returned to his native country, to play for Fortuna Sittard for 1984–1987, FC Groningen during 1987 to 1988, and Vitesse Arnhem for 1988 up to 1991.
After several seasons without success, Thijssen was sacked as manager for Malmö FF during the middle of 1998/1999 season. At the time of his dismissal Malmö was in danger of being relegated to the first division (Superettan) for the first time in the club’s history.
“I want to follow the younger Roar players and see how their careers develop and I want to support all the guys I worked with this year and hope they win the prize title we could not claim this season,” added Thijssen.
On Sunday (7/6) Brisbane Roar FC thanked Thijssen for helping steer the club through an important transitional period. He led the team for 27 games across all competitions for 11 wins and five draws, including the club’s first two victories in Asia.
The club has been linked with moves for Aurelio Vidmar and Ante Milicic, while German coach Michael Oenning, who worked with Thomas Broich at Borussia Monchengladbach and Nurnberg, reportedly threw his hat into the ring earlier this month.