Dutchman Mark van Bommel has been named as the new head coach of VfL Wolfsburg, with the 44-year-old signing a two-year contract with the Green-and-Whites through to 30 June 2023. Van Bommel’s coaching staff will feature two former Bundesliga players in the shape of Michael Frontzeck and Kevin Hofland, with Alex Abresch and Vincent Heilmann also joining from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.
After an absence of just over a decade, van Bommel is coming back to the Bundesliga. From 2006 to January 2011, the midfielder plied his trade with Bayern Munich, captaining the side to the league and cup double on two occasions. Van Bommel retired from playing in 2013 after a spell with PSV Eindhoven, for whom he has recently been head coach, steering them to second place in the Eredivisie in 2019. Prior to that, he coached the club’s U19s. Van Bommel has also been an assistant coach for the Australia and Saudi Arabia national teams as well as the Netherlands U17s.
“He was our first choice”
“We were very interested in Mark van Bommel, and when we got to talk to him, it confirmed the impression that we had that he would be a perfect fit for our club,” said VfL managing director Jörg Schmadtke. “He is internationally recognised as a footballing expert and he knows what to expect in the Bundesliga. He is also incredibly ambitious, which is something that marked him out during his long playing career. Mark van Bommel was our first choice and we are convinced that he and his coaching staff will be able to take VfL further down the successful path that we are currently on.”
“I am delighted to be joining VfL Wolfsburg and excited to get to know the new environment, people and challenges that await me,” van Bommel said. “Those in charge at the club share exactly the same ideas and beliefs as me, and I can really identify with the path that the club has chosen to go down. To get to be a head coach in the Bundesliga, where I had such a long playing career, is a great honour and also a challenge for me, and one that I am fully committed to and excited about, along with everyone else involved.” The new coach with be officially introduced to the press towards the end of June.
Eight titles with PSV, Champions League winner with Barcelona
Van Bommel made his most appearances as a player in his original spell with PSV Eindhoven (1999 to 2005), where he scored 57 goals in 239 matches, picking up eight titles in the process. He made 187 appearances for Bayern (16 goals), and also had a spell with Barcelona (2005/2006), winning the league title and the Champions League in 2006. He joined AC Milan in 2011 for one season, this time picking up a league title and a Super Cup winner’s medal before finishing off his playing career back at PSV. Van Bommel won 79 caps for Holland, scoring 10 goals and reaching the final of the 2010 World Cup with the Oranje.
Hofland an ex-Wolf, Frontzeck with 436 Bundesliga appearances
Alex Abresch and Vincent Heilmann will be joining the coaching staff from Eindhoven. Abresch was a video analyst at PSV while Heilmann was a youth team coach. Kevin Hofland, meanwhile, knows the Bundesliga very well from his time with the Green-and-Whites. The 41-year-old made 76 appearances for the Wolves between 2004 and 2007, captaining the team during that period. He also played for Eindhoven and Feyenoord, and most recently has been assistant and then from 2020 head coach of Fortuna Sittard in the Eredivisie. Michael Frontzeck made no fewer than 436 appearances in the Bundesliga for Borussia Mönchengladbach, SC Freiburg, VfL Bochum and VfB Stuttgart, with whom he won the German league title in 1992. That was also the year that he made the final of the European Championship with Germany. The 57-year-old has been a head coach for Mönchengladbach, Arminia Bielefeld, Hannover 96 and FC St. Pauli, and also worked as an assistant coach at Gladbach and Hannover.