Wellington Phoenix are excited to announce the appointment of the hugely experienced Belgian Bart Caubergh as Head of Football Conditioning.
With twelve years as a coaching and fitness conditioning expert, Caubergh was the assistant and football conditioning coach of the Iranian national team under Carlos Queiroz during their successful qualification campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
A leading advocate of Raymond Verheijen’s philosophy of football periodisation, it was Caubergh’s distinguished pedigree and shared vision that most impressed head coach Darije Kalezić.
“One of the tasks that the club gives me before my appointment was to continue to increase the professional environment within the club,” said Kalezić. “With Bart we get a really world-class level professional, in terms of football conditioning and as an assistant coach.”
“Bart and I share the same philosophy about football conditioning, so we are eye-to-eye on what we want to implement here in Wellington.
“I first met Bart when I was coaching in Belgium, we have both lectured at symposiums held by one of the world’s foremost conditioning scientists [Verheijen], so for me it’s a great privilege as a coach that Bart wants to work with me, and a great advantage for Wellington Phoenix to have somebody of his standing join our staff.”
Belgium’s youngest ever UEFA-A licence holder, Caubergh has been part of championship winning seasons with both KRC Genk (Belgian first division) and Krylia Sovetov Samara (Russian second division) and has also worked in the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus.
“Working for the only New Zealand team in the Australia A-League together with coaches who speak the same football language and with a very motivated and ambitious team immediately appealed to me,” said Caubergh. “Our goal for this season is clear: we want to play the play-offs and therefore have to achieve a place in the top six.”
For Caubergh, New-Zealand is the sixth country and Oceania the third world region he’s worked in.
“As a football conditioning coach I’m looking forward to dealing with the challenges of external factors such as travelling to Australia for each away game, crossing time zones, differences in temperature, humidity and so on.
“It’s similar to my experience in the Russian first and second division with Krylia Sovetov Samara where we also had to travel by plane (in different circumstances) for every away game – but the prizes are only awarded at the end of the season!”
Caubergh oversaw preparations for the club’s recent pre-season tour of New South Wales and will assist head coach Kalezić and assistant coach Rado Vidošić in preparing the players to face Phoenix’s notorious logistical challenges involved throughout the A-League season.
Wellington Phoenix's next home game is against Brisbane Roar, Saturday 28th October, 7.35pm Westpac Stadium. Tickets: here.