Bert van Marwijk will return to Europe on Wednesday and may not be seen on Australian soil again as the Socceroos coach ponders the best use of limited time before the FIFA World Cup.
6 Feb 2018 - 5:08 PM  UPDATED 6 Feb 2018 - 5:08 PM

There are less than seven weeks until his first match in charge as Australia coach - a friendly against Norway in Oslo on March 24 - and about four months until the Socceroos kick off their tournament against France.

And for that reason, the Dutchman has declared there isn't a moment to spare.

"I have to go back as soon as possible as I need all the time," van Marwijk said on Tuesday, ending his planning week in Sydney alongside Football Federation Australia.

It's unclear whether he will be back.

The 65-year-old has a preference for time on the training track rather than friendly matches, which could mean the Socceroos forgo their recent trend of playing a send-off match before a World Cup.

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And it's unlikely he sees the benefit of spending more time in Australian stands, falling short of endorsing the quality of the A-League after a weekend here.

"I saw four games, one (youth league) and three in the A-League, ... I saw one good game. I was positively surprised at the level of that game," he said, referring to Newcastle's 2-0 defeat of Melbourne Victory.

He will personally head up scouting efforts in England and the continent to assess Australians plying their trade in Europe that could have claims to a World Cup berth.

Van Marwijk's priorities reveal his key concern for Australia's hopes in Russia - scoring goals.

"We are making plans already to see where we are going to scout, starting this weekend already," he said.

"I want to see as many players as possible but that's difficult to see 30-40 players in seven weeks, it's not possible."

"I will watch players in England, in Switzerland like (Tomi) Juric, in Germany.

"(Robbie) Kruse is playing just over the border and (Mat) Leckie is playing in Berlin."

England being the first country mentioned by van Marwijk was obvious, given Mile Jedinak, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan and a host of others play in the Premier League and Championship.

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But given Juric is the only Australian playing in Switzerland, it shows the frontman's importance in van Marwijk's eyes.

"A team needs weapons," he said.

"That can be strong players, dangerous in the air, creative players. Or sometimes teams have fast creative players but they cannot score. So you also need players who can score."

Van Marwijk revealed he is using former Dutch international John Metgod as a European scout, with another Singapore-based talent scout to look at players in China, South Korea and Japan.

With such little time before he decides Australia's 23-man squad for the World Cup, the former Netherlands coach also said he might call up a bumper group for the March friendlies with Norway and Colombia to maximise the number of players he could personally assess.

"In March, maybe I will nominate a few more players," he said.