It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Ronald Koeman and Martin van Geel addressed the head coach’s decision to leave Feyenoord come the end of the season at a well-attended press conference held at De Kuip on Monday. Koeman explained that he’d taken the decision mainly for personal reasons. ‘There was a lot of doubt in my mind whether I would be able to work after this season in the same way and with the same passion and effort as I’ve done over the past two and a half seasons,’ the head coach said. ‘If you have that doubt you shouldn’t do it.’
Koeman announced his decision to the club’s management in a meeting last Tuesday evening. ‘It was a short meeting,’ Koeman said with a smile. ‘I think it would be good both for me and for Feyenoord that a new coach comes in after this season. We have got the maximum out of it over the past few years up to now and hopefully we’ll do that until the end of the season. It’s been a great pleasure to work here at a fantastic club with unbelievable supporters, but next summer it’s time to go elsewhere.’
Van Geel admitted that Feyenoord would have liked to continue with Koeman as head coach. ‘Provided he were to work with the same devotion and passion here as he has done over the past few years,’ the technical director clarified. ‘Ronald commands tremendous respect at the club and among the squad. We immediately had a good understanding. We have experienced a good period together, especially when you think about where we started and where we are now. As head coach, Ronald has been far and away the most important person in that development.’
Neither Koeman nor Van Geel were willing to look too far into the future. ‘I’m too young to end my coaching career,’ Koeman said. ‘I’m looking for a new challenge. I don’t know how that will look yet. The main thing now is that I want to say farewell to Feyenoord this summer in a fantastic way.’
‘This is not the right moment to look at who should follow Ronald,’ Van Geel said. ‘We will work on that in the coming period and ultimately make the right decision.’