Feyenoord and Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC have taken the first step towards a talent and coaching development partnership. The two...
Feyenoord have reached agreement with Pierre van Hooijdonk on the player’s return to the club on an eighteen-month contract. The 36-year-old arrives back in Rotterdam with a clear objective. ‘Last time I came to Feyenoord I said that I wanted to go to the Coolsingel with a prize. That wish remains. I am very happy with the trust the club and the coach are putting in me. I know which specific position I have been brought in for. I had that role in the Dutch team and it suits me. I am really looking forward to it.’
Van Hooijdonk’s first stint at the club saw the popular goal-getter get 63 goals in just 85 appearances, as well as bagging a Uefa Cup and a footballer of the year award. The striker shipped out to Fenerbahçe in 2003, winning two Turkish championships. But he hasn’t yet won a Dutch title, which is one of the drivers in his decision to return to De Kuip.
‘We are very happy that we can welcome Pierre back to Feyenoord,’ said commercial manager Chris Woerts. ‘We feel that we have fulfilled the wishes of the technical staff.’
Coach Erwin Koeman is certainly delighted with Van Hooijdonk’s arrival. ‘It is common knowledge that we have been looking for this type of player for a while now. He is an extra striker with specific qualities that we can really use. He can occupy two defenders and also has the free kick in his armoury. And we have had very clear discussions about the role we have in our minds for him, so there can be no misunderstandings about that. On the other hand, Pierre is a winner who likes to get his minutes, so we’ll see. What is clear is that I am very glad to have Van Hooijdonk.’
Pierre van Hooijdonk played 17 times for NAC in the first half of the season, netting 5 goals, but he was no longer a first-choice striker and was given permission to look for a new challenge. ‘When you lose your place in the first team due to a lack of quality you can live with it. This time there were other reasons and I found that difficult to accept. I no longer had a place in the coach’s plans, you could put it that way. It looked as a result as if I would end my career this summer and I didn’t fancy that. With my return to Feyenoord there’s now a nice new chapter.’
Van Hooijdonk has been given the number nine shirt. He trains with the squad for the first time on Thursday morning.