Asked whether he could be congratulated after Saturday’s 2-1 win against AZ, Giovanni van Bronckhorst said that he would ...
Feyenoord’s new coach Erwin Koeman will be assisted by Henk Duut and John Metgod. Pim Doesburg will continue in his post as keepers’ coach. Henk Duut assisted Ruud Gullit last year at De Kuip, while John Metgod was the head coach at Excelsior. The new coaching team will meet officially for the first time this afternoon, before being introduced to the press.
Technical director Mark Wotte is delighted to have Erwin Koeman as coach. ‘We see in Erwin a very suitable candidate for more than one reason. He is Dutch and he has looked around at a top-three club like PSV for several years. What’s more, he has an eye for young talent, he knows all about the game due to his rich football career and he exceeded expectations at RKC this past year. But we also know that he was trained as a coach at a big club like PSV and we have the feeling
that his character suits Feyenoord well.’
Koeman did not have to think it over for long when the offer came. ‘It was a little difficult at the beginning, because I had the feeling that I had dropped RKC in it. It gave me a real stomachache. But now that the clubs have agreed terms I am above all proud.’
Erwin Koeman is aware that there’s a big difference between performing at RKC and Feyenoord. ‘You cannot compare those clubs. Feyenoord is much bigger than RKC, the pressure on the club is much bigger. I am well aware that I will be coming into another culture soon, but I don’t want to allow myself to be influenced by that too much. I am a coach and I will work with my players in my own way as well as I can. That’s what I’ve been brought in for.’
Koeman asked advice from various quarters, including brother Ronald Koeman, who played at De Kuip for two years. ‘Ronald said that this is a brilliant club and that I definitely had to do it. The other people I asked advice from also were also positive. I often heard people say that they felt my personality suited the club. Obviously time will tell on that one, but I do think that ‘no words, but actions’ applies to me. I come from a family that has always worked very hard to achieve
something. I’ve never been a big talker, so in Rotterdam you won’t be hearing me shouting that I’m going to put Feyenoord back on track. I will do everything to try to get Feyenoord playing recognisable football, in which fight and passion are important components. That is what the people in Rotterdam demand and I will do my utmost to do that.’
Koeman will have to do it with limited financial resources and a squad built by other people, but that doesn’t mean he will be looking for excuses. ‘Okay, I will be working with the inheritance of my
predecessor. So be it. And I know that the financial possibilities are not unlimited. I accepted that when I said ‘yes’ to Feyenoord, so you won’t hear any more from me on that.’
Erwin Koeman learned his coaching at PSV, starting as a youth coach in 1998 before becoming an assistant coach three years later, first under Eric Gerets and subsequently under Guus Hiddink. Last season was the first as head coach in the Eredivisie, when he guided RKC to ninth.
‘I’m happy that I experienced two totally different ways of working at PSV. Gerets and Hiddink both had there own philosophy and that was very educational,’ says Koeman, who has over 25 years’ experience in the professional game.
He started his playing career at FC Groningen (1978-79), before moving to PSV (1979-82), FC Groningen again (1982-1985), KV Mechelen (1985-90), PSV again (1990-94) and finally back to FC Groningen for a third spell (1994-98). The left-sided midfielder made a total of 472 league appearances, scoring 92 times. He won two championship medals with PSV and a third with KV Mechelen, where he also won the Uefa Cup and the European Super Cup in 1988. In the same year he won the European Championship with Holland. Erwin Koeman won 31 Dutch caps.