Richard Grootscholten appointed new youth academy head

Richard Grootscholten has been given the job of heading up Feyenoord Academy from the start of the 2016-2017 season. The 51-year-old will take over from Damien Hertog, who will take on new duties as coach of the Feyenoord Under 19s. The club has agreed a two-year contract with Grootscholten. The official start date is 1 July, but Grootscholten will begin working for Feyenoord Academy on a part-time basis before then.

Grootscholten is someone with international footballing experience. For the past three years he has been technical manager at Zaglebie Lubin FC in Poland, where he was primarily tasked with setting up a Dutch-style professional youth academy. In the past he has also worked for Russian club Kuban Krasnodar (a Europa League opponent for Feyenoord in 2013) and Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada.

It’s not Grootscholten’s first job in Rotterdam either. Between 2006 and 2008 he headed Sparta’s youth academy, going on to fulfil the position of technical director at the same club for two years. Before that he worked for the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), among other things as a teacher.

Martin van Geel is delighted to have landed his man. ‘In our eyes, with his qualifications and wealth of experience, Richard is the right man for this job,’ says Feyenoord’s technical director. ‘We have had some very good talks with each other recently and we feel that, given his expertise, Richard will be able to add something to our academy. I am looking forward to working with him.’

‘I’m a happy man,’ said Grootscholten, speaking for the first time about his appointment as the new head of Feyenoord Academy. The club first contacted him about a month ago. ‘There was a good feeling on both sides from the first meeting. I see this new role as a big challenge, one that is right for me. Feyenoord is a top club with ambitious plans for the academy among other things. I want to contribute to that with my experience.’

Grootscholten will be a regular face at Varkenoord over the coming period. ‘I’m going to start by focusing on practical matters and getting to know people and the organisation. I’m most looking forward to achieving something with all these people who so work hard for this club. The goal has to be to be the best in everything we do.’

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