Feyenoord’s match at AZ ended 1-1, a result Giovanni van Bronckhorst was fairly happy with. ‘The game could have gone e...
Giovanni van Bronckhorst formally signed his new contract as Feyenoord’s head coach on Thursday. The 40-year-old joined management team Martin van Geel and Eric Gudde in one of De Kuip’s business units to put his signature to the two-year deal, under the gaze of his wife, children, father and agent. Van Bronckhorst became Feyenoord’s caretaker coach at the tail end of the season after the departure of Fred Rutten.
The new coach penned his contract just a year and eight days after extending his deal as the club’s assistant coach in the same business unit. ‘When you start your coaching career you always have certain goals and dreams in mind. One of them, of course, was becoming head coach at Feyenoord,’ admitted a smiling Van Bronckhorst, who did not need much time to think it over when club management approached him about the position. ‘I did discuss it a lot with my wife, children and the rest of my family, because it’s obviously a big change when, rather than an assistant, you become the person with final responsibility at a big club. Everyone was immediately enthusiastic. That gave me added strength in my decision to say yes to this opportunity.’
The original intention was for Gio to start his new job after the summer holidays, but Fred Rutten’s premature departure before the end of the season changed that. Van Bronckhorst was asked to step up to the plate to take responsibility for the team in the Europa League playoffs. ‘Everything went so quickly and they were intense weeks in which we were unfortunately unable to end the season as we wanted to.’ Feyenoord ended up losing the playoff semi-final to SC Heerenveen. ‘Even so, the last week has given me plenty of confidence and energy for the new season, especially because we were a team who went all out and did not give up.’
‘Now the season is over it’s important to get a good rest so we are able to make a fresh start after the holiday with the players and staff,’ said Van Bronckhorst. ‘So I have a great challenge ahead of me in my first year as head coach and I’m looking forward to it hugely.’