Fanshop Tickets
First Team

Van Persie joins coaching staff: ‘I couldn’t turn this down’

Robin van Persie will return to De Kuip this coming season. The 102-capped Dutch international has agreed to help the coaching staff with the first-team forwards. RVP’s debut session at the 1908 training complex is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

‘It is not an official position,’ Van Persie explained Friday morning. ‘So it’s hard for me to give it a title. I don’t see myself as a strikers’ coach, for example. I think it’s a win-win: I’ll find out here whether I like doing this and I’ll help the staff a bit.’

The arrangement was initiated by head coach Dick Advocaat, who worked with Van Persie at Fenerbahçe and elsewhere. ‘I was actually going to do this last season, but at the end of the day it only happened to a limited degree,’ said the former player, whose plans were thwarted by coronavirus. ‘Dick called me and asked if I wanted to come. And I couldn’t turn Dick down.’

‘Over the past year I’ve only done things I enjoy,’ said Van Persie. ‘I’m working as an analyst in England, I’m travelling a lot with my family, play a lot of sport. I’ll now see if this is something I enjoy.’

Van Persie will be working with people he used to play with, including Steven Berghuis and Nicolai Jørgensen. But he doesn’t find it strange. ‘I still feel more like a player than a coach. I was involved in discussions as a player and, in this role, I want to create nice things, fun exercises. I don’t have a single philosophy: all roads lead to Rome.'