I can say that I am a typical product of the Dutch football school. I grew up with and was influenced by the people who have largely determined the football landscape in the Netherlands: Johan Cruijff, Rinus Michels, Louis van Gaal, Guus Hiddink, Wiel Coerver and Raymond Verheijen. My whole life I am busy with and interested in all topics related to football. Besides being a player and trainer, I have been active as technical director, youth and assistant trainer. Furthermore, as a board member of the CBV, I was responsible for the football technical matters for a number of years. In this capacity I was part of several sounding board groups and the technical platform of the KNVB.
Because of my foreign adventures as a player and trainer, I have had the opportunity to take a look ‘behind the scenes’ in other countries: Scotland, Japan, Belgium, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Slovakia and Uzbekistan. Because of these experiences I came into contact with other ideas that enriched my football vision, supplemented and partly changed, without letting go of the Dutch football content aspect. This aspect has remained my basic principle.
From a distance I can look more objectively at Dutch football and the course of events. Initially critical and later also with great pride when I realized how football is deeply embedded in our own Dutch culture and how many people help, often voluntarily, to develop football further. This is often difficult to imagine abroad. Based on this love of football, I firmly believe that the Netherlands will continue to participate in the top of the world in the future. Basically there is still a healthy breeding ground for developing new top football players. The Dutch football vision is still in force. Often even taken over by other countries, which have made them better. It was surprising to get into a field in Indonesia and see how the players could effortlessly execute all Coerver movements. The way in which Barcelona, Spain and Germany play according to the principles of Johan Cruijff is still a joy to see for every fancier.
The tactical teambuilding created and written by Michels and later executed to perfection by Van Gaal has yielded many successes.
Raymond Verheijen has also found followers with his vision on periodization and universal football language in many countries that apply his ideas.
These Dutch Masters have developed and propagated their ideas with great passion in the past. Often under critical comments, that too is Dutch, so that their vision on the one hand became better, stronger and more demarcated, but on the other hand there was less room to seek common ground with other visions.
Having a football vision that has been developed, written down and can be applied universally is already fairly unique in the world, believe me.
In the Netherlands we have several. It is my challenge to name the common ground. These can then be combined and applied in the development of players and teams. These can be integrated into training sessions and applied in competitions.
I believe that the guidance of players is generally in very good hands with the trained trainers and coaches. It is good to always check what we can improve. It is also important to see the things that we do very well and important to mention this so that everyone working in football gets confidence in our own starting points, recognizes itself again in the du of our “Dutch Masters” and can feel proud of the way we want to play football.
I already see the next successful generation looming on the horizon.