I have to say, it’s not easy to keep track of all these teams. We have these two and the Prospect Team and Young Oranje too!
Kees Zwamborn used to be youth coach at the KNVB 5 years ago. The former Ajax and MSV Duisburg defender had an eclectic career in youth coaching, at many clubs and was even the national coach of Suriname’s Olympic Team. He is now back as teacher and coach for the KNVB. “At least I know that players that are invited will show up or cancel correctly if they are injured, hahaha.”
Zwamborn loves working with this age group. “When they’re 16 years old, they’re a bit undisciplined. Which has a good and a less good aspect to it. It’s playful and fresh and also naive. These lads, however, are maturing. And some if not all of them train with the first teams already.”
In some cases, these lads have already played official games for their clubs. “That is partly due to the financial situation at these clubs, but it’s all good news. These boys will turn into men quicker now. It’s good for the development.”
What is Zwamborn’s philosophy? “Simple, Dutch school football. I have an Ajax background, so I’m developed with positioning play, ball possession and attacking play. But I also need to see passion. And I need to see players doing things that they bring on intuition. You need to be willing to make the difference and to work for the team. I’m all about creativity but you can only be creative if the other 10, at that time, take care of business.”
THe current squad:
Stefano Denswil, Mitchell Dijks, Sven Nieuwpoort en Fabian Sporkslede (all Ajax), Kyle Ebecilio (Arsenal), Hobie Verhulst (AZ), Jordan Botaka (Club Brugge), Anass Achahbar, Mats van Huijgevoort, Elvis Manu en Matthew Steenvoorden (all Feyenoord Academy), Stefan van der Lei (RVO FC Groningen), Ouasim Bouy (Juventus), Karim Rekik (Manchester City), Ilan Boccara (Paris Saint German), Memphis Depay and Jurgen Locadia (both PSV) and Chris David (Voetbalacademie FC Twente). Robert Klaasen en Kevin Luckassen (both AZ), Lucas Bijker (Cambuur Leeuwarden), Moreno Rutten (Feyenoord Academy), Robin Pröpper (De Graafschap), Luciano Slagveer, Jens Jurn Streutker en Hakim Ziyech (all sc Heerenveen/Emmen), Wouter Dronkers en Joey Pelupessy (both Voetbalacademie FC Twente), Virgil Misdjan (WillemII/RKC) en Jesper Drost en Mustafa Saymak (both FC Zwolle).
Unfortunately, the under 19s did themselves a bad favour. They were on their way to qualify for the EC in Estonia this summer but a massive loss at home against France ( 0-6) ended that dream.
Coach Wim van Zwam was devastated. “We had a number of scenarios as potentials, but never this one… my my… We played a good tournament. We grew into it.”
Everything went wrong against France, though. “Our defender Bouy slipped and they got a huge chance: 0-1. The ref made a big mistake giving them a free kick not long after. He gave our defender a yellow but it was a perfect sliding on the ball. And they scored 0-2. Boccara got a second yellow minutes later for kicking the ball and we had to proceed with ten men. Something broke. Murphy’s law applied too, as Oranje did get a penalty kick but missed. A mistake by our goalie led to the 0-3 and that was it.”
Remy Reijnierse is the new coach for the Under18s and the Prospect Team, replacing Adrie Koster, who returns to Beerschot in Belgium. The former VVV playmaker will have Reinier Robbemond, the former Utrecht and AZ player as his assistant. Robbemond is currently also under19 coach at AZ and is seen by the KNVB as a highly talented trainer/coach.