With an upset gesture because she had just seen a yellow card that would keep her out of the quarterfinals against Spain, Van de Donk walked sadly and dragging her boots towards the bench, claimed by coach Andries Jonker (Amsterdam, Netherlands; 60 years old), who did not I wanted expulsions or scares against South Africa (2-0). After her change, the coach hugged her tenderly and gave her words of comfort as the ball rolled. The rest of the world could wait, Jonker understood, as strict with the rules as he was close to his players, as from vangal by inheritance, to the point that in a short time it has won over a dressing room that was on its toes and also a country that is once again excited by the reverberated Dutch football.
That was his objective when he took office after the bad game and the defeat in the quarterfinals of the last Eurocup, after the federation (KNVB) decided to dismiss his predecessor, Mark Pearson, who did not understand the players and whose proposal was It strayed far from the roots. Thus, mischievous but concise, Jonker blurted out in his first appearance after boasting about positional and offensive play: “We’re still Dutch, right?” And that explains his team in the World Cup, greening a football that led them to win the 2017 Euro Cup and the 2019 world runner-up.
The Netherlands has historically been divided between the cruyffism and the vangalismo, since every Dutch coach is defined under the ideology of one of the two, also because from the federation the manuals delivered to the clubs followed one another under the parameters of both figures. Although the KNVB opted in the last five years for Van Gaal, who took over the reins of the men’s team in 2020 until the last World Cup in Qatar. So it was not surprising that Jonker took on the women’s role, since he was Louis’s second in his first journey with the Oranje, also at Barça and Bayern, in addition to already directing Volendam, Maastricht, Willem II, Wolfsburg as boss. and Telstar. A position, in command of the selection, that he already knew because in 2001 he served as interim.
“He taught me to give the players a lot of confidence. In addition, I am a very direct trainer. I hope these women can deal with this,” Jonker resolved. A speech that he remembered the one he launched as soon as he arrived at the Telstar. “When I decide something, it comes true. If we agree to be on time and a player is late, he must apologize to me and the group. This can happen once or at most twice a year. If they want trouble with me, they will!” It happens, in any case, that the response of the selection is categorical.
“Andries is fair and respectful, a nice guy who often asks how you’re doing. And if as a coach he can make someone feel special, then he inspires respect, ”says Lieke Martens, one of the stars along with the scorer Jill Roord, who has scored four goals (one less than the Japanese Pichichi Miyazawa). “He comes from men’s soccer and that’s why he is very direct. My father is the same, so luckily I’m used to it now”, says Van de Donk.
It turns out that before his first match as coach, he gathered the players together and showed them images of two defeats —against England (5-1) and France (1-0) in the Euro—, cuts of good football. “Am I seeing this wrong or is it you? If you can do it for a while, you can do it for 90 minutes. You are still very good, ”he encouraged them, while he stressed the idea that they could beat anyone. “But then they looked at me suspiciously,” he says with a laugh. Now they do believe it.
Perhaps that is why none of them hesitated to obey his orders when, about six months ago, he asked them to shoot at least three penalties after each training session with their clubs in order to add hundreds if the moment required it. “If you know you can do something well, it will be easier to not think about other things when you launch it. Science tries to help, but it will never be the same in front of 90,000 people, with their hearts in their throats and a good goalkeeper. So my philosophy is, “make sure you practice that skill every day so you know you can do this.” Repetition gives confidence.
“I wish we had more coaches like him, with whom we have to train very hard, run very fast and come back with energy. He wants you to be an elite athlete. And, when he is satisfied, he asks you for another 10% ”, solves the captain Sherida Spitse. Together, under the leadership of the from vangal Andries Jonker, have reached the quarterfinals. Touch Spain.
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