Nigel de Jong is happy with his new job as director of top football at the KNVB. That tells the former Ajax player the website of the football association. On Wednesday it was announced that De Jong will be joining the KNVB this month and is therefore the successor to Nico-Jan Hoogma.
‘It is a very good prospect to get started in this position, in which I want to help improve Dutch top football, among men and women,’ De Jong begins his story. As director of top football, the former midfielder within the KNVB must ensure that the national teams can perform to the maximum. In addition, he is co-responsible for the development and implementation of football-technical policy and is also the point of contact for professional football clubs in the Netherlands in this area.
According to De Jong, the Netherlands has always had the ambition to be among the best in the world. ‘The talent present and the history justify that ambition. Working in top football requires specific knowledge and experience. I gained that in my years as a player at various clubs in the Netherlands and abroad and I can now use it.’
Seventeen years ago, in 2006, De Jong left Ajax. He exchanged the Amsterdam club for Hamburger SV and thus also left the Netherlands. ‘But of course I have always followed Dutch football. And I feel like I’ve always been a part of it. It is a great honor and I am going to give the best interpretation here, together with others.’
Van Leeuwen: ‘Needs no explanation that Nigel knows what top football is’
Marianne van Leeuwen is very happy with De Jong’s appointment as director of top football. “It goes without saying that Nigel knows what top football is. He has an absolute winner’s mentality and is of course well acquainted with the Dutch football DNA. Through his career as a player, he has extensive international experience and a network at the highest level.’
Van Leeuwen says that De Jong has been preparing for a management position in football in recent years. As a result, he has also been able to watch at a number of clubs and at UEFA. ‘We are convinced that Nigel will soon be able to settle into his new role as a member of the board. He will of course receive full support for this.’