Traveler sees himself as a human trainer with rules: ‘One rule is at the top: respect’

Michael Reiziger leaves Ajax after six years to work as head coach elsewhere. Talking to it General Journal he talks about the kind of trainer that hides in him and what he asks of his players.

Reiziger tells what kind of trainer he sees in himself: ‘A trainer who lives from making players better, because I know that the team will grow and that will lead to victories. I like interacting with players, making plans, figuring out and solving systems. For that you have to gather a strong team around you, that goes in the same direction. Knowing what you need as a trainer, whether it concerns filling in facilities, selection, staff, tactics or rules, is extremely important.’

In his way of working, the former defender knows that rules are important. ‘You need that to create clarity. One rule is at the top: respect. If you have respect for your colleagues and for yourself, you will be on time, you will give everything and you will automatically prosper yourself, your team and your club.’

“Edgar Davids already said about Van Gaal: if I didn’t have transport in the past, Louis brought me home”

Despite the rules he sets, Reiziger knows better than anyone how important it is to be there for his players when needed. ‘Then I am always myself, someone with a listening ear. What you have less as an assistant is that you immerse yourself and visit players. Hiddink invested a lot in that band. I will not fail to do so later, because I sense that they need it. We were barbecuing in the garden with Louis van Gaal in Barcelona. Recently we were at his farewell at the KNVB. Then Edgar Davids also said: When I didn’t have transportation before, Louis drove me home.’

As a player, Reiziger won everything there was to win and he hopes to achieve the same as head coach. ‘Yes, that drive is in me and you can’t get it out. I’ve learned a lot and now it feels like going to the pros again and making sure I can handle more and more. That’s how I did it as a player. I kept practicing every day. As a trainer you never stop learning. Pursuing the maximum, investing and looking for your ceiling, whatever Ten Hag and Van Gaal have, will never disappear with me in this role. In my years as a player I also learned a lot from Arrigo Sacchi and Hiddink. And I’ve been on the field with players who are now making waves as a coach, such as Pep Guardiola. As someone with ultimate responsibility, I now want to express all that knowledge and expertise.’

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