Wim Koevermans named as new India senior team coach

Formerly the High Performance Director of Republic of Ireland, Koevermans first task will be to lead his new charges in the Nehru Cup, which kick starts on August 23rd....
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) today confirmed Wim Koevermans as India’s new senior National team coach. The Dutchman's,previous assignment was as the High Performance Director of Republic of Ireland on a temporary basis.

He was unveiled by Kushal Das, the General Secretary of the AIFF, at an event held at the AIFF Headquarters, the Football House in Delhi.

The former Dutch International, who signed a two-year contract on the day, takes charge of his new job from July 1, 2012.

“It’s an honour to be here in India,” Koevermans said in his first official interaction. “I’m looking forward to meeting the boys. I have travelled in many countries and have been fortunate to have played with some greats and also (been) coached by some legendary coaches,” he declared.

Koevermans was part of the Dutch squad which won the European Football Championship in 1988 under the tutelage of Rinus Michels.

“I’ve watched some videos of the Indian Team’s recent matches. I will travel to Muscat along with Technical Director Rob Baan, to watch India’s matches in the forthcoming AFC U-22 Championship,” he informed, after having been presented a new Indian jersey by Kushal Das.

The playing style under Bob Houghton was a huge bone of contention. The 51 year old Dutch national though hinted at a more flexible approach and revealed, “We would start with a certain style that would go with the international football standards. It is natural for any team to adapt the best possible style depending on the ability of the players. In international football, teams keep the ball very well. That's the way forward. It increases the chances of winning. It is fun to keep the ball.”

The new coach already seemed aware of the friction between domestic football clubs and the AIFF and assured,“Clubs own the players. I will meet the officials and convince them it is good for them if their players get to play international football.”

The General Secretary of the AIFF explained the logic behind employing the former Dutch International as the new Coach. “We didn’t want to hurry into selecting the new Coach. We look forward to working with Wim. The AIFF will be extending its support to him in every possible direction,” he stated.

Earlier in the day, the former Netherlands youth coach met AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel and interacted with AIFF’s Executive Committee members and made a presentation, which was largely appreciated by all at the Udyog Bhawan.


Coaching experience
1990–1993 FC Groningen (Assistant manager)
1993–1994 FC Groningen
1994–1996 RBC Roosendaal
1996–1997 NEC Nijmegen
1998-2001 MVV Maastricht
2002–2008 Netherlands (Youth coach)
Ireland (High Performance Director)
2010 Republic of Ireland U21 (Temporary)
2012 Indian national team
Koevermans expressed his gratitude towards Mr. Praful Patel and the Executive Committee for inviting him to India.

“Coach Education stays one of the most pertinent points. Good Coaches will always make a difference at any level,” commented Koevermans, who would be also involved in Coach Education during his tenure in India, opined.

Wim’s first assignment will be at the Nehru Cup which kicks-off on August 23, where he shall most likely be assisted by Savio Medeira, the stand-in coach for the past one year, with the AIFF supporting his candidature.

The 51 year old himself is in no hurry to bring his own handpicked staff and assured, " “I have confidence in the staff available. I'll meet the players, assess them and not make changes initially.”

The Executive Committee revealed that the tournament will consist of five-teams including India and would be played on a round-robin basis, at the end of which, the top two teams would qualify for the final, which is slated for September 2.

The prize money of the Nehru Cup has been doubled to $ 2,00,000 from $ 100000 .

As a player Koevermans represented his hometown club FC Vlaardingen, Fortuna Sittard and Groningen. Following his retirement, he went onto become the assistant manager at Groningen, thereafter spending a couple of seasons at RBC Rosendaal which was his first fully fledged managerial role where he guided them to 15th and 13th place finish in the Eerste Divisie, which is the second tier in the Netherlands.

Koevermans earned his first job in the Eredivisie when he managed NEC in the 1996-97 season which wasn’t a rosy affair given that he just about managed to save them from relegation in spite of having finished 17th in an 18-team league only by virtue of winning the promotion/relegation play-offs.

At MVV Maastricht, in his first season he took them to a 14th place finish but couldn’t save them the following season from going down as they lost their promotion/relegation play-off after finishing 16th in the league. He failed to guide them back to Eredivisie in the 2000-01 season as they were 13th on the table.

Koevermans also served as the youth coach for the Netherlands senior team between 2002 to 2008, before joining as the High Performance Director of Republic of Ireland on a temporary basis.

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