NEC has appointed Ted van Leeuwen as technical director. This position was vacant at the Nijmegen club since the departure of Remco Oversier at the end of 2018.
Former journalist Van Leeuwen, working in the past for De Gelderlander and Football International, has extensive experience as technical director. He previously held his position at AGOVV Apeldoorn, Vitesse, Anorthosis Famagusta in Cyprus, FC Valletta in Malta and Esbjerg in Denmark. His last club was FC Twente.
“ The club and the city are of course no strangers to me”, says Van Leeuwen “Bringing NEC back to the Eredivisie is a challenging and therefore beautiful project, which is not limited to strengthening only the first team. I have experienced NEC from close range as a journalist in the past. So I know the city, the culture and the club. I have watched the NEC from a distance over the last few years and I have confidence in the story of the Board and management regarding the vision of the future.”
Van Leeuwen also wants to work on the long term at NEC. “I want to help build on the foundation that lies in the academy, scouting and the first team and with my knowledge of the last few years with the people who are there are making steps up.”
The objectives correspond to the plans at the time of his appointment as Technical Director of FC Twente. In Enschede he initially received compliments for compiling a selection that returned to the highest level in one year after the demotion. That appreciation disappeared when Van Leeuwen decided to replace championship trainer Marino Pusic with his protégé Gonzalo Garcia, who had no experience as head coach.
Under Garcia, FC Twente had a good start at the return at the highest level last season, but soon came in. The dismantling of the competition due to the corona outbreak was a good match for FC Twente, which was relegated. General director Paul van der Kraan decided to do a major cleaning, after which FC Twente said goodbye to both Van Leeuwen and Garcia.
Van Leeuwen won 25 players at FC Twente in 22 months at the Grolsch Veste, where he showed a preference for foreign football players from mainly southern Europe. Although Van Leeuwen was supposed to build value for the future with his scouting, only Julio Pleguezuelo and Queensy Many are left.
Successor Jan Streuer had to compose a whole new selection last summer with a significantly reduced budget and the new FC Twente is now part of the subtop. By Van Leeuwen and Garcia ignored players such as Wout Brama, Jesse Bosch, Ramiz Zerrouki and Jayden Oosterwolde have proved their worth this season.