Just a few more days and then the Dutch team will be back in action for the first time in nine months. The biggest difference with then is of course the absence of Ronald Koeman.
Yet, or precisely because of that, ‘Koeman’ is the most frequently mentioned name during the press conference of the Dutch national team in the run-up to the Nations League game with Poland. ‘Too bad’ is another word that often comes up.
“We are all disappointed to see such a great national coach go, but we grant him this wholeheartedly”, says captain Virgil van Dijk. “I’m not disappointed in him, nobody is, but it’s a great pity that he left with us. But we have to move on now.”
For the time being, Dwight Lodeweges is the man to continue the line. For the interim bond coach it is the first time that he is at the helm of the Dutch national team. “I have done this before at clubs, but never here. It’s a nice job.”
The 62-year-old Lodeweges has been active as an interim trainer at PSV and among other things as head coach of NEC and sc Heerenveen. He is seen as the ideal field trainer, although in his new position he is less on the field than before. “Yes, I have to delegate a little more. What I like to do best, I have to leave to others now, but that’s fine.”
Lodeweges also calls Koeman’s departure a pity. “I’ll give it to him, but it’s hard for us. We have set something in motion together and have put a lot of time and energy into it”, says the interim bond coach. “So we were shocked and not happy with the situation, but happy for him.”
That Lodeweges himself will stay on as national coach seems out of the question. “That’s out of the question. I’ll stay until the next one arrives. It would be nice if that is as soon as possible, but it must be the right man who can continue with what we have set in motion.”
Van Dijk is also hoping for a trainer who will continue in the same vein. “As players’ council we have given our opinion. I’m not saying we have mentioned names, but of course we have our preferences. But it’s up to the KNVB.”