“ A good trainer. A nice trainer. Very structured. It‘s nice to work with. He’s very human. He listens to us.” FC Twente players Kika van Es and Renate Jansen have nothing but praise words for their coach Tommy Stroot.
The 31-year-old German trainer has been standing for the group in Enschede since 2016, but will make a dream transfer to VfL Wolfsburg, a losing finalist in the Champions League last summer.
“ Somehow I was surprised, because he is still very young,” says Jansen, in the run-up to the top league with PSV. “But that‘s how you can see how much he’s grown.”
“ In the beginning I was still very German,” says Stroot about his first years in the Netherlands. “Still, I wanted to be open and get to know the Dutch way of playing football. In the end, I found my own way, but I learned a lot here.”
Van Es, who came over from Everton last summer, played with Twente in 2017 under coach Stroot. “Then he was just new and I really see that he has developed himself. That‘s nice. He has his own vision and he knows what he wants to radiate on the field.”
Stroot: “I started as a trainer because my brother’s team was looking for a coach. Then I was 16 years old, but I liked it from the beginning. I get a lot of energy from it and enjoy a group, to lead and control it, and that is still the case.”
Jansen and Van Es praise the structure of the German trainer, who was absent at the beginning of the season due to illness. “That was a crazy situation,” says Van Es. “It was a little less clear and serious without him.”
How German is Stroot still after five years in the Netherlands? “He interferes with everything, but it‘s good that he is like this,” says Van Es. “He is very present, also during a race. In a positive way and that is very nice.”
“ Especially now that he has a knowledge of the Dutch language, you can always hear him on the sidelines,” adds Jansen. “In the beginning, he was still quiet. Yet he is rarely really angry and sometimes he can be a little tougher for us.”
Stroot: “I am not more important than the energy of the group, but I do want to radiate energy along the line. Women’s football in the Netherlands is a bit more aggressive. That‘s good for the growth of the competition. A game with a lot of tempo, I’d like to see that.”
Next year Stroot will return to Germany to become trainer of top club VfL Wolfsburg. “I am glad that it is known now, because then my attention can go to Twente this season. I want to close here in a proper way. After that, a nice challenge awaits me.”
Van Es laughing: “He can take me if he wants.”