FC Utrecht part company with coach De Jong
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FC Utrecht bid farewell to coach Jean-Paul De Jong on Tuesday citing a lack of confidence in his ability to take the club forward. The former midfielder had only been at the helm of Utrecht since January of this year.
Major shareholder Frans van Seumeren said that the confidence at the club had been brittle at the time of the appointment of De Jong, but they had decided to give him a chance, but this did not last for long.
Apparently De Jong had set up his staff differently over the Summer, but unfortunately this had not have the desired effect which the club stated was not in line with their sporting ambitions.
The 47-year-old De Jong was the successor when Ten Hag left for Ajax last season and he had a good start as they finished fifth. They missed out to Vitesse in the play-offs for a Europa Cup slot.
The early results this season have been disappointing. They have won only once and are in eleventh place in the Eredivisie. Assistant trainers Marinus Dijkhuizen and Rick Kruys take over for the time being.
Director of football affairs Jordy Zuidam, like Van Seumeren, is disappointed that their choice of De Jong as head coach has not worked out as hoped. He feels they have done everything they could to create a workable situation in recent times, and that it was a huge disappointment for everyone that it had not worked. He stated that in the end, De Jong and the club had parted by mutual agreement.
Former player De Jong played 370 Eredivisie-games s for Utrecht from 1993 till 2007. He twice won the KNVB cup and once De Jong took the Johan Cruijff Schaal with Utrecht as a player.
Under interim trainers Dijkhuizen and Kruys FC Utrecht continue in the Eredivisie next Sunday with a home game against FC Emmen. A week later the club will face a stiff challenge when they visit Feyenoord.
Image credit: Luctor (Public Domain)