PEC Zwolle already factored in Schreuder’s departure: ‘Dick is popular’
At PEC Zwolle, the club management hoped to make the start of the preparation for the new season a fun day; training a bit, expressing as a promoter that you would like to stay in the premier league and, of course, presenting “big purchase” Kenneth Vermeer to the assembled media.
That new project elsewhere, according to VI, would be the Spanish third division side CD Castellón, owned by Greek-American Bob Voulgaris, who has the ambition to play in the Primera Division within six years.
Technical director Marcel Boudesteyn and player Bram van Polen knew about Schreuder’s desire to leave earlier:
Schreuder’s departure was already in the air, but: ‘Plan B was also already ready’
And so it will be a noisy day in Zwolle. The timing of Schreuder’s departure is lousy, to say the least. The 51-year-old Barnevelder brought PEC back to the premier league within one season, but instead of reaping the rewards, Schreuder is opting – presumably – for a foreign adventure, taking with him assistant Johan Plat and midfielder Haris Medunjanin, who will also become part of his staff.
The first training of the season will thus be led by remaining assistant Henry van der Vegt. He was technical director at Cambuur in the past, so he has been around soccer for a while. “You know this can happen. For me it wasn’t a huge surprise. Dick likes challenges. When he gets an opportunity like this, he goes. I will continue here as an assistant. Who will succeed Dick? You’ll have to ask the technical director.”
‘Been playing all week’
On to Marcel Boudesteyn. When the technical director appears in front of the camera, it’s obviously only about Schreuder’s “new project elsewhere. He, too, is not surprised. “Dick is popular, someone who grabs prizes and he did that last season by taking us back to the premier league.”
There was already interest from Fortuna Sittard, FC Groningen and FC Utrecht, among others, according to Boudesteyn. “But now something so nice comes along for Dick, then the moment comes when you part ways. It’s been playing all week, but he’s the man to slap it on.”
“Dick Schreuder is a man of projects,” says Boudesteyn himself. So what does the technical director think about his coach trading a Dutch premier league club for a Spanish third division side? “I won’t go into that. Dick still has to arrange all the formalities first. I don’t think anything of that. I have known Dick for a long time and he sees this as a challenge. Dick is an adventurer.”
There is a plan B and we are working on that. No, the new coach is not in yet, otherwise he would be in front of the group. As long as it’s not finalized, anything can still happen.
So the good news show started with bad news when Boudesteyn had to inform the players’ group at the beginning of the day about the departure of their coach. “I started the conversation on a positive note by complimenting them that as a relegated player you get promoted right away again, that we did something fantastic together. This season we are going to try to stay in it with each other, but then I told them that we are going to do it without this coach.”
Jansen new trainer?
“In the process of immediately getting back to the highest level, Dick was the booster,” he continued. “I got him to come to PEC a year and a half ago with his staff and start this project. We know each other well. If he then gets an opportunity like this after a season and a half, you should also be able to say: it’s good.”
Boudesteyn also responded to the rumor that Johnny Jansen is the first candidate to fill the suddenly created vacancy. Jansen is currently under contract with Safa Sporting Club of Lebanon. “I hear so many names,” Boudesteyn remains laconic. “This was coming. There is a plan B and we are working on it. No, the new coach is not in yet, otherwise he would be in front of the group. As long as it’s not finalized, anything can still happen.”
“This is a bit of a blow,” said captain Bram van Polen, recovering from a concussion, as he came into action. “Although I already knew yesterday, when I was summoned to the coach’s office. We have a good relationship. He is important for PEC Zwolle, has put the club positively on the map, through our promotion and way of playing. Dick leaves through the front door. I have experienced that differently with departing trainers too.”
“Whether I still tried to change his mind?” Van Polen laughs. “If you know Dick, you know that makes no sense. There is a headline,” says the PEC strongman who knows which club Schreuder will leave for. “But I’ll keep that to myself.”
‘Better that it happens now’
Regarding the timing of Schreuder’s departure, Van Polen wants to say the following. “It’s not nice when you have to announce this news on the first day of the news season. On the other hand, it is better that it happens now. Then the new coach still has the whole preparation time to leave his mark on the group.”
“As a soccer player, you know this can happen,” he concludes. “To the outside world it may come across as intense, but as a professional you go through this more often. It’s a matter of turning the switch and doing what you’re paid for.”