Coaches, players in for a treat

Netherlands’ pro coach conducting clinic for Feildians AA

John Browne
Published on July 4, 2014

Dutch professional coach and instructor Jan Pruijn will be conducting a camp for the Feildians Athletic Association July 7-11 at Feildian Grounds.

©— Submitted photo

Aside from inspiring and, hopefully, improving young players, the idea is to influence coaches to the point where they will grow in knowledge and pass on what they’ve learned to youth soccer players.
Dutch professional coach and instructor Jan Pruijn will be doing just that July 7-11 at Feildian Grounds.

The camp is for players and coaches and Feildians Athletic Association member and soccer coach Phil Oliver is excited for the opportunity the young players and coaches will get over the five-day camp.

Pruijn, who was in St. John’s some years ago for a clinic, will be working with about 20 coaches, ranging in age from under-16 to adult, within the Feildians program while he is in St. John’s next week.

Asked how important it is to improve our coaching standards, Oliver replied: “It’s big time important and it’s a big time commitment.”

Still, Oliver said he doesn’t believe our coaches are behind those on the mainland and points out the recent success the national silver medal-winning St. John’s under-18 girls’ soccer side, a team he coached along with Jake Stanford.

Pruijn’s key in terms of player development is identifying them at a young age. With that in mind, Pruijn is interested in bringing an age group team (those born in 2000-2001) to Holland next year.

“He (Pruijn) is very professional,” noted Oliver.

“For example, he will talk to our technical director John Acreman or to myself and identify some players he really wants to look at. He’ll point out to the club coach what he needs to work on with those players. He often likes to receive a video of the player where he will see if the player is improving or what else he might need to work on. Then get on Skype and discuss the progress or what’s needed.”

Pruijn is working on a tight schedule. He came from a recent  camp in South Africa to Holland, where he lives, to Baltimore where he was before he moves on to St. John’s and then he’s off to St. Louis.

See PRUIJRN, page C2

He focuses on passing on his coaching philosophy which he hopes the local coaches will take to heart.

“We are excited to have Jan join us as head coach for this year’s Dutch Touch Camp,” said Oliver.  

Pruijn has impeccable credentials

He is currently the head coach at AJAX Cape Town, South Africa and is the co-director of Pro Soccer Motion in the United States. He has conducted coaching sessions with Everton, Manchester United, Manchester City, FC Porto and the New England Revolution, among others. He previously worked as a scout for Everton FC.

“Jan’s achievements in international soccer are impressive and he will continue to help our players develop both the technical and mental aspects of their games and will strengthen our ties with leading Dutch coaches,” said Oliver.