03 Feb 2011
- Written by Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian)
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Johan Neeskens, the former Holland international and assistant coach of its 1998 World Cup team, is set to replace Russell Latapy as T&T’s national coach.
The 59-year-old Neeskens, a former team-mate of the legendary Johan Gruijff and ex-T&T coach Wim Rijsbergen is currently out of a job, after serving as assistant to former Holland and AC Milan international and Barcelona coach, Frank Rijkaard at Turkish champions Galatasary.
Neeskens worked as one of Rijkaard’s assistants at Barcelona (2006-2008) while he was the head coach at Dutch side, Nijmegen leading them to their first European appearance in 20 years in 2003 but was fired a year later.
He also served as an assistant to Hiddink with Australia (2005-2006) at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Last Thursday, Keith Look Loy, the T&T Football Federation’s.
Technical Advisor confirmed that former Portugal and South Africa coach, Carlos Queiroz and three un-named Dutchmen were the coaches shortlisted to take over from Latapy.
However, while Queiroz confirmed his interest, he was quoted as saying he was yet to be contacted with a firm interest from the federation.
Queiroz also dismissed reports he had signed a contract with Brazilian club Vasco De Gama and refused a three-year offer from Iran. Germany’s Otto Pfister, 73, was also said to be a candidate but his age worked against him.
A source close to the national set-up said yesterday Neeskens beat out Queiroz, whose wage demands may have been a stumbling block.
The source noted Neeskens was a target of Suriname but the country did not have the funds to attract him.
During his playing career, Neeskens, born in Heemstede, played with his local club RCH and Ajax before moving to Barcelona where he enjoyed five good seasons, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup as the highlight.