The Dutch soccer players gathered again today at the KNVB campus in Zeist, they are preparing for the qualification for the World Cup which starts on Friday. There is a new language on the pitch: Englishman Mark Parsons took over from national coach Sarina Wiegman after the Olympics.
The 35-year-old Briton started off with a good dose of motivation. “A great first day on the pitch with the team. I even have to temper my enthusiasm a bit, ”says Parsons.
Since his appointment at the end of May, the brand new national coach has not been idle; Parsons wanted to get to know 44 players and eventually had in-depth conversations with 32 players and watched lots of each other’s game footage.
Never before so many hours
In any case, Parsons is not left out, as in addition to his work with the Orange Women, he will also be head coach of Portland Thorns in the United States in the coming months. In fact, the Briton was on the pitch in Portland last night. An overnight flight and a few cups of coffee later, Parsons is in Zeist in full uniform for his new team.
Although the nights are short and the days long, there is no shortage of energy. “I have never worked so many hours as I do today, but to be honest I have never had so much energy,” said the Briton, also of American nationality.
“I love what I do and I am fortunate to have people here. There is so much quality in the staff, both old and new,” says Parsons.
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”