Mary Kok-Willemsen attended Dutch football program ‘Studio Voetbal’ last Sunday (6. March). Together with presenter Tom Egberts, guests Willem Vissers, Jan Mulder and Kees Jansma, she discussed among other things, the title race in the Eredivisie and Dutch women’s football.
Mary was invited to share her vision and look upon women’s football. The Dutch national team is currently competing at the Olympic Qualification Tournament to qualify for the summer Olympic Games in Brazil. The Dutch women share the group with Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Only the winner of the group manages to qualify for Rio. Netherlands, currently in third place will play their last game against Sweden this Wednesday. The only way to qualify for the Netherlands is by winning against the Swedish woman and hoping Norway loses points against Switzerland.
Mary, former head of women’s football at FC Twente, sees too little development in Dutch women’s football compared to previous years. “The Netherlands look to dominate the game but lack the quality to do that yet.” According to Mary this is caused by the education of the players. There is a lot of talent but there is no structure in the education of talented girls says Kok-Willemsen. “There are dutch players playing at big international clubs right now, but if this trend continuous this will decrease in the future.” Mainly because in England (where most players choose to go to) a lot of investments are made by the top teams but also the academies. Young players in England are raised and educated as professional players. As a top athlete you just need the 10.000 hours.
During the discussion the current situation at FC Twente was also mentioned. Mary advised the club to focus on the future. Patiently waiting is deadly for an organisation. “Perspective has to be offered to the club. By prodividing perspective, initiatives emerge. These initiatives are neccesarry to become a strong and viable club again.”, thus Mary. Besides this there needs to be a focus on the day to day processes. Everybody has to take responsebility to become 1% better every day en try to make the supporters love their club more.