Dutch powerhouse aims to wake “sleeping giant”.
Former Chelsea frontman Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been revealed as the new manager of Belgian second tier club Royal Antwerp.
Hasselbaink, whose career in Britain also included stints at Leeds United, Middlesborough, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City, had until recently been working as a member of the coaching staff at Nottingham Forrest, leaving the midlands club after Sean O’Driscoll was sacked as manager in January.
Despite the Hasselbaink’s arguable lack of experience in the wrole, Antwerp chairman Gunther Hofmans has no doubt that the Dutchman is ready for the task ahead:
“We are delighted about agreeing terms with Jimmy and we wanted to do this for our fans and supporters who have been great over the years during a difficult period. We urge them to get behind the new manager and the new players that will be coming in this season, in what we hope will be an exciting new chapter in the clubs history”
It is understood that Hasselbaink’s appointment was made possible thanks to a newly formed consortium at the club, whose aim is to “turn the club’s fortunes around by bringing in an attack-minded manager with an extensive network of scouting capabilities.”
Hasselbaink, who earned 23 international caps for the Netherlands between 1998 and 2002, told Antwerp’s official website:
“I am very excited about the opportunity. To start my managerial career here was an attractive proposition because the city’s history speaks for itself,” – Antwerp were indeed the first team to register with the Royal Belgian Football Association back in 1895.
The former favourite of the Stamford Bridge faithful went on to tell of his ambitions for the club:
“Our first goal is to challenge for promotion and build from there. We hope to do that by playing attractive, attacking football and with the help of the fans we can make this project work. This is a fantastic club that has been underachieving for several years – a sleeping giant. The hard work starts now.”