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Christchurch United Academy recruits top Dutch coach

October 25, 2016

Christchurch United Academy recruits top Dutch coach

The Christchurch United Football Club, which recently merged with the Christchurch Football Academy, has scored a major coup by recruiting experienced international coach Pieter in ‘t Groen.

In ‘t Groen has a UEFA A coaching licence and a distinguished track record, developing club structures and youth academies in the Netherlands, Africa and the Middle East.

He also had a successful playing career, including three seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie with RKC Waalwijk, the former club of All Whites great Ivan Vicelich.

Christchurch United president Slava Meyn is proud to be able to bring another top coach to Christchurch. “We have already been fortunate to have Cvetan Ivanov, another UEFA A licenced coach running our academy, but we expect that Pieter’s experience around the world will help us take the club to another level,” says Mr Meyn, adding that the entire Canterbury football community is likely to benefit from In ‘t Groen’s background and networks.

In ‘t Groen will be moving his family to New Zealand from his current role with the Al Arabi club in Qatar where he works as the Technical Director of the club’s football academy.
He also had an earlier stint in Qatar before securing a management role with the renowned Red Bull Academy in Ghana, which has produced numerous African talents for the top leagues in Europe.

Before embarking on his overseas adventures, In ‘t Groen worked as a coach at the youth academies of Eredivisie clubs Willem II and RKC Waalwijk, as well as coaching development officer for the Dutch Football Association.

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In ‘t Groen also has an economics degree and worked several years for a pension investment company before turning his passion for coaching into a full-time career.

The 47-year-old Dutchman says he is excited by the opportunity in Christchurch and is looking forward to discover the Kiwi football and off-field culture.

“I was attracted by the vision of Slava and his team to create the best environment for young footballers to reach their full potential. He has big plans and I am pleased to be part of that,” said In ‘t Groen.

“And of course my family is excited about moving to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.”

In ‘t Groen will arrive in Christchurch in December but is already in close contact with the Christchurch United staff to plan the 2017 season.

Caption: New Christchurch United Technical Director Pieter in ‘t Groen in the stadium of his current Qatari club, Al Arabi, in Doha.


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