Vitesse appoints former international player Phillip Cocu as new head coach
Eredivisie football clubVitesse confirmed the appointment of Phillip Cocu as the team’s new manager. The 101-time Oranje international footballer succeeds Thomas Letsch, who switched to the German club VfL Bochum last week. Cocu has been without a club to manage since his dismissal at the end of 2020 at Derby County in England.
The Noord-Brabant native signed a contract through mid-2024 with Vitesse, the team where he himself played football between 1990 and 1995. The 51-year-old will lead his first training at Papendal on Tuesday and will be on the bench for the first time on Saturday during the away match against FC Twente.
After his five years at the Arnhem club, he played for PSV, FC Barcelona and then PSV again. The midfielder finished his career in the United Arab Emirates with Al Jazira. Cocu then returned to PSV as a youth coach and became assistant national coach with the Dutch men’s national team. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, Cocu worked for a few months as an interim head coach at PSV. A year later he succeeded Dick Advocaat as trainer of the Eindhoven team. Cocu left in 2018 after winning three league titles. His adventure abroad at the Turkish club Fenerbahçe and the English team Derby County ended with his dismissal.
Vitesse is experiencing a difficult start to the season and only has five points after seven matches, putting the team in fourteenth place. "We are very pleased and proud that we can present Phillip Cocu as our new head coach. Because we were able to switch quickly, he can immediately lead the first training session after the short international break," said technical director Benjamin Schmedes.
"The pleasant conversations with Phillip have confirmed that he fits the intended profile very well. He knows the club and the competition well, has a lot of national and international experience, radiates tranquility and was also immediately available. Above all, he is the right person to further develop our style of play. We are convinced that Phillip can find the way forward with our team," said Schmedes.
Cocu said he has a "good and familiar feeling" about his return to the club where he caused a furore in midfield in the 1990s. "Vitesse is a warm club with sporting ambitions, where I have wonderful memories as a player. To return here as a trainer, of course, fills me with pride. It is the right club at the right time for me," said the new manager.