Teamwork makes the dream work - Dutch coach calls for less individualism in local youth football

May 29, 2018
Jan Derks addresses youngsters at the Ballaz/World Coaches workshop on Wednesday.

Dutch youth football coach Jan Derks, believes Jamaica's young footballers are very talented individuals, but thinks they need to better understand the concept of teamwork to make the progress they need in the sport.

Derks spent one week in the island with the Andre Virtue's Ballaz Academy, educating them on how to use football as a means to more positively impact social issues.

"Football here (Jamaica) is very based on look at me, how good I am and what I can do. So instead of producing good players in strong teams, you produce good players with no strong teams. Football is more about the team than individuals and here (Jamaica) I see players on the ball that are brilliant, they can do anything with the ball, but as team players they are not so good," he said.

"Now I tell the (Jamaican) coach you can still coach individually, but never forget the unit of the team, and coach (players) at a young age because you cannot change the mentality of a 24, 25-year-old player," he said.




Meanwhile, the veteran youth coach says 'street football' has all but died in his country and encourages Jamaicans to keep that aspect of their game alive, as it is also a very important part of youth development.

"Thirty-eight years ago we changed the 'Total Football' development programme. We took the best out of street football, as in the 50s we still played street football. So in the past, everybody (in the Netherlands) played street football. But at the moment there is no way to play street football - some do in parks but it's not a lot.

"Here (Jamaica), I've been to Trench Town and I see it there. Hey play, they play, they play everywhere and that's' very good. They should always play football as many times as they can, and add proper coaching to that, as that is what we developed Dutch football," he said.

"We (Netherlands) were nowhere, never qualified for anything then all of a sudden in the 70s and 80s we played three world finals (World Cup in 1974 and 1974, and European Championship in 1988) and won one European final and all that came from the change of mind," he insisted.

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