James Rowe’s spoke with Achilles’29 head coach Eric Meijers about the challenges posed as manager, his time in charge of Helmond Sport and discussed their upcoming KNVB Cup match against OFC. Below is a transcript of the interview.

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JR: “In 2015 you chose to return to Achilles ’29 for a second time. What were your reasons for returning? ”

EM: ”In 2012 I was amateur champions with Achilles’29 and I had the opportunity to go to Helmond Sport in the Jupiler League. After my time at Helmond Sport came to an end I was asked to return to Achilles ’29 which I was only too happy to do.”

JR: ”Last season Achilles ’29 suffered relegation from the Jupiler League to the Second division. Is iitdifficult to pick a team and club up from such a disappointment what skillset is needed? ”

EM: ”Yes to get over the disappointment we needed to maintain a professional attitude which we have done. We train 6 times a week and in my squad I have players that are thinking football all the time. My players also have a great attitude and we believe that combination will prove to be powerful and forms a good plan we have and hopefully, we can spring a surprise and make an instant return to the Jupiler League.”

JR: ”In season 2012/2013 you were the manager of Helmond Sport and you were narrowly beaten by Sparta Rotterdam in the promotion play-off. How do you look back on your time at Helmond Sport?”

EM: ”I look back with a lot of fondness on my time at Helmond Sport. It was a lot of fun. I managed to accrue Juilper League experience as a manager. It was a shame we lost in the promotion play-offs to Sparta Rotterdam. But Helmond Sport was a great experience and a lot of fun. I can safely say that I got the maximum out of my players at Helmond Sport.”

JR: ”You won the Rinus Michels award for amateur manager of the year in 2012. Is that the highlight of your career? ”

EM: ”Yes it was an amazing year with Achilles ’29 we became amateur champions and we won the amateur cup too along with the Rinus Michels award and other accolades. We collected 7 trophies in one year including Dutch amateur super cup too. We were a bit like the Real Madrid of the last few season sweeping all before them.”

JR: ”Can we look ahead to your KNVB Cup match against OFC (Oostzaanse Football club)  this Saturday. Do you expect a tough game. What do you know about the opponent?”

EM: ”Yes against OFC it will be a very difficult game. OFC are managed by Yuri Rose and they are a very attacking team. We will not underestimate them and we must be alert and keep paying attention throughout the game in order to get a good result. I saw OFC play Jong Achilles ’29 last season. We are aware of OFC’s qualities.”

JR: ”Finally what are the ambitions of Achilles ’29 this season?”

EM ”We want to make an instant return to the Jupiler League. It will be tough as there our a lot of good teams in the second division. I believe that Kozakken Boys and Katwijk will be our biggest competitors this season for promotion to the Jupiler League but our aim is to return to the Jupiler League as soon as possible.”

James Rowe (696 Posts)