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Monday, January 3, 2011

THE WORD: Winter to storm through TFC?

Winter in Toronto has never seemed so good

Mainstream media reports are flying out of The Netherlands this morning that former Dutch International star and ex-Lazio, Inter and Ajax legend Aron Winter has been named as Technical Director of Toronto FC. There is yet to be any official announcement from the club itself but Winter has been quoted extensively including the following excerpts (poorly translated into English) in the major Dutch news paper De Telegraaf:

Aron Winter in Canada today to Toronto FC to sign a three year contract as technical director. He also gets responsibility for the first team at Toronto FC. The club comes from Major League Soccer, the professional level in America and Canada.

"I'm two days last week at the club visited and held immediately a good feeling, " said Winter. "They also, because I had not come back if I was already called back. Of the three candidates, I made the best impression. Around the turn of the year everything came around."

Toronto FC was explicitly looking for a technical man, who was familiar with the culture and Ajax playing style. "Then they come to the right place, " said Winter, who first comes to stand on their own as head coach. Winter has worked as coach of the promises of Ajax and was assistant coach to other Orange under 20 years of Foppe de Haan at the World Championships in the Netherlands.

The 43-year-old Winter Bob de Klerk takes it as his right hand. De Klerk (49) comes from the Ajax youth academy, where he and Frank de Boer in his charge had A1.

The sudden hiring apparently happened quickly over the New Year's period and Winter is en route back to Toronto immediately with his new TFC right hand man Bob de Klerk, the long-time Ajax assistant and youth coach. The surprises may not end here however.
Reports arose not long after the Aron Winter news that the Dutch star was not chosen over of widely expected hire Paul Mariner but in addition to him. If that extra bonus comes to fruition then there is a possibility that Winter takes the technical and "Director"-style position while Mariner becomes the field boss. In this equation, Earl Cochrane becomes an administrative type to handle the transition into the wacky world of MLS rules and salaries while Nick Dasovic possibly returns to the bench as assistant coach.
The details are far from concrete yet but as much as we don't want to believe it, the above set-up does hold the promise to be a "second to none" MLS head office. Aron Winter has been the inside man at Ajax who are second to none in international club structure. Here's hoping ML$E can manage to make these rumours reality. Updates to follow as they emerge.
WORD FACTOR: 8 / 10 (for the Winter hiring)...
6 / 10 (for the Winter/ Mariner package deal)

You want some International experience to go with that?

UPDATE: According to MLS insider website Soccer By Ives, the hirings are actually in reverse with Paul Mariner set to bcome the Technical/ GM while Winter & Co. will take on the First Team duties. Read more here.


  1. Hoop! Hoop! Toronto! Do we become Holland's favorite MLS team?

  2. New York Times Magazine last June-Writer Michael Sokolove
    "All modern ideas on how to develop youngsters begin with Ajax", Huw Jennings, an architect of the English youth-development system, told me. "They are the founding fathers."

    It is the potential for transforming our development of local talent that is the thrilling centre of the Winter news. When Jurgen K said develop your style and then build your team, I scoffed. I said talent determines style. Taking your leadership team from Ajax bodes well for both talent and style.
    It says that TFC will be less about how to handle DeRo in 2011 and more about the generations to come.

  3. @ stillkicking

    Couldn't agree more. If this goes through as rumoured it would honestly be the "second to none" leadership MLSE promised. Just holding our breathe now until an actual official announcement is made.

    Don't want to be pessimistic but we've all been burned by Anselmi & Co. Hopefully the full details will emerge soon. Then, let's hope MLSE are bright enough to get out of the way and let these talented men do their jobs without interference.