Today, Roda JC unveiled former Danish international striker Jon Dahl Tomasson as their new head coach.
The club’s official website announced this morning that the 37-year-old signs a contract until the summer of 2017. Tomasson leaves Eerste Divisie side Excelsior, where he had been assistant coach for two years before becoming head coach last July.
The ambitious Dane replaces Ruud Brood, dismissed last month after a poor run of results that has left the club in 15th spot, collecting 18 points in as many games.
So heading into the second half of the season Tomasson faces a tough relegation fight with the Kerkrade club, just three points off the bottom of the Eredivisie standings. His battle begins with a trip to Heerenveen on January 18th, whilst his first duty will be to strengthen his new squad in the transfer window.
A GLITTERING CAREER ON THE PITCH
Tomasson had a glittering career spanned over the course of 15 years, which ended in the Dutch league.
He began at his hometown club of Køge BK in 1992, helping them win consecutive promotions and his talents caught the eye of then Heerenveen manager Foppe de Haan. As an 18-year-old he captured a spot in the De Haan’s first team and scored a total of 37 goals in 78 appearances over three seasons.
After being named ‘Dutch Football Talent of the Year’ in 1996 he moved onto England but due to the lack of physical strength needed for the Premier League, he experienced a disappointing year with Newcastle United.
Tomasson returned to the Netherlands with Feyenoord and the move resulted in four successful campaigns for the Scandinavian. Under the tutelage of Leo Beenhakker, the Rotterdam side claimed an Eredivisie league championship in 1998/99. With Bert van Marwijk leading Tomasson to an UEFA Cup in 2001/02 which was Feyenoord’s first continental trophy in 26 years.
In the summer of 2002, Tomasson’s contract with Feyenoord was expiring, and he agreed a move on a free transfer to Serie A giants AC Milan. Three seasons in Italy saw the Dane playing his part winning a Serie A title and the Coppa Italia for the Rossoneri during his time in the San Siro.
Spells in the Bundesliga and Spain’s Primera Divison came next for the striker with Stuttgart and Villarreal before a return to the De Kuip. Despite experiencing many injuries restricting his amount of games, Tomasson still managed an impressive 20 goals in 37 league games to conclude his career.
With over 112 appearances for his country, Tomasson became Denmark’s all-time joint top goalscorer after he netted 52 goals.
After hanging up his boots, Tomasson moved into the training ground, initially as the assistant to head coach John Lammers at Excelsior. Leon Vlemmings took over the next summer as Tomasson supported the new manager at the Eerste Divisie outfit until the Dane found himself appointed as head coach last June.
Excelsior, with low finishes in the last few seasons, now sit in seventh place in the Eerste Divisie under Tomasson’s command. Roda have been quick to acknowledge Tomasson’s potential as a coach.
Roda are in major need of boost after experiencing no wins in their last seven Eredivisie games. Tomasson has admitted that he will look to play an attacking style and will most likely pin point 24-year-old Hungarian striker Krisztián Németh, a former Liverpool youth player, as a player to support.
Already shown signs that he can be a success as a manager, if Tomasson can turn Roda around, then the Kerkrade side could well be the springboard to have a magnificent career in the dugout, like the one he enjoyed on the field.
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