A profile of football trainer Henk de Jong
29th October 2018, Emmen, F. Westerveld
For many Cambuur fans as myself, Henk de Jong is an absolute hero. When first trainer Dwight Lodeweges switched to the local rival, second in command de Jong kept the ship sailing. But how did de Jong end up here?
Henk de Jong was born on 27 augustus 1967 in the Frisian town of Drachten. After high school he went to a physical performance education called the CIOS in Heerenveen. There he got the opportunity to learn from and work with people like Foppe de Haan, Wiljan Vloet, Gertjan Verbeek and Jan de Jonge. Yet, at the age of nineteen, an injury ended his fresh career as a football player.
The love for the beautiful game stayed, and Henk began as a trainer at his former club the Drachtster Boys. At first he trained the youth, but after a couple of years he went to coach the adults. He switched the Drachtster Boys for Sneek Wit-Zwart but shortly after would become assistant-trainer at Heracles Almelo. This was his first experience at a Eredivisie club, the highest league of Holland. After a couple of years at Almelo, he switched to sc Heerenveen, where he would become youth trainer again. After his adventure there, he went via FC Groningen, to Harkemase boys, who played in the first amateur league. There, de Jong earned the title of most successful amateur trainer of 2009.
In 2011 De Jong joined SC Cambuur Leeuwarden as the assistant trainer. In 2013 he functioned as the interim head trainer of the club and Cambuur won the championship and promoted to the Eredivisie. At that time, de Jong failed to achieve the title of Coach Paid Football, so he wasn´t able to become first trainer in the Eredivisie. Instead of that, de Jong functioned as the assistant of Dwight Lodeweges. Last named left the club in april 2014, after the word was spread that he would switch Cambuur for rival Heerenveen. The two coming seasons, de Jong became the first trainer of the club and achieved the 12th place for Cambuur in the Eredivisie. In Februari 2016 he put down his function as trainer of the club from Leeuwarden, because he had the feeling that he wasn´t the right man for the job at that time.
In many hearts and minds, Henk de Jong will always be the right man for SC Cambuur. Yet, most fans like to see him do good at any club. After A short stop as being a trainer he became the commercial chief for FC Groningen. This didn’t suit him. Henk got a job as trainer of de Graafschap from Doetinchem, with which he promoted to the Eredivisie in 2017. Even though our own Cambuur didn’t promote that year, we were happy for the Jong. The best of luck to you Henk, you will always stay a true Cambuur hero!