Cruyff Football CEO and former Dutch international, Wim Jonk will be speaking alongside Gerard Houllier, Red Bull’s Global Head of Football to discuss the synergies between football development and education at Soccerex China 2018 on April 17/18 in Zhuhai.
Wim’s participation is part of a new partnership between Soccerex and Cruyff Football that will see the guardians of Johan Cruyff’s football legacy provide their expertise to help shape the football development content at Soccerex’s inaugural China event.
Youth development is at the core of China’s National Football Plan which challenges the nation to produce elite home grown players and create an ecosystem for grassroots football that must be connected to the national education system. The relationship between football and education is therefore central to China’s football ambitions and Soccerex China will deliver a thorough and timely analysis of the challenges in aligning football methodologies and coaching practices within an academic framework.
In Gerard and Wim, the event will provide two speakers with experience at the highest level. Gerard Houllier has been hugely successful as a football coach, winning domestic and European titles with the likes of Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais. Perhaps his greatest achievement was at the French Football Federation where, in his role as Head of Technical Development he was responsible for the fabled Clairefontaine national football centre. There he oversaw the development of players such as Thierry Henry who were central to the French side that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 UEFA European Championships. Gerard is currently Head of Global Football at Red Bull, where he is responsible for football development at Austrian side FC Red Bull Salzburg, Germany’s RB Leipzig and the New York Red Bulls as well as the Red Bull Brazil and the Red Bull Ghana academies.
Wim brings with him a wealth of elite level playing experience from a career that saw him play for likes of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan and win 49 caps for his country. After he finished playing, he moved into technical and youth coaching and became Head of Ajax’s famous Academy. In this role, Wim co-initiated and implemented the “Cruyff Plan” in conjunction with the legendary Johan Cruyff, establishing a fundamental reform of the club and it’s academy that would culminate in the club reaching the 2017 UEFA Europa League final, with Ajax fielding the youngest ever team in European cup final history. In 2016, together with Jordi Cruyff and former Ajax Head of Talent Development, Ruben Jongkind, Wim established Cruyff Football, the organisation that safeguards Johan’s football legacy – one of the great man’s last wishes – by working with football clubs and national federations to help them to play attractive football, produce home-grown players and adopt sustainable football strategies.
Following a successful collaboration at the Soccerex Global Convention 2017, where the legacy of Johan Cruyff was honoured, Soccerex China sees the extension of the partnership between Soccerex and Cruyff Football. Wim and his team will provide their wealth of expertise and industry contacts in an advisory capacity to help ensure the event delivers market leading insight in topics such as youth development, coach education and technical coaching. As part of this, Ruben Jongkind will be giving a presentation on Cruyff Football’s partnership with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Aiming to nurture both healthy individuals and skillful creative players at schools across the globe, the partnership was successfully piloted in Beijing against the backdrop of China’s National Football Plan and its strategic decision to empower Chinese coaches and players through China’s educational system.
The inaugural Soccerex China event will take place at the magnificent Zhuhai International Convention & Exhibition Centre (ICEC) with a host of leading European clubs already committed to participate including Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg.
The two day forum will be held in partnership with Time Fun Media and Culture Ltd, and in collaboration with Huafa Sports, part of the 100% municipally owned Zhuhai Huafa Group. The event will also benefit from the support of LaLiga who are Global Partners of Soccerex.