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Date posted: 13-05-2023 09:47:00
“For Me It’s Not Goodbye”
text: Stan Wagtman
‘Dickie Advocaat!’, ‘Dickie is a Hageneese!’ and ‘Dickie another year!’ The ADO Den Haag supporters seized their chance to express their love for Dick Advocaat one more time. After all, it was the last time they could admire ‘De Kleine Generaal’ as ADO trainer in the Bingoal Stadium. And so the last time they saw him sprinting to the sidelines, roaring at fourth man and waving his arms violently to give instructions.
At ADO they did not let Advocaat’s last home game go unnoticed. There was one minute of applause in the 75th minute. And the trainer’s room in the stadium was named after him. A lasting reminder of the short period that the 75-year-old Lawyer worked in The Hague. But it did not make the trainer from The Hague emotional, as he had already announced in advance. “Emotionally? No, why? It might have been different if it were in Zuiderpark. I have a history there,” said Advocaat.
It had happened to him before, when as a trainer of Feyenoord in 2021 he thought he was saying goodbye to the coaching profession and left the field in tears. Such a scenario would not have been illogical last night after saying goodbye to ‘his’ club. But the past six months may have just been too unpleasant for Advocaat.
After all, it didn’t turn out the way he hoped. When joining in November, Advocaat was still convinced that he could guide the team to the playoffs. But in recent months the results have been disappointing, there has been unrest outside the field and friction between ‘De Kleine Generaal’ and Bolt. Advocaat was not seriously involved in the plans for next season by the American owner and seemed to feel passed over.
It bothered the irritated former Orange national coach, who spoke every week with a Hague hop in his mouth at the press conference about Bolt’s actions. And Advocaat also said several times that the ADO of today is no longer the ADO he was used to. Although Advocaat took the job to help his club, it must have been a bitter pill for him. And also something that has meant that he has not always had a good time at the Hague club in recent months.
It was different for the Hagenaar on the field. At the cozy sports complex of ADO in Rijswijk – far away from the super luxurious training facilities he was used to – he was still the same Dick Advocaat. Supporters loved seeing ‘their’ Dick lead the training in a slightly too long ADO jacket with a hood in the rain, to see him make a sprint after a ball or to hear him shout if something happened during the training. didn’t go well.
Advocaat himself also enjoyed this, although he indicated several times that getting up at 6.45 a.m. was not pleasant and that his eyes sometimes closed at 4.30 p.m. after a day at the club. That will soon be a thing of the past for him. Next season, Advocaat will follow ADO’s home games again on television or from the stands. “It’s not a goodbye for me. I will definitely come back here again,” said Advocaat, who chuckled at the press conference when asked if he will miss the ADO job.
First, the match against Young AZ awaits next week, at a youth complex in Wijdewormer, North Holland. One after which the question will arise whether it was Advocaat’s last match as a trainer or whether he will be tempted to a new adventure after all.