Results & Standings

Enjoyment at the FC Twente Heracles Academy

3 June 2023

“Our message to the boys is: enjoy and make sure you never forget this!”

Once again, the joint FC Twente/Heracles youth academy is participating in this year’s Marveld Tournament. As our Panna reporter arrives, he immediately finds himself in the midst of a conversation among the technical staff discussing the latest developments in the world of football. One of the staff members is Wouter Stronks, who serves as a trainer-coach for JO15 and also as a coordinator for JO12 to JO15 at the FC Twente/Heracles academy. Wouter was born and raised in Aalten and, as a teenager, attended the Marveld Tournament. Before joining Twente, he spent six years at De Graafschap, where he worked in youth development alongside familiar faces such as Jan Vreman and Jefta Bresser.

What does a typical day for a trainer at the football academy look like?

“I have Wednesdays and Sundays off, but the rest of the week is dedicated to work. In the mornings, we have training sessions on the field, followed by gym sessions for the players. At this age, mobility is crucial, and having good core stability helps reduce injuries. In the afternoons, the boys go to school, and during that time, I evaluate the training sessions and prepare new training materials.”

How do you perceive the Marveld Tournament?

“This tournament is the best in Europe. We aim to perform well here, but we also want to enjoy the level of competition. Our message to the boys is simple: have fun and make sure you never forget this experience! Our goal is to achieve the highest possible ranking, but being realistic, we would be satisfied with a final position between 4th and 7th. We are in a tough group, but that’s to be expected at this level. We want to play with courage and confidence when we have possession of the ball, and when we don’t, we want to defend passionately. Off the field, we also emphasize the values of respect and high standards. Lastly, we place great importance on team building because we believe that a strong team performance requires everyone to work together!”