By: Vincent van der Put
Judith Kuipers, Head Coach of VV Alkmaar, has been announced as Head Coach of the Cook Islands national women’s football team on Friday.
Kuipers will leave for the Cook Islands at the end of this month, but has left her post at Alkmaar on Friday, the Dutch club confirmed on their website.
She will train and prepare the team for the upcoming Pacific Games, which will be held in July this year, in Samoa.
Kuipers has been the head coach of VV Alkmaar, who plays in the women’s Eredivisie, the highest level of women’s club football in the Netherlands, this season. She leaves the team sitting in fifth place.
After Foppe de Haan, who was the head coach of the Tuvalu national football team in 2011, Kuipers is the second Dutch coach who will be active as a head coach in Oceania and in the Pacific Games.
For the 46-year-old this is a dream coming true.
“The adventure of working abroad has always been something which attracts me. Especially to work in a country where football is still in it’s developing stages,” she told newspaper Noordhollands Dagblad.
“It will be a very good learning experience for me to try to develop football in a totally different culture. Although VV Alkmaar plays at a very high level and we are doing pretty good at the moment this is an opportunity for me which I can’t let go past me.”
Kuipers, who is also the head coach of the Dutch military women’s football team, is a former Dutch national player who played most of her career for FC Utrecht.
The Cook Islands women’s football team is looking to build on the Nations Cup appearance last year and will hope to perform better than they did in New Caledonia.