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How to hire an elite level international football head coach and what you can’t do bugger about it

19 July 2016 Comments off

4 minutes


Based the last blog entries: Part 1 and Part 2. This is tongue-in-check, however please read it and the last paragraph.

Today, 19th July, I saw somebody had tweeted about Head Coach job specification for Belgium.

Discover the desired profile of the new Belgian Red Devils’ head coach.

– Experience and results in the currently fast changing world of football
– Proven record in transmitting tactical and strategical knowledge to top level players
– Proven record to be able to work with experts in modern high level football
– Treating his own social and high performance context
– Strong and open communicator
– Ruling generation management
– Proved to be able to operate in an existing structure and organisation + in full confidence being able to work with the team management, training facilities and financial, commercial and communication framework.

Deadline: 31 July.

Candidates can contact Chris Van Puyvelde by e-mail.

I could not resist the challenge of rewriting the lazy wording of their job specification. So here is my version, judge for your yourself:

Royal Belgian Football Coach

You are already a superstar football coach at the elite level of football. We want you!


Work with the Belgian household names and supremely talented players: Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC, Football/Playmaker), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United, Forward), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Midfield), Thomas Vermaelen (FC Barcelona, Defender), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham FC, Midfield), Thibaut Courtois (FC, Goalkeeper), and more. You already have seen them in action in the Champions League, English Premiership, Spanish Liga, French League etc.

We want to achieve exactly what Portugal did at the Euros in France. We want to be the next country to win an international competition.


We see our FULL TIME HEAD COACH with the following characteristics:

– With your international competition experience, you can already coach at super elite level
– We already have experts in modern high level football, we welcome you and your coaching staff and their experts, insights and strategies
– Our Football Association has a close affiliation to the Belgium Royal Family, we expect our next coach to have high ethics, social and professional integrity
– Whilst we don’t expect “the rule of law”, we DO expect “the rule of reason and fairness”
– Above all, we want our next head coach to perform like a terrific strategic game manager, and also have vision of a strategic leader.
– We aim to maintain our FIFA standings and ranking, we very much want our next exciting coach to also provide “next-generation” management and forward thinking vision
– We run our Football Association like a real-world 21st century business, we hope that our next head coach is sympathetic to our existing ambitions, plans, finance, training facilities and community outreach

Our next Head Coach will contribute to Belgium internal football journey with huge impact and influence. So please apply now to be considered. Deadline: 31 July.

Candidates can contact Chris Van Puyvelde by e-mail.

All joking aside, as a technical lead looking to recruit for my team, I have taken the prose out of HR’s hands. I am sure that they will fight against me and attempt to dissuade me. They will try to get stock phrases into the advertisement like “multi-tasking”, strong communicator”, and “agile and waterfall”, but I would fight tooth and nail even if I lost in the end. Here the Belgium FA absolutely want a top level male person and they are prepared a high salary for their pleasure. (Unfortunately, the world of football and other sports have a way to go to be gender equal. So please don’t shoot arrows at me. It’s not my fault!) It is absolutely important for them to get the right guys to an interview (as it is important for England manager vacancy), and so why are they compromising here? Probably, they are attempting to look digital and open, but at least they are trying. Their spec leaves a lot to be desired. In your digital business, you should already be up there and way in front. After all, you work inside a technology business, and it should be fun and exciting. Technology is supposed to be new black (or is that orange or red). Take control of yours. Good luck!


July 2016

[1] [Recruiting Daily] Why Your Job Descriptions Suck to High Heaven

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