Hofland: “The fact that I did not position that player cost me my head at Fortuna”

His resignation at Fortuna Sittard Kevin Hofland still hurts. The 42-year-old trainer guided the Limburgers to the Eredivisie, but he was sidelined when the top-level results were less. However, he is sure that is not the reason for his departure.

“I was emotionally devastated by my dismissal from Fortuna,” Hofland told Football International. “Keep grinding after that. Tears ran down my cheeks when I talked to my wife about it. I grew up at Fortuna. Later I got the chance to become a trainer there. I will always be very grateful to the club. But how they treated me later hurt me deeply.”

Hofland started working at Fortuna in 2018 and soon ran into limitations. “I had nothing. No trainer’s room yet, just a dark cubicle. I furnished an office with my own money. I also bought a video analysis system myself.” He also paid for training camps out of his own pocket and advanced salaries. It could not prevent that he was fired in November 2020. “If the results had been the reason for my dismissal, I could have understood it. What has cost me the head is that I did not field a player who, according to the leadership, should play.”

Hofland refers to owner Isitan Gün and his right-hand man Ogan Tarhan. They wanted Samuel to play Moutoussamy, but Hofland thought otherwise. “He did not train well and hard enough. He was just lounging around. But I was told he had to play. I didn’t want to. He had to play against Roda JC for the cup, but I chose my regular team. We won with 2-0. At the weekend we went to Ajax. Ogan said: ‘He has to play’. Ajax was not important, he thought. It was for me, I said.”

“I knew I was putting my head on the chopping block, especially because I hadn’t lined up Tesfaldet Tekie a few times before against their will. But principles weighed more heavily for me,” says Hofland. “We lost 5-2, but played very well. A week later, after we gave away a penalty at home against PEC Zwolle in the last minute and thus drew, I was fired. That conflict about the line-up was the reason, very secure.”

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