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Following a recent training session with the Nike Academy, world-famous former Holland striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink revealed that some of the best players can be late bloomers.
Hasselbaink is best known for successful spells in the Premier League with Leeds United and Chelsea, while he also enjoyed a fine personal season for Atletico Madrid and had other stints at Middlesbrough, Charlton and Cardiff after an early career in the Netherlands and Portugal.
Now the 38-year-old is looking to work his way up the coaching ladder and is currently taking his UEFA 'B' and 'A' licences.
After three years at AZ Alkmaar as a youngster, Hasselbaink was released and was playing non-league football until his switch to Portuguese outfit Campomaiorense, before moving to Leeds at the age of 25.
The formed Dutch international, who is also coaching the Chelsea Under-16s, admits that it takes longer for some players to mature and that the Nike Academy squad members still have the chance to make the breakthrough to the professional game.
"I was a late developer, it's just one of those things. For some players it takes a little bit longer than other players," he told Skysports.com.
"Normally it doesn't but you never know. It's just how it is. Sometimes you have different things on your mind, sometimes there are different reasons.
"Some people take longer to learn or to understand. It's just one of those things.
"Just work as hard as possible. Keep on listening, believing and working, working working.
"You can't say more. You can't do more and then just hope for the break.
"That's the most important thing - getting the break. You can be good, but you still need the break."
Hasselbaink has ambitions to go into management and put the Nike Academy boys through an intense session with crossing and finishing drills as well as short-sided routines.
He was impressed with the attitude and enthusiasm within the squad and saw potential in a number of the players.
"It was nice working with the youngsters. They were quite fired up, it was good," he added.
"The standard was good, it was high. Some players had potential and others had to learn but there were some really good players.
"Reading the game, that comes by time, and everybody needs that, but skill, touch and execution, that could be improved.
"(The sessions) are good for them. They train with other players who are in the same situation and they train at a high level - that's good."
Hasselbaink was known as a colourful character throughout his playing career and it would have been a loss to football had he not decided to go into coaching.
He admits that his life has been dominated by the game and that is why he is now keen to give something back and held develop emerging talent.
On the training session from his own perspective, Hasselbaink remarked: "You always learn. You learn off the kids and you look at how you did and how you could have made the session a little bit different.
"For me I live and breathe football. I like it, I always want to stay in football so it is the next step to be a coach or a manager.
"I want to give something back to players and the game. Hopefully that will be possible, that's why I want to do it."
Follow the progress of the Nike Academy as they enter the business end of the season on the Sky Sports hub.
Good on jimmy, who was indeed a character. It's just a shame that the A and B licence's are only available to those with stacks of cash. Im sure there are many potential great coaches out there who with a little financial backing and work experience at clubs could become top quality. Top quality coaches is what this country needs if we are to ever win a major trophy!.
Posted 13:55 2nd April 2011
This had had the perfect striking and volleying technique & used to hit deadly shots harder than anyone else in world football!! Hasselbaink should be coaching the England set up & training the u21/ u18s on shooting technique!
Posted 21:58 31st March 2011
It would be great to see Jimmy coaching, all the best to him.
Posted 16:09 31st March 2011