Johan Cruyff Institute welcomes former international footballer Leonne Stentler to the Master in Coaching
On Wednesday, September 4, former international footballer Leonne Stentler started the Master in Coaching at Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam. With Leonne’s participation, the Cruyff Institute’s mission, namely to educate top athletes after their sports career for a professional career in sport and to keep their knowledge and qualities within their sport, is being strengthened. In this case the women’s football industry.
Dutch women’s football has grown significantly after the national team won the European Championships in 2017. What role can education play in this? Leonne: “At the moment, it is really important that more women enter the football industry in mainly management positions. Therefore, education plays a big role in educating the right people and making them more aware. Also some players are missing the connection of a dual career when they play in the first division. Education is important to make this connection.”
The FIFPro Women’s Football Global Employment Report shows that 46% of professional female football players worldwide study alongside their football career. Leonne experienced this herself. “I studied fulltime alongside my playing career and that was not always nice. I don’t think studying alongside a top sport career is a bad idea, especially when education together with top sport programs work and players can plan themselves what is achievable. Of course players want to focus on their top sport career, but doing something else alongside that is really good; it strengthens you,” says the defender.
During her football career, Leonne played five seasons for ADO Den Haag, where she won the national league championship in 2011-2012. After that, she made the transfer to Ajax. Her debut for the national team was in 2009 under head coach Vera Pauw. In 2015, she was forced to end her career due to an injury. Nevertheless, the defender is still active within the sports industry: until last year, she had her own football clothing brand Liona, which was especially for female football players, and she has a sustainable clothing line, named Four10. In addition, she is the co-founder of VV Kicks, and the Aventurijnen, an association for former female international footballers, and she is also a TV analyst for NOS Sport and Fox Sports.
Since last month, the ambitious footballer has also started the Master in Coaching, with a clear goal: “The Master is a study program where you have your own responsibility as to how and in what you want to develop yourself. For me, this is a unique opportunity to work on myself. I believe that this program will give me many insights about my pitfalls, but also about my opportunities. I hope that I am going to discover a lot about myself this year. My ambition after the Master in Coaching is to be a ‘better’ colleague, coach and human being. But with regards to women’s football, I mainly want to play a role on a management level. I hope that this program will make me even more suitable for this.”
Leonne will graduate in November 2020 if her studies go well.
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