Johan Cruyff Institute welcomed former international footballer Leonne Stentler to the Master in Coaching
In the academic year 2019-2020, the former international footballer Leonne Stentler studied the Master in Coaching at Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam. With Leonne’s participation, the Johan Cruyff Institute’s mission, 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 Stentler: “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 easy. I do think studying alongside a top sport career is a good idea, especially when education together with top sport programs work, and players can plan themselves what is achievable. Of course, players need 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 Stentler 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 and she works also as a TV analyst.
And, the ambitious footballer also studied 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 was a unique opportunity to work on myself. I believe that this program gave me many insights about my pitfalls, but also about my opportunities. My ambition 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 believe that this program makes you even more suitable for this.”
Leonne graduated 2020.