NMC Bright assists OH Leuven in their development by reviewing their academy

Nieuws by Harm Zeinstra

At the beginning of October, NMC Bright conducted a review at the OH Leuven Academy. Specially for the Belgian pro club, a high-quality and multidisciplinary expert team was formed, consisting out of Merijn Zeeman (Sports Director Team Jumbo-Visma), Aloys Wijnker (Manager Football Policy KNVB), Wouter Kuperus (Partner & Consultant NMC Bright) and Harm Zeinstra (Consultant NMC Bright). The review team visited the club in Leuven for three days.

Open and development-oriented attitude

The review characterized by an open and development-oriented attitude of OH Leuven. After presentations by CEO Peter Willems and the sports team with Henk Mariman (Director Football Affairs & Academy Manager), Eddy Van Hemel (Director Football Development & U23 coach), and Steven Probst (Head of Health & Performance & Analytics) the review team got a clear insight. In the following two days, the review team spoke to many employees and observed trainers and coaches during practice.

Crystal clear policy

The review team was impressed by the work method, based on a crystal clear policy and detailed strategy. In addition, the club has an integral structure in which support departments are responsible for both OHL 1, Women, and the OHL Academy. For example, the Head of Scouting is responsible for all three departments. The same goes for performance, video, data, and operations. As a result, the club works from one vision and avoids a non-collaborative culture. All this should lead to a structural flow of talent to the first team of OH Leuven and with the ambition to compete in the championship group of the playoffs.

Constructive Criticism

With the development-oriented attitude from OH Leuven, along with the sharp analysis and recommendations from the review team, the Belgian club will further refine and safeguard its strategy, methodology, and culture. Director Football Affairs & Academy Manager Henk Mariman had this to say about the review: “Training youth football players is an important part of OH Leuven. We want to create the best learning environment for our teams and individual players. We were looking for someone to give constructive criticism, preferably from a different culture and approach. The Dutch company NMC Bright has sharpened our organization and brought out the strengths and working points. Not only the well-known aspects, but also some aspects that are somewhat overlooked in our Belgian culture.”

Three days of review and discussion

NMC Bright Partner & Consultant Wouter Kuperus praises the open attitude of OH Leuven. “Thanks to the open attitude of OH Leuven, we were able to discuss the content of the training program for three days. With our review methodology, we offer clubs such as OH Leuven the opportunity to distance themselves from their daily issues. We shadow the club for a few days and ask many critical questions. The energy that this process releases and the insights that arise are extremely valuable. It ensures a sharper focus in executing the football programs for elite and academy.”

Definite added value

Henk Mariman concludes: “It is a definite added value to have experts from football and other sports accompany you for three days, inquire other opinions, and discover new visions. It enables us to take the next step.”