The longest current coaching reign in Dutch professional football will cease in the summer after Ron Jans announced he will leave FC Groningen at the end of the season.
Jans, 51, took over at Groningen in November 2002 having previously coached in the lower divisions. He proceeded to lead a side that came 15th in his first season to finishes of fifth, eighth, seventh and sixth in the last four campaigns, twice taking them into the UEFA Cup. "I want to underline that I still like it a lot here," former striker Jans said. "My years at FC Groningen have been the most beautiful in my football life. I am extremely grateful to the club for that. Therefore it is not that I seek a new challenge, but more a new experience. I want to throw myself into the deep end again."
Groningen general director Hans Nijland said: "We had the intention of continuing our co-operation. Under Ron Jans we have experienced a very successful period. For us he is more then a coach, he has become the figurehead of the club. After eight years it will come to an end. It was a great period, and still is. We hope and expect to finish the season in a successful way, that is something that Ron Jans deserves." De Trots van het Noorden (Pride of the North) lie 12th in the Eredivisie after 13 games.
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