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Having endured a disappointing spell at Fenerbahçe SK nearly 20 years ago, Guus Hiddink said he had "learned a lot from the past" as he returned to Istanbul to sign a two-year contract as coach of Turkey.
The 63-year-old took his first coaching job outside his native Netherlands in 1990/91, but admitted that his lone season with Fenerbahçe – which ended with the club fifth in the league – was not among his finest achievements. "Some 20 years have passed since my time at Fenerbahçe, which is not remembered fondly, and I have gained a lot of experience since then," he said. "I have learned a lot from the past. You shouldn't forget about history but should also look to the future, and the future will be bright for Turkish football."
Having combined his previous job of Russia coach with a brief spell as Chelsea FC manager, Hiddink promised he would focus entirely on Turkey for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign. "I am dedicating myself completely to the Turkish Football Association and the national team. Besides, it would be technically impossible to coach a club team along with the national side. We have to focus on our work here."
Turkish Football Association (TFF) president Mahmut Özgener is delighted to have secured Hiddink's signature following a restructuring of the national teams in the wake of their failure to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup under Fatih Terim. Ersun Yanal has been appointed as TFF technical director, while new coaches have come in at Under-21 and U19 levels.
"The appointment of Hiddink marks a new beginning for Turkish football," he said. "We have been carrying out major structural changes in our national teams department. Guus Hiddink will be the most important part of this new project. He is capable of leading the Turkish national team to international success and, most importantly, of bringing consistency."
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