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Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 15.36CET
For the fifth time in six seasons Albert Stuivenberg has led the Netherlands to the Under-17 finals as they defend their title in Slovenia.
The Netherlands ©KNVB
Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 15.36CET


For the fifth time in six seasons Albert Stuivenberg has led the Netherlands to the Under-17 finals as they defend their title in Slovenia.

The Netherlands won their first youth title last season, a 5-2 defeat of Germany giving them the UEFA European Under-17 Championship crown in Serbia. Now back for the fifth time in six campaigns under Albert Stuivenberg after pipping Serbia on goal difference with a 1-1 draw, they still boast three of the 2011 squad: defenders Nathan Ake and Thom Haye, and playmaker Tonny Trindade de Vilhena, a key man last year with the first two goals in the final and their inspiration again this time.

"Before the first match we showed the lads a film about the previous squad, who became European champions," Stuivenberg said. "For inspiration. We showed them that they could do that as well. Three lads who became champions then are still with us today. They could tell the others about their experiences."

Qualifying round: Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0, Latvia 4-1, England 0-1 (Group 6 runners-up)

Elite round: Albania 4-0, Republic of Ireland 2-1, Serbia 1-1 (Group 5 winners)

Key players
Nathan Ake (defender, Chelsea FC), Branco van den Boomen (midfielder, AFC Ajax), Tonny Trindade de Vilhena (midfielder, Feyenoord)

Coach: Albert Stuivenberg

Date of Birth: 5 August 1970
Nationality: Dutch
Playing career: HFC Haarlem, SC Telstar
Coaching career: Feyenoord (youth), RWD Molenbeek (youth), Al Jazira (youth), Netherlands U17

Stuivenberg was a product of his local Feyenoord academy but although he made 11 appearances for the Netherlands at youth level, he was unable to break through at the Rotterdam giants and gained his first professional experience at Haarlem and Telstar. However, he tore cruciate ligaments in 1986 and ended his playing career three years later. Stuivenberg concentrated on his studies at the CIOS sports academy Overveen, two years later graduating and becoming a youth coach at Feyenoord.

He worked at Feyenoord for 13 years, including three seasons as head of their youth deparment, before taking a similar role at Molenbeek. In 2004 he moved to Abu Dhabi club Al Jazira, running their strong youth system, before a return home two years later as Netherlands U17 coach. Stuivenberg qualified for the finals of his first three EUROs, finishing runners-up to hosts Germany in 2009, and after missing out the next season took the title in 2011 in Serbia. He also works as a Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) scout for Dutch professional clubs and in educating coaches at the KNVB academy.

Team records

Qualifying top scorer
Tonny Trindade de Vilhena 5

UEFA European Under-17 Championship best
Winners: 2011
Runners-up: 2005, 2009

Honours in UEFA youth competitions
International Youth Tournament (U18)

Runners-up: 1948, 1949, 1970

Last updated: 03/04/12 18.01CET

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