Sunday Oliseh: “Fortuna is a good opportunity for me”
It was a continual clicking of cameras and the cameramen almost tumbled over each other. The press room at Fortuna Sittard is usually large enough to accommodate all media, but this time it was way to full. The official presentation of head coach Sunday Oliseh and his assistant Tini Ruijs could rightfully be called a media circus. Protagonist Oliseh let it all get over himself, tried and tested as he is in international football. “I am very happy to be here,” the coach said to anyone who would listen.
It was the most asked question: Why? Why did Sunday Oliseh choose for Fortuna Sittard? “Because this is a good opportunity for me,” Oliseh said over and over again. “Years ago I got the highest coaching diploma in England, in a class with guys like Ryan Giggs and Roberto Di Matteo. Now I want to bring my football philosophy into practice. There were other clubs interested in me. But they are thousands of kilometers away from my home (in Belgium). And I want to be close to my family. My family means the world to me. Is more important than training. But training I love to do most. I contacted Fortuna myself. I have a manager, but I did it myself. Partly because I wanted to get a feel for the club: what kind of club is Fortuna, where does the club want to go? I spoke with Charly Chudik and liked the conversation we had.”
Of course Oliseh knew Fortuna. Very well to be honest. “Every weekend I go to watch a match somewhere in the area,” he said. “And the last game I played for Ajax was against Fortuna. In stadium De Kuip in Rotterdam, the cup final. It was a good game for me, because we won. So it was not for Fortuna. Maybe I can now make it up to Fortuna by becoming the trainer here. I had actually hoped to start as a trainer somewhere by the start of next season. But this opportunity came along and now I’m here.”
Oliseh has a clear vision about where to go from here with Fortuna. After lunch he already showed his players a video about his vision. Later in the press room Oliseh told more about it. “We – and I say we – receive way too many goals. We must first stop that from happening. The next phase is to play more to the other goal. So not only keep the other team away from our goal, but also try to win games. Hopefully we develop our own style of football. Sittard-style of football.” His first goal for this season, however, is clear: Don’t be relegated”, he says. But he is confident that won’t happen.
This was adapted from a report on the Fortuna Sittard website.