The first part of FC Cincinnati’s restructuring is complete.
The expansion club announced the appointment of veteran Dutch soccer executive Gerard Nijkamp as new general manager, overseeing all aspects of FCC's sporting activities.
The 49-year-old Nijkamp spent the last seven years as the technical director at PEC Zwolle in the Eredivisie.
“I am very happy and proud to be part of the FC Cincinnati family,” Nijkamp said in a club statement. “I would like to thank Carl H. Lindner III and Jeff Berding for their confidence in me and the vision I plan to bring to FCC. I will put all of my knowledge, experience and skills into building a successful club for this wonderful city.”
Nijkamp will report to club president Jeff Berding, who formerly also held the GM role since the founding of the club in the summer of 2015. As general manager Nijkamp will oversee first-team roster management, player acquisition and scouting, sporting data analysis, youth development and management of all coaching, sports performance and medical staff members.
At the top of Nijkamp’s to-do list is the hiring of a full-time head coach. Yoann Damet has been the club’s interim coach after Alan Koch was relieved of his duties earlier this month.
FC Cincinnati have 11 points from 14 matches and are currently last in the Eastern Conference with one win in their last 10 games.
At the helm of PEC Zwolle, Nijkamp guided the club to its best-ever Eredivisie finish (6th in 2014-'15), a Europa League berth (2015-'16) and KNVB Dutch Cup success, advancing to the semis in 2012-'13 and winning it outright in 2013-'14. This season, PEC Zwolle, a club long known for its youth development, finished 13th in the Eredivisie.
After his playing career in the Netherlands, Nijkamp moved into coaching and served as an academy director and youth team manager with FC Zwolle and the Dutch federation youth ranks. Following a stint in Qatar as academy director for two local clubs, he returned to his native country to lead the Dutch federation's coaching education program before taking over as technical director at PEC Zwolle. He holds both a UEFA A License and UEFA A Youth License.
Nijkamp's hire follows last week's appointment of Larry Sunderland as director of player development to oversee the launch of the club's academy.