AMSTERDAM – Exercise Physiologist Raymond Verheijen goes again with the national team of Russia to the European football championships. Coach Dick Advocaat wants his fellow players on basis of a balanced training program to become as fit as possible to start the championship.
Verheijen made during the previous European Championship even though part of the technical staff of Russia, which at the time – under Guus Hiddink – eliminated the Dutch team in the quarterfinals. Both teams may meet each other again next month at that stage.
Verheijen stands for his seventh finals in a row. He has been active in all major Euro 2000 tournament for national teams. The forty years old practice master alternately worked under Frank Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat at the Dutch national team, South Korea, Australia and Russia. Under Advocaat he was previously active with Glasgow Rangers, Zenit St Petersburg, South Korea and Holland.
Verheijen combines his work in Russia with his job as assistant national coach of Armenia. That team plays a friendly game on May 31 with Greece. Coincidentally he meets this European Champion 2004 with Russia in Euro2012 too. ” Therefor I can analyze this team already”, he realizes.
Verheijen received during the previous EK many compliments about the fit impression that Russia a.o. made against the Dutch team. ” But I am now a bigger challenge” he says. ” The Russians had a one and a half year season. That’s because they switched to a competition that also lasts from August to May. They also suffered with injuries. I will bring them as close as possible to prepare for the Championship.”