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On This Day in 2008: Dutch club FC Twente named Steve McClaren as their new coach

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Third Qualifying Round – Second Leg – Arsenal v FC Twente – Emirates Stadium
(Image credit: Sean Dempsey)

When Steve McClaren took over as manager of FC Twente he followed a not-so well-trodden path of British bosses moving to Holland.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how McClaren and other Brits fared in the land of windmills, tulips and canals.

Steve McClaren

Soccer – UEFA European Championship 2008 Qualifying – Group E – England v Croatia – Wembley Stadium

McClaren moved to Holland after flopping as England manager (Martin Rickett/PA)

Following a chastening 16-month spell in charge of England, culminating in the rain-soaked defeat by Croatia at Wembley in 2007, McClaren was confirmed as the new manager of Twente on June 20, 2008.

Twente enjoyed a fine 2008/09 season, finishing second in the Eredivisie behind AZ and reaching the final of the Dutch Cup, which they lost on penalties to Heerenveen.

Despite losing key players  Eljero Elia and Marko Arnautovic the following summer, McClaren led Twente to the first title in their history, when they were confirmed as champions in May 2010.

McClaren left at the end of the season to join German side Wolfsburg but was sacked in February 2011. He had a second, less successful, spell with Twente and also managed Nottingham Forest, Derby, Newcastle and QPR.

Sir Bobby Robson

Sir Bobby Robson

Sir Bobby Robson won two Eredivisie titles (Gareth Copley/PA)

Another former England boss, Robson had agreed to join PSV Eindhoven before guiding the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.

With his reputation restored amid a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat by West Germany, Robson initially said the move abroad was “a culture shock”.

But his handling of the tactical challenges of Dutch football, as well as that of coaching Brazilian maverick Romario, helped Robson guide PSV to the title in 1991 and 1992.

Robson also won league titles at Porto and enjoyed success at Barcelona before returning to boyhood club Newcastle in 1999.

Jimmy Calderwood

Soccer – Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League – Celtic v Aberdeen – Celtic Park

Jimmy Calderwood was a popular player and manager in Holland (Chris Clark/PA)

Following eight years with Birmingham,  Scottish midfielder Calderwood spent the second half of his playing career in Holland with Sparta Rotterdam, Willem II, Roda JC and Heracles Almelo.

After retiring as a hugely popular player, Calderwood stayed in the country and coached Willem II and then NEC Nijmegen.

A mid-table finish with NEC prompted Dunfermline to bring Calderwood back to Scotland, where he would also manage Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Ross County before short-lived spells back in Holland with Go Ahead Eagles and De Graafschap.

Barry Hughes

Ruud Gullit.

Ruud Gullit began his stellar career under Barry Hughes (PA)

Having captained AZ Alkmaar towards the end of his playing career, Welshman Hughes was another who stayed on to coach in his adopted country.

He managed a variety of Dutch clubs including AZ, HFC Haarlem, Go Ahead Eagles, Sparta Rotterdam, FC Utrecht, MVV and FC Volendam.

Yet it was during a second spell at Haarlem, in 1978, when Hughes made arguably his biggest impact in Dutch football – signing a young Ruud Gullit to his first ever professional contract.