With Steve Janssen gone to the USA to try his luck in a coaching job in the Chicago Cubs organization, the Dutch national team was without a manager. Today, the KNBSB announced that the void is filled by former Curaçao Neptunus manager Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen.
In the past weeks, a lot of rumors floated around about Van ‘t Hoen filling the void. So, in fact, those rumors appeared to be true. After Steve Janssen was offered a job with the Cubs, technical manager Tjerk Smeets had to find someone who could meet the skills that Janssen had. In Van ‘t Hoen, Smeets found the perfect fit.
Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen has a lot of experience under his belt. Not only as a manager but also as a player. He played six seasons in the organization of the Anaheim Angels (1996 – 2001). Van ‘t Hoen never made it to the Bigs but came close as he played for the AAA Salt Lake Stingers (now the Bees). As a player of the Dutch national team, Van ‘t Hoen has 120 caps during Olympic Games, World Championships, and the World Baseball Classic.
After returning from the USA, Van ‘t Hoen played three more years for Neptunus. From 2013-2016 he won four consecutive Dutch titles with Neptunus as their manager. He also won the European Champions Cup in 2015.
Also new in the coaching staff of the Dutch team (or team Kingdom of the Netherlands) is Robin van Doornspeek. Just like Van ‘t Hoen, Van Doornspeek is a former Dutch national team player. During the last couple of years, Van Doornspeek was pitching coach with the Dutch national youth teams.
According to technical manager Tjerk Smeets, both players belong to a generation that changed the mindset in Dutch baseball: Believe in yourself, work hard and have a vision.
Van ‘t Hoen will be the manager of team Kingdom of the Netherlands during the local Dutch tournaments (Haarlem Baseball Week and World Port Tournament) and during the European Championships. During the World Baseball Classic and Premier 12 tournament, he will be replaced by San Francisco Giants’ bench coach Hensley Meulens.
This year, Van ‘t Hoen will have an extra tournament, since the European Championship has been moved back to 2019. The WBSC Europe will organize a tournament in which the six best European countries will participate: The Super Six, which will be played in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands.