The Dutch FA (KNVB) have confirmed that Arsenal youth coach, Frans de Kat, will become the new coordinator of their youth academy in the summer.
De Kat – whose full name translates from Dutch to English as ‘French Cat’ – moved to London in July 2014, as part of compatriot Andries Jonker’s post-Liam Brady academy overhaul. He subsequently took over from Steve Larriman as coach of the Gunners under-18s.
De Kat has previously worked for the KNVB coaching under-15 and under-16 levels and has also previously held positions at Dutch clubs Willem II Tilburg, as head of scouting, and ADO Den Haag, as head of youth academy.
The departure looks set to spark a reshuffle at the academy. Kwame Ampadu, De Kat’s deputy at Arsenal, is rumoured to be taking over as Arsenal’s new under-18s coach and, in an exciting development, Thierry Henry could be handed a formal position on the club’s coaching roster as his assistant.
As is well-documented, Henry coached Arsenal’s youngsters while undertaking the UEFA A-Licence; a certificate he secured in March.
Should Henry’s new position be confirmed it’ll help the Frenchman fulfil the requirements needed to successfully complete his UEFA Pro Licence, a 12-month course, which in turn will allow him to manage a top-level European club.
So one French Cat leaves and another is lined up. Intriguing stuff.