EDMONTON, Alberta. (September 28, 2012) – FC Edmonton announced the release of head coach Harry Sinkgraven and assistant coach Hans Schrijver for budgetary reasons on Friday.
“Both coaches have been loyal to the club and it was a hard decision to let them go,” said FCE owner/president Tom Fath. “It’s been fortunate for us to have two such high level coaches with us over the last few years and I will personally miss both of them. We are committed to succeeding and we will continue to strive for the league championship next season.”
Sinkgraven joined FC Edmonton in December, 2010, prior to the club’s inaugural season in the NASL; taking over from departed coach Dwight Lodeweges.
As head coach, Sinkgraven lead the team to a 10-6-12 record in 2011; good enough for fifth in the league standings and a quarterfinal appearance. The team lost to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and were eliminated from the postseason.
“I don’t have hard feelings; this is the way it goes. The season was disappointing for everybody and the owner needs to save money,” Sinkgraven said. “I had a beautiful time here. I got to experience another culture, another country, and I love the people here. I want to thank everybody and I wish the club well. I hope the city helps Tom (Fath) succeed.”
In 2012, Schrijver rejoined the club which he helped build along with Lodeweges, after spending 2011 in Japan.
The team fell to a 5-10-13 record this season under Sinkgraven and Schrijver and missed the playoffs for the first time.
“I feel very sad because I really liked it here in Edmonton but the season was not good and the team has been spending a lot of money for three years now so they had to make a change. I was proud to be a part of FC Edmonton and I hope the city embraces the team because it’s a good club and a good owner.”
Schrijver said he will return to Holland to pursue opportunities but is mostly looking forward to spending time with his children.
FC Edmonton technical director Joe Petrone will handle all team-related issues in the interim, including hiring a new coaching staff, something he said the club will take its time with.
“It’s tough to lose Harry and Hans because they’re good people, nice people,” Petrone said. “Tactically and technically they are as good as there is in Europe or North America. They’ve been instrumental in making our kids better; they are hard workers and were dedicated to FC Edmonton.”
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