It’s not an easy goodbye


Today I had a meeting with my 3rdpresident since I signed. It was without previousappointment, because 36 hours ago we were thinking howcould beour nexts weeks fighting for the championship.

On the meeting I told him it could be good if the club can start to work in the future as soon as posible… without me.

Firstly, I thanked Rob for all he did for the team since he came in. He wasalways there.Without &quotbut&acutes and if&acutes&quot,justhowI like things. He assumed team problems from the past and solved with always an smile. He respectedmy decision and he agreed that the club must workmore profesionally.
Secondly I explained him my decision that I made some time ago:

I signed with the ambition in mind to built an european project. That&acutes not just aboutparticipate alwaysin Europe, also to grow up as organization in a professional direction where a team can sell an illusion, sell a branch, sell an style of playing…with a solid and stable continuity. The history of the club gave me a perception that some things were not correct in the past with not many titols in a lot of seasons with aparently good conditions to do it.On the way back from Niemegen, I started to remember most of the things that happenned this season in several fields and the solutions we got. I felt the team arrived to the end with some accumulated wounds from all year long.I havenever complainned in public because Isaw that thiscould affect the teamlike anexcuse, or maybe affect the crowd with their enthusiasm or even the next entrance for the next game. But I can promise you that it has been an intense season for me andI gave always my maximum until last second of the last game. And all the players who finnish the season did the same with commitment and passion.

I believe that we sold an illusion, we sold an style of playing (that was different from the other&acutes in the Netherland&acutes and same than topteams in Spain, Italy, Russiaor Greece). We didn&acutet have to sell a branch. Donar was already there…and I can see that is very alive.

Some other crucial things like to improve the staff and organization in a professional way, the merchandising, the tv rights, the institutional power in media, power in the basketball federation, and refs comisions… were not there. And in professional sports this makes some differences.

Unfortunnetly for me, I think Rob and his collaborators came just too late for all of that.

After the incredible reception we had tuesday night I felt happy to be part of that Donar feeling and sad at the same time because I knew it was my last day with the people who supportedthe team and me.
And they didn&acutet do it after you win that is always easy. They did afterthe lost.It was an honest and intens feeling. And still hurts because the crowd deserved more, and because after the lost they still were telling me &quotthanks for the season&quot. How is this possible? Simple: They feel the team like a part of them.

I want to thank all the players fo their hard work in practices and games, team chemestry where we had injuries and for the patience they had with me. Doc, Edwin, Eric, Luc, Henk and Alfons and all the personnel from the club who inone way or anotherhelped the team. Thanks to Albert and Robert to gave me the oportunityto learn from all of you and bring me here. Also all the volunteers that make this club so special, always therebehind the scenes…and special remark for Hans, my right and left hand,that with his hard work, knowledge and loyalty helped me25 hours a day. Thank you all.

What about the crowd? Can you imagine for a moment what you could feel if youare me ?

Thanks to the crowd, to &quotmy crowd&quot. You made me feelthat Donar is a way of life, and that wherever I will be you will have a Donar supporterin me and my family. I will remember always that mybaby Ander started to walk here in Groningen, and his three first words were Papa, Mama and Donar.

I hope in the future we can be together again.