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Updated: November 28, 2018
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Ferenc Jongejan new Pitching Coach Netherlands Women's Softball Team

NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Former baseball-pitcher Ferenc Jongejan will be the Pitching Coach of the Netherlands National Women's Softball Team, effective January 1, the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) announced on Wednesday (November 28). Coming year will be an important one, as the Orange-squad participates in the European Championship in Ostrava (Czech Republic), which will be followed by the European/African Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

...Ferenc Jongejan... Pitching Coach...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Jongejan succeeds Australian Karen Marr, who was the Pitching Coach of the Netherlands Softball Team since December 2010 and also coached the pitchers of the Netherlands Junior Teams. Karen Marr stepped down early September.

A new Head Coach also still has to be named to succeed Juni Francisca. During this years World Championship in Japan in August, Francisca was put on a non-active status after the team initially started with disappointing results. Out of loyalty, his Assistant Coach Marcel Schippers stepped down. In the remainder of the event, Bench Coach Saskia Kosterink and Hitting Coach Bart Hanegraaff led the team. Recently, the KNBSB announced that the split with Francisca had become definitively.

This year, Jongejan was the Head Coach of the women's softball-team of Terrasvogels, with whom he reached the Holland Series. In the best-of-three Final, Terrasvogels lost 2-0 to FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem, which captured its second consecutive Championship-title.

Initially, it was expected that Jongejan would return next year as Head Coach of Terrasvogels, but shortly before the end of the transfer-period (November 15), it was announced that he had stepped down. It was then said that he wouldn't be available for the team the entire year and with that, he stepped down. At the moment, a successor has not yet been named.

For Jongejan, this was his first season as Head Coach in softball, after having been the Assistant Coach of Nick Braakman at Terrasvogels last year. Before that, Jongejan had been the Head Coach of the baseball-team of UVV for four years (2013-2016) in the Dutch big league. In these years, UVV finished in fifth place the first three seasons, then seventh in 2016.

In a press release, Tjerk Smeets, Technical Director of the KNBSB, said: ,,Ferenc fits very well in the profile we looked for. An experienced coach with a big drive to become better each day. His knowledge of the way of instructions within our program enables the entire team to get the best accompaniment en route to Tokyo 2020''.

In the announcement, Jongejan added: ,,I'm looking forward very much to make a contribution in the individual development of all pitchers and to find the connection with the world top with the entire staff of Team Kingdom of the Netherlands with as our first goal the qualification for the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020''.

As a lefthanded pitcher, Ferenc Jongejan played in the Dutch big league for Twins (1998), Hoofddorp Pioniers (1999) and Neptunus (2000). He then played professionally for four seasons (2001-2004) in the organization of the Chicago Cubs and reached the Triple-A level in 2003. In that year, he pitched in 29 games for Iowa Cubs. After his profesionall career, he briefly played again in the Netherlands, but retired due to an injury. Later, he returned as a player, being a first baseman for UVV in the second highest league.

Playing for the Netherlands National Baseball Team, Jongejan participated in the Olympic Games of 2000 (Sydney, Australia) and 2004 (Athens, Greece).

In recent years, Jongejan also was closely involved in Eindhoven-based Bixie Baseball, one of the Baseball Academies in the Netherlands.

(November 28)

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