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Updated: November 29, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story & Photo by Marco Stoovelaar)

Erik Boland new Head Coach of Amsterdam Pirates

AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Erik Boland is the new Head Coach of the women softball-team of Amsterdam Pirates, the club announced on Thursday-evening (November 29). Boland succeeds Tom Groot, who stepped down after the season after having led the team for two seasons. Ted ter Heegde, who was Groot's Assistant Coach this year, also will assist Boland next season. Stefan Vessies remained the Conditiong Coach. For Boland, it will be the second time that he is appointed Head Coach of Amsterdam Pirates.

...Erik Boland... Head Coach Amsterdam Pirates...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Erik Boland, who turned 54 on Tuesday, has a long career in coaching baseball and softball. Besides that, he also played both sports for a long time. He still plays in baseball- and softball-teams of Badhoevedorp, the club where he is associated with for more than 25 years. In December last year, Boland stepped down as chairman this multi-sports club and was named Member of Merit for his many contributions, which included the realization of an artificial grass soccer-field.

In recent years, Boland was very active within Badhoevedorp. Besides being its chairman, he not only played baseball and softball. He also coached several youth softball-teams and conducted numerous clinics.

In 1988, Boland briefly played in the Dutch big league-baseball with HCAW. Thereafter, he had a longer and more successful career in softball, playing for Thamen. With Thamen, he played in several seasons in the highest Dutch league.

In that period, Erik Boland also played in the Netherlands National Men Softball Team for seven years. With the Orange-squad, he participated in the World Championship in the Philippines in 1992.

In the meantime, Boland also started coaching more and more. In 2000, he was the Head Coach of the men softball-team of Thamen, which then won the Dutch Championship-title after winning 4-3 in the best-of-seven Holland Series against Storks.

The following year, Boland made his debut as Head Coach at the highest level in Dutch women softball. He then led the team of Terrasvogels to second place in the regular season with a 25-10 record to qualify for the Play-Offs, but the team then was eliminated for the Holland Series. In 2002, Terrasvogels finished third with a 22-12 record and one tie. In the following Play-Offs, the team reached the Holland Series, but then lost the Championship Final to Sparks Haarlem. After the 2002 season, Boland was succeeded by American coach Leigh Podlesny.

After having been involved in the coaching-staff of the Netherlands Men Softball Junior Team, Boland returned to Terrasvogels in 2006. In that year, he lead the team during its exhibition season until American Darwin Tolzin took over. In 2007, Boland was the Assistant Coach of the well-respected Tolzin during his second season with Terrasvogels, which then swept Sparks Haarlem in three games in the Holland Series to win the Championship-title.

In 2010, Erik Boland first led the softball-team of Amsterdam Pirates. The following year, after having won three of its first four games of the season, Boland stepped down, as it was unable for him at that moment combine coaching with his regular job.

And so, Boland returns as coach in one of the two top-leagues next year. ,,It is always fun to coach, I'm always interested in coaching'', Boland reacted to his appointment as Head Coach of Amsterdam Pirates and his return to this level of softball. ,,It maybe sounds strange, but whether you coach a youth team or a team like Terrasvogels or Pirates, it's exact the same. I want to teach the players to play well and instruct them.''

This season, Amsterdam Pirates finished in third place in the Silver League to qualify for the best-of-three Promotion/Relegation Series against DSS, which finished in last place in the Golden League. During the Season's Finals, DSS won twice to stay in the Golden League, which means that Amsterdam Pirates will play again in the Silver League next season.

(November 29)

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