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'Fake sheikh' prank leaves Dutch club red-faced

Europe news
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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Den Bosch hire former kickboxer Rene van Eck as new head coach

Van Eck takes over at Den Bosch with the club 10 points off a promotion playoff place.

Dutch second-tier club Den Bosch have hired former kickboxer Rene van Eck as their new head coach.

The Eerste Divisie club's appointment of Van Eck follows the sacking of Ruud Kaiser, who was dismissed following a 5-0 home defeat to Volendam last week.

Van Eck played for Den Bosch between 1986 and 1990, and eventually retired as a player in 2002 before beginning his coaching career at Swiss side FC Luzern.

The 48-year-old's most recent coaching role was at German side Alemannia Aachen between 2012 and 2013.

The Guardian reports that Van Eck is known for his unorthodox approach having previously used kickboxing methods in training.

The paper quotes the coach -- who reportedly takes his pet labrador to every training session -- as saying: "The players realised that it is not as easy as it looks on TV."

He added: "I look forward to staying with FC Den Bosch and can't wait to get started. We have a quality squad and we will work together to achieve the objective of participating in the Jupiler playoffs."

Van Eck is a friend of former world champion kickboxer Xhavit Bajrami, and has alternated between the sports since retiring as a professional player.

The club was tricked by TV show "PowNews" back in 2013 as a 'fake sheikh' investigated how far they would go to sell the soul of their club.

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