December 31st, 2001


OZZIES help me!

Goor, December 30, 2001

Hello Ozzie friends,

Today I got a phone call from a friend of mine, who asked me to help him. His daughter is in her final year, heading towards the exams and doesn't want to start studying yet. A leap year, year out, whatever you want to call it, not as common in the Netherlands as in some other countries yet, but she liked the idea of going away for a year. She is considering doing a year in Australia. Having done so myself, I obviously recommended her to do so. The thing is, she is fairly young to go backpacking on her own though (17 at the moment). They have been looking into some exchange programs and decided against them. Not only are they very expensive, but most of all they do not give you the freedom to do your own thing. Choice out of 2 schools, counsellors everywhere, it would almost be like going to school back home.

But she would like to go to school. The idea is to find a school and a host family somewhere near it, where she could pass either half a year or a whole school year. They asked me if I had any contacts. Hence this letter. I do not have the contacts myself, but I do know several people in Australia. Somebody must have an idea what to do next, how to go about arranging things. This is where you come in. Does anybody have a clue or can lead me to one. Do you know high schools that can arrange this sort of thing? Do you know families who have had someone from overseas for a while? Do you know any local organisations they could contact?

Any help would be welcome, any reactions brilliant. Phone numbers, websites, e-mail addresses, whatever could lead them to their goal. Hopefully this will lead to her leaving the Netherlands for down under in half a year's time, in our summer, your winter. Thanx in advance for your help!

Have a great last day of the year and an even better 2002!

Gerben Kappert
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Hard Gras 25 - Van Gaal van Sparta (01-095)

Only a year behind now. Last year's December issue. Titled after the story written about our then National team coach Van Gaal. About his playing days, when he worked part time as a teacher, played at Sparta, a team that is one of the traditional teams in our country, but also worked for the players union, organised everything you can imagine off the pitch. Busy bee, future coach, everybody will tell you now. Good story on another former national coach: Frank Rijkaard, by Chris van Nijnatten. Interesting story about a forgotten goalie: Henk van der Bijl, who played for Feyenoord just after the Second World War. The best goalkeeper never to have played in the national team apparently. Serious author Voskuil apparently played in his youth as well, which might come as a surprise to many, he tells about those days. My highlight is the story by Hugo Borst, whose stories have been translated into many languages already. He writes an obituary before it is necessary. Great idea, it gives somebody old a chance to look back and see how he is looked upon. The subject is Valeri Lobanovsky, one of the best coaches of all time, though not often recognised as such. Well ahead of his time, he coached three Dynamo Kiev teams in three different decades to the top. Wins some European cups in the process. Coaches the best team in the Mexico '86 world cup, the Soviet Union, a team that trashed it's group, but mysteriously lost to underdogs Belgium. A coach who used science and advanced computers well before others thought of that idea. Lobanovsky, remember the name, you non-experts, one of these days he must have drunk his last vodka and the world will forget about him. Unless you read the story obviously.
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