Robin van Persie lands first head coach role with Heerenveen

Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has been appointed as manager of Eredivisie side Heerenveen on a two-year contract, the Dutch club announced on Friday.

It is the first senior coaching role for the 40-year-old, who has spent time as manager of Feyenoord's under-18s side and also worked with the first team under Liverpool-bound Arne Slot.

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He succeeds Kees van Wonderen at Heerenveen, who can finish no higher than 10th, missing out on European club competition next season.

"Although Robin is at the start of his career as head coach, he immediately convinced us. He is ambitious, passionate and eager to learn. I think he knows how to enthuse and motivate a squad of players," general manager Ferry de Haan said in a statement.

"The coaching profession is comprehensive and challenging, and I've practiced it with great passion and pleasure," Van Persie said.

"I would like to continue my development and the role of head coach fits in perfectly with that goal. I am therefore pleased with the opportunity that Heerenveen offers me. It is a fantastic challenge to contribute to the sporting ambitions and development of the club."

Meanwhile, Slot was full of praise for Van Persie.

"I've said it before but I truly appreciate the time and effort Robin puts in his career towards his first appointment as head coach," Slot told a news conference.

"He has done everything to be ready, whether it should be at Heerenveen, Feyenoord or somewhere else. That's up to him. Heerenveen is a beautiful club, and Robin is ready to start as head coach."

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Van Persie is the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands national team and was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2012, one year before he won the Premier League title with Manchester United.

Heerenveen face Sparta Rotterdam in their final match of the season on Sunday.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report