HARRISON, N.J. (May 5, 2023) – Red Bulls Academy have named Juan Bijkebbe as the U13 Head Coach, the club announced today.
Bijkebbe, who has over ten years of coaching experience across all age groups, will be fitting right in with Red Bulls Academy. His most recent experience includes four and a half years with Academy affiliate club Blau Weiss Gottschee in Queens.
Juan’s last age group that he coached was U19, but his focus throughout his career has been with the U12 through U14 age groups. Having also worked with Blau Weiss Gottschee’s MLS NEXT program, Bijkebbe will have plenty of familiarity during his time here at Red Bull.
Alongside his recent experience, Juan has spent plenty of time around Red Bulls Academy, as he has been a member of the Academy Affiliate Coaching Mentorship Program for the past seven months working as a U17 assistant coach.
Originally from Venezuela, Bijkebbe has always been around coaching and got his start in South Florida before eventually moving up to New York City and becoming a coach for the Red Bulls Youth Grassroots Program. While he was participating there, he also had experience working for the Iona University Men’s College Soccer program as a performance analyst.
Bijkebbe holds multiple licenses, including a USSF “A” License, a UEFA C Certificate, and a CONMEBOL “A” License, while currently studying for UEFA “B” licenses with the Welsh FA.
Get to know Coach!
What makes him passionate about coaching…
Supporting and enabling youth players to achieve beyond their own expectations is a core component of my coaching philosophy. Soccer coaching provides the platform to translate on-field values to life off the field: teamwork, understanding and respecting rules, seeing defeat as an opportunity for growth, and witnessing how resiliency and dedication leads to success. It is a true honor to be given a daily opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of these players; not only as footballers, but as human beings. Seeing their growth as individuals translated into successful work as a unit in the field is truly rewarding. The interconnectivity between strategy and creativity, challenge and competition, and love for the game excites me. There are some things in life one cannot live without, for me, that is football.
What age groups he has coached in the past…
I have been fortunate and honored to have coached players of all ages, and all levels: from the “mini kicks” at four years old, to college players at twenty two. Every single phase of development is important and contains its own set of intricacies, opportunities and factors to consider. Over the years, I’ve observed the growth and development of numerous players as they progressed through their football careers, but where I often see the greatest and most rapid growth is in the development phase–range of 11 to 14 years old. I truly enjoy helping youth hone their talents, test new modes of playing and find their DNA in the game.
His experience with the Red Bull system…
I have been connected with the Red Bulls since I moved from Florida to the tri-state area in 2016. My first two years in NYC, I coached for the New York Red Bulls Grassroots Program. Then, I worked for an affiliate Red Bulls Academy club in Queens, NYC (BW Gottschee). Now returning as the Under 13 team head coach for the Red Bulls Academy. I have the utmost respect for the NYRB soccer philosophy and I am excited to carry that forward with the younger age groups. The culture and stride for excellence is a testament to their relentless work to equip Academy players to move onto the second and first team. There are multiple examples of this successful work and this pushes staff to upkeep this trend. They keep our eyes set on the Red Bull Arena for our Academy players.
Honestly hard to choose, but my mind always goes back to Life is Beautiful. A heart-wrenching movie centered around the power of love, hope and resiliency in the face of true adversity. Keeping a positive outlook, even in the worst of moments, is one takeaway I try to apply from the movie into my personal and professional life.