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Dutch American Pama heads board Leeuwarden soccer club

Executive to re-build organization

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LEEUWARDEN - This past summer, when Alex Pama started his new job as General Manager of local Second Division soccer team Cambuur Leeuwarden, he had little idea of the organizational and financial chaos he was to discover at the club. For years, the former board of governors struggled with rapidly dwindling income, several near bankruptcies, lack of sponsorship renewals and dismal athletic results. Now it is up to Pama to rebuild the organization.

The 34-year old native Washingtonian whose parents are Dutch - his father served as a diplomat - had been involved in soccer in the U.S. as the owner of a soccer school. The entrepreneur also had been a U.S. scout for several Dutch clubs, had worked for the Dutch soccer union KNVB and had founded the Redwings soccer team in Atlanta, Georgia. Already planning to move his family back to the Netherlands, where he had lived from age four until he was 22, Pama was approached by Cambuur’s caretaker management to set up an entirely new management team.

In the three months since coming to Leeuwarden, Pama has seen his team linger at the bottom in the Second Division, where it only started winning after eight games. The turn-around has extended the professional life of novice Cambuur coach Roy Wesseling as well.

Although Pama, like any Second Division GM likes to see his team return to the Honour Division, the club has a long road ahead. Cambuur Leeuwarden last performed at this level in the 1999/2000 season.

Pama is the second Dutch American top executive of a Dutch soccer club. Former VVV, NAC and the U.S. national team player Earnest Stewart, is the Technical Director at NAC Breda of the Honour Division.