After a distinguished playing career as a striker, which saw him spend a decade in the Premier League, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink turned his hand to coaching six years ago while training with Conference South side Woking – and he has been enhancing his reputation ever since.
While studying for his UEFA ‘B’ and ‘A’ licenses, Hasselbaink coached at the Nike Academy – working with unsigned Under-20 players – before taking up a role in Steve McClaren’s backroom team at Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2011.
Hasselbaink spent 18 months at the City Ground before moving on to cut his managerial teeth with Belgian Second Division outfit, Royal Antwerp.
Having guided the club to a seventh-place finish in 2013/14 – their highest position in three years – Hasselbaink took the decision to leave Bosuilstadion after one campaign in order to return to his young family in England.
And it would be League Two side Burton Albion who would become Hasselbaink’s new club – and biggest success story to date.
Burton had endured play-off heartaches in their previous two seasons before Hasselbaink was appointed in November 2014.
And despite their strong start to 2014/15, Hasselbaink was taking over a side that had lost eight of their previous 12 games, seeing them in danger of slipping out of the play-off picture.
The Brewers won in Hasselbaink’s first game in charge, a 3-1 victory at the home of table-topping Wycombe Wanderers, and that set the wheels in motion for an incredible campaign.
Under Hasselbaink’s guidance, Burton would lose just three of their remaining 30 league games as they stormed to title-winning glory, finishing ten points clear of the play-off pack.
This season, Burton’s first in League One, was anticipated to be a tough one for the Pirelli Stadium outfit, but Hasselbaink’s team clearly haven’t read the script – Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory at home to Millwall leaves them top of the table.
QPR fans will now be hoping Hasselbaink can continue to add to that quickly-growing managerial reputation with further success at Loftus Road.