Stewart couldn’t resist Brands and PSV’s call: ‘Be Brabant’

NOS Football

  • Luke Bligeboom

    Editor NOS Sport

  • Luke Bligeboom

    Editor NOS Sport

With the traditional stuffed turkey on the table in front of his nose, Ernest Stewart entered the American Christmas a month early, having been eliminated early from the World Cup in Qatar. As the American Soccer Federation’s then-technical director recalled Friday, those were days when his stomach dropped too much.

The reason is not because of the dismissal at the Emirates, but especially because of the defeat against the Dutch national team. what is that? In the last minute of 2022 he suddenly gets a phone call from an old acquaintance.


Ernie Stewart

Ernest Lee Stewart Jr. spent more than four years in America to his great satisfaction. There is little sign that he will complete the same cycle early, including the 2026 World Cup, which will most likely take place in his home country.

“A strange moment…”, Stewart called the moment when Marcel Brands was on the phone shortly after returning from Qatar. PSV’s general manager asked if 53-year-old Stewart felt like trading in an American adventure for a job as PSV’s ‘DD’.

Stewart asked for time to think, counted his knots, weighed, weighed and weighed the pros and cons against each other. Verdict: On March 1, 2023, he will be hired in Eindhoven.

‘Be Great’

His main argument for saying yes? “PSV is a beautiful club.” And not insignificantly: “I have longed for some time to work at a top European club.” And: “I am and will be Brabant.”


Stewart as Willem II’s knight in 1996, here fighting Ajax’s Winston Bogart.

Stewart (born in Vegel, raised in Uden) cannot be found spreading in Eindhoven in five weeks. He was the first to agree. Results under coach Ruud van Nistelrooij have been disappointing and the supporters are increasingly agitated, especially after the recent 1-0 defeat against FC Emmen, which bubbles and ferments.

“A tough phase,” Stewart calls it. His mission is to refloat the stranded ship. “I will work with the people working at the club to support everyone.”

John de Jong’s successor is certainly not lacking in experience. Stewart previously served as technical director at VVV, NAC, AZ and the Philadelphia Union before joining the US Soccer Association in 2018.

As a player he worked successively at VVV, Willem II, NAC, DC United and again at VVV. He made a total of 427 Eredivisie appearances and scored 115 goals.

As a United States international, he heard it 101 times Star Spangled Banner Play for him and his teammates. He scored seventeen times while shouldering the jersey of Team USA.

As the manager of a BVO, Stewart is known as a frugal businessman who knows how to make a living. Since 2010, AZ has had to do without the deep pockets of the suddenly fallen chairman and DSB banker, Dirk Scheringa, who over five years managed to put together a perfectly acceptable election with limited financial resources.

Large global network

AZ won the KNVB Cup during that period, won the ticket to European football four times and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Europa League twice.

He is known as a man with a large global network who is seen as having the ability to look beyond national borders for players who can pull PSV over dead center.


Right next to Dick Advocate here, during Ernest Stewart’s time in AZ

Stewart will be tasked with relocating PSV in five weeks after the departure of Jan de Jong, who died in September after a breach of trust with supervisory board members Dunn van Veen and Robert van der Waalen.

The numbers 1 and 2 of the Eredivisie are expected to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League next season. After winning the national championship, taking part in the Millions Ball was the second item on Eindhoven’s wish list.

One advantage: After the sale of Cody Kakbow to Liverpool and the transfer of Noni Maduke to Chelsea, Skimby Hans is no longer the kitchen master. The two transfers together brought in €90 million, a sum that would allow businessman Stewart to bring in important reinforcements.

Deep pockets

With that purse in hand, Stewart should be considered capable of accomplishing his goal. In his own words, his most important work can be summed up in four words. “Guidance for PSV.”

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