The appointment of Martin Jol as Fulham boss in June 2011 prompted much hope and excitement amongst Whites fans, for in the experienced Dutchman the Club has one of Europe’s most astute managers at its helm.
With a profound knowledge of the game and a shrewd tactical mind, he is both revered and respected. Off the field, despite a steely edge, he is recognised as one of football’s genuine nice guys - a popular figure amongst players, colleagues and supporters.
An advocate of attractive football, over the years he has won many admirers for his approach and philosophy, while as a player, Jol was a forceful midfielder that was never afraid to put his foot in.
Jol's coaching career began in 1991 when he took over at amateur side ADO Den Haag and took them to the highest local amateur division. He then moved to leading local amateur side Scheveningen and won the national non-League championship. He spent two years as manager at the professional Eredivisie side Roda JC of Kerkrade, where he won the Dutch Cup.
Between 1998 and 2004 Jol managed Dutch outfit RKC Waalwijk where he saved them from relegation and was honoured as the Dutch Football Writers Coach of the Year in 2001, and Dutch Players and Coaches Coach of the Year in 2002.
In June 2004, Jol became assistant manager of Tottenham Hotspur under Jacques Santini. After 13 games Santini resigned from the manager's job and in November 2004 Jol was confirmed as his replacement. He joined Bundesliga club SV Hamburg for the 2008/09 season, before a stint at Ajax Amsterdam a year later where he led them to Dutch Cup glory.
In his first season at Craven Cottage, Jol guided Fulham to a highly impressive ninth-placed finish in the Premier League. Having come close to taking over following the departure of Roy Hodgson a year earlier, for many his appointment makes for the perfect fit. And, charged with taking Fulham forward, it’s a challenge he is unquestionably relishing.