We had an exclusive interview with the head of the Youth National teams of Mexico, Dennis te Klose. Te Kloese came to prominence in Chivas de Guadalajara, where the Dutch born came on under Hans Westerhoff’s tenure as a scout and then became the technical director of Chivas USA.
After moving to Tigres, he joined the national team as Youth Team Director until 2012, when he became Sports Director of Chivas. In 2014, he returned to the national team to his current position, as head of the youth teams of the Mexico national team.
What are your thoughts on what you've seen of Mexico so far in this tournament?
For us this is a tournament that has a lot of importance. We have a positive history in these events that we want to repeat and we want to take it very seriously so we can qualify to the world cup. As for tournament, we want to take it step by step, we will take it seriously and do what we have to do.
All the titles and recent success and the fact that Mexico has more money and support than the others teams, does it add pressure to the team?
The title generates more expectation and brings more attention to what we are doing. At the end of the day, all that we invest is not only for the national team but for the benefit of the clubs and the benefit of the players who will go back to their clubs with these experiences and we want those experiences to be successful ones. We want those experience to add a winning mentality in them.
The national team has potentially a couple of players that are eligible for the team and are starters for their clubs but aren't with this team. Besides Edson Alvarez, was their problems with clubs to release those players?
No there wasn't any problem. The communication with clubs has been excellent. We know that sometimes the calendar and our projects don't match with theirs. In the end, this isn't a FIFA date and we had to decide which is the best thing for the national team. In this case, we decided to take this group that has had more contact with the team and not bring in last minute players that haven't been part of this process or that are probably in the radar of the senior national team.
I used to remember when the youth qualifiers weren't shown on TV at all but now, especially in the US, it's shown on Univision Deportes and the highlights on every sports network. Can the popularity of the brand that is the national team in Mexico help this national team to be on par of the senior national team and to increase it's financial success?
I believe that any opportunity where Mexico can showcase their project in the zone and in the world is good for us and we always work on that.
Finally, when will Mexico host another U-20 or U-17 qualification tournament?
That something the Secretary General and the President of the Federation have to decide. I'm in charge of the youth national teams and my focus is on the young players having a good development, be it in Mexico or outside of it.