Widely acknowledged as one of the best goalkeeper coaches in the game, with a proven track record of developing talent, Frans Hoek has a fascinating philosophy for working with up-and-coming youngsters and established performers.
An innovator and teacher, the Dutchman has been a technical instructor for UEFA since the mid-1990s and is a trusted colleague of Louis van Gaal, working with the successful Netherlands squad that went through the 2014 World Cup qualifying programme unbeaten.
Edwin van der Sar, one of the greatest keepers ever to represent Manchester United, was schooled by Hoek at Ajax and other big names such as Vitor Baia and Victor Valdes have also improved markedly under his tutelage.
The change in the passback rule in 1992 led to a seismic shift in the role of a no.1 and this has shaped the ideals preached by the Hoorn-born coach. "The task of the goalkeeper is now a lot more with the ball than without it," he said. "Goalkeepers should be more and more integrated in the team. They have to perform with the team against other players and need preparing for that."
The tactical system employed by the overall side is key to the training of the keeper and Hoek’s method focuses on the individual’s development within that framework, ensuring David De Gea’s importance to the Reds is likely to become even more crucial.
Hans-Jorg Butt, who worked under Hoek at Bayern Munich, explained: "It’s the way of the future. The goalkeeper is included in the team tactics and is no longer isolated from the rest of the team. Training with him is very like being in a match. You’re never just dealing with practice shots."
After 12 years as a keeper with FC Volendam in his native Holland, Hoek’s impressive coaching CV includes Ajax, Barcelona, Poland and Bayern Munich and he has worked with Sir Bobby Robson, Jose Mourinho and Leo Beenhakker, as well as van Gaal.
More: United's Dutch connections | Van Gaal career profile