Football interview with Premier League Oranje FC's coach, Tom Bus

Posted by Francois liot on May 19 2013 at 05:00PM PDT

I'm sure many of us enjoy reading Tom Bus's weekly game report masterpiece under that's Shanghai online magazine. On May 11th 2013, FC Oranje won Hebiguchi Cup 2013. It seems good timing to know a little more about Tom Bus and his team.


  • Question: You always put your own total game countdown in Oranje FC game report. Where do you stand exactly knowing Shanghai Shooters have celebrated their 400th game against Beaver United on 13th of April, 2013?

Tom Bus: Our club was established on April 20, 1993. With 2 decades under our belt we are the oldest amateur football club in Shanghai. Our first match was against Belgium on April 20, ‘93. We played them again a few weeks after that, played a game versus a German team as well and 2 matches versus the Asia Pacific Brewery in that year. In 1994 we played 33 games. In total FC Oranje has played 494 games including friendlies (excluding int’l tourneys since 1995 and 7s football). Later this year we expect to play our 500th game. My total number of caps for FC Oranje: 441. Total number of SIFL caps: 360. I have been manager/captain of FC Oranje since it was set up.


  • Q: Beside your SIFL total game record, you are recognized as one of the figures of the SIFL league. From the Taliban issue to your weekly masterpiece league reports on That's Shanghai... How you would describe yourself?

TB: The Taliban had infiltrated the Krauts and Tali B. wuz going for me head. As can be clearly observed from photographic evidence. I am a football lover. It’s the world’s most popular sport and in Shanghai it’s also a kind of lifestyle with the involvement of various pubs/bars and entertainment venues that support many teams. At the same time you can meet people from every corner of the world regardless of nationality, background, race or religion all showing love for the game. That’s what connects us all and to me that is a wonderful ongoing experience. I enjoy managing and coaching our club, specially seeing our players enjoying themselves during training and matches. I also enjoy writing the roundups and write it with enthusiasm with a twist. Life is already serious enough, more laughter is needed.


  • Q: It seems that you are both Owner of (cf. your LinkedIn profile) and Oranje FC. Which club is the most important for you?

TB: Both are important to me. I was born in Twente so FC Twente is the club I grew up with. In 2008 I set up a Chinese version of their website and the next season they became champions for the very first time. It felt like liberation of an entire region, even the folks from Amsterdam were sympathetic. FC Twente is an ambitious club with great plans for China. FC Oranje is also very important to me as this club has given me enormous joy for over 2 decades now. I have met many people and made great friendships with all the players that have passed through the Orange door as well as with players from the clubs we have competed against. Can say that Saturday is my favorite day of the week.


  • Q: It is my understand that Oranje FC is one of the founding teams of the SIFL and has been playing since 1995 (Correct me if I'm wrong). On the league website, I found 3 trophy lines with SIFL Cup Winners in 1996/1997, 1st Division Champions in 2007/2008 (below) and now Hebiguchi Cup winner in 2012/2013. Anything missing?

TB: Yes, we are a founding team. We won a number of other SIFL trophies as well. Personally I treasure the ‘coach of the year award’ in the 07/08 season a lot. Winning our first SIFL tourney was special as well (below) as it was an unexpected win as we started drinking beers after the first win in that tourney and continued to do so up to the final where we beat the Shooters 1-0. Heineken does wonders! 2002/2003 SIFL Opening season Tourney 2007/2008 SIFL Best Defense 2007/2008 SIFL First Division-Coach of the Year 2000/2001 SIFL Fair Play Cup 2010/2011 SIFL Charity Shield-Crime Count Kings We have won a number of other cups as well outside the SIFL. Such as the first international tournament in Shanghai in 1997. Plate winners in the first international 7s tourney in 2001. We won the Shanghai Mini Euro Cup in 2008 and the Fantasy 7s Summer Cup in 2011. For overview of all our trophies see attached. We had 2 very special overseas events, one was the in Mongolia versus their national side in 1999 during which we won the runners-up cup and one was in North Korea in 2005 where we played 2 North Korean teams (1-1, 2-2) and ended up on the podium. (below)


  • Q: Any words about last Hebiguchi cup final on Saturday 11th of May against Shanghai Shooters?

TB: We prepared well, lobbied for David, the best referee, made profiles of players tailor made for this game and put them on positions where the best Shooter players were playing. We created more chances than them, played better combinations and pressured them early when they had ball possession winning most 2nd balls. However we almost failed to score and the unwritten rule in football that a team that doesn’t score their chances ends up losing almost prevailed. In the end our determination paid of and we disproved the rule all together by equalizing in the last minute and then went on to win the penalty shoot out. We practiced them as well and the guys who scored their penalties in the final did so during practice too. It was a final that worked very well for us and a perfect victory to celebrate our 20th anniversary this year.


  • Q: Who is Oranje FC's best player in season 2012/2013?

TB: Hard to say as we have a number of excellent players. Wim Andriessen, Chris Nie, Matteo Casini and Mattieu Ginnestet are all up there with the best. Fafah Fanentenako is an exceptional player and person, both on and off the pitch.


  • Q: Who is Oranje FC's best player ever?

TB: A player called Everton van Oliviera from Brazil. Younger brother of Edu. His grandparents were Dutch. The player who impress you the most in SIFL history? In my opinion there are 7 players that have stood out a lot. Udo Leiphold from Germany playing for the Krauts in the first SIFL season. Gil Manou of Morocco playing for the English Lions. I also like Jon Grant of the Shooters a lot. Steve Philips of Azzurri is a fantastic player as well. DIB’s Didier Njewel is a fine player as is Yin Shang. Most recently Azzeddine Takouloufa of the Puxi Lions, I think he is an awesome all around player and the best this season. I also need to mention the goal-scoring machines of the First Division, Dong Chen of Shining HFC, Jordan Campbell of the Shanghai Cosmos, Shiwei (David) Wang of Long Tang AFC, Zhikai (S.Louis) and Yunpeng Zang of Shentong Metro FC.


  • Q: How can people follow your team? Website, QQ, WeChat, renren?

TB: They can follow our team from our team page of the Shanghai Dutch Association. Or can inquire at Abbey Road our new bar sponsor. From the SIFL website one can admire our efforts as well.


  • Q: A team you like in the SIFL?

TB: I like any club in the SIFL that gets a team together and bust their asses come rain or shine and play with passion and determination week in week out. Throughout the years there are several teams that we are close to. The Shanghai Vikings FC, we were both sponsored by Omalleys for many years. The Shooters are a great team, many of my friends play in that team, they have won many international tourneys and are the SIFL record holders as in number of titles won. I also like the Krauts, culturally we are very similar and we love to see them drink Heineken. The Lions are a great squad, have many friends there as well. I also like DIB FC of Tony Zhang, he is a true lover of football and has set up his team wining several trophies in their maiden year and competing for the championship in the next year. Quite an amazing feat.


  • Q: A team you don't like in the SIFL?

TB: There isn’t any team that I don’t like. However, we have rivalry with the German teams but after all is said and done we also have great camaraderie. Perhaps the Shooters need special mention here. They poached several of our players to set themselves up in their first year (Daniel Craig-top photo bottom left) and have been poaching players on a yearly basis. Robb Pollard last season and now Benoit Doche. Let it be, we can still win cups and when our friends are needy we shall help them.


  • Q: Which professional Chinese team do you support (if applicable and beside Twente FC)?

TB: I like Shanghai Shenhua and hope they can get another championship in the new season.


  • Q: Which national team do you support (guess I know the answer)?

TB: I support the Netherlands since I’m from there. That can change should Twente ever become independent reuniting with Twente Germany.


  • Q: A little history: It is said that you're one of the founder of the SIFL. Is it true? If so who are the other founding members?

TB: That is correct. Bokke Veltkamp (Netherlands),(top photo back row 3rd from right) Ian Jameson (Northern Ireland), Jan Berges (Belgium) and Brian McCloskey (Ireland) are the other founding members.


  • Q: We all now understand that you're the Gandalf of the SIFL. A little football moment or witticism you'd like to share with us?

TB: Witticism, criticism, bagism and shagism, all we are saaaaaaying, is give peace a chaaaance. John Lennon, Liverpool supporter. Two cannibals are eating a clown, one says to the other “Does this taste funny to you?” Tommy Cooper, Swansea supporter.


  • Q: What do you think of Chinese football in general? What are the problems and what should be done to solve those problems?

TB: Chinese football is improving all the time. It goes hand in hand with the development of China. A lot more football players are needed though. I think what is very important is grassroots development so that it can be made easier for local amateur clubs/leagues to organize themselves. There is a lot of outstanding Chinese talent out there and it’s just a matter of finding, supporting and nurturing them.


  • Q: Any question you would have liked me to ask? What's the answer?

TB: Does the SIFL have any long-term vision? I think that with the number of clubs that are in our league and the number of clubs that wish to be in our league we can think big. What the Rugby Club have done to promote the cause of Rugby we could do as well with football as football is one of the most popular sports in Shanghai and China. With investors on board and in cooperation with the local government we could explore the feasibility of setting up comprehensive SIFL grounds. We can then also cater to teams that do not have time on weekends and wish to compete on weekdays.


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