Dutchman Jean-Paul van Gastel has opened up on his decision to turn down the chance to join Gio van Bronckhorst at Rangers and admits it was a “really hard choice” to turn down the Gers.
Van Gastel was widely expected to arrive alongside van Bronckhorst having previously assisted Gio but decided to remain in China instead.
When he heard of the offer from Rangers, van Gastel admits it was a ‘nice opportunity’ but wanted to stay in China having just become a head coach in his own right.
“Gio called me to see if I was interested in assisting him in the Rangers job. For me, it was a case of, ‘Wow’. The thought of working with Gio in Glasgow, at such a big, famous UK club, was a nice opportunity,” van Gastel said [Daily Record].
“But then I had to make a choice. I was dealing with my first year of being a head coach myself. So I had to think about what I was going to do. It was a tough decision but I chose to stay in China for a few different reasons.
“The offer Gio made really triggered me. So it was difficult, a really hard choice for me to make at that time. Obviously, we are still in touch. We’ve known each other for so long. So we’re texting all the time.
“I watch the Rangers games here in China. Because of the time difference, I go to the Irish pub in Guangzhou. I sit down with all kinds of British people from Scotland, England and Ireland – I don’t know where they all come from! One will be wearing a Celtic jersey, the other a Rangers jersey. I watch the games in the pub with them.”
Gio seems to have coped fine without usual right-hand man at Rangers
While van Bronckhorst has had to cope without his usual sidekick with him, the Dutchman has coped fine without him.
His time at Rangers has seen him take the Gers to a European final already and the signs are promising ahead of the new season.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the pair are reunited in the future; with van Gastel admitting it is likely, adding: “Do I think we will work together again in the future? Oh for sure.
“We’ve been together for a long time and we keep in touch. Without speaking, we know from each other what we have to do.
“I think for sure there will be a time in the future where we will work together again.”