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The man who helped put Tyrell Malacia on his way to becoming a Premier League star.

(Alamy) Andy Robertson is challenged by Tyrell Malacia. Kroon first met Malacia during the 2020 lockdown. Jordan Kroon, Malacia’s good friend and personal trainer, spoke exclusively to UtdDistrict. “Tyrell began working with me during corona season. He enjoys pushing his clients to their limits, having worked with high performance athletes in sports such as football, judo, and kickboxing. Manchester United announced the signing of Tyrell Malacia, a relatively unknown left-back, earlier this summer. Malacia has grown by leaps and bounds in such a short period of time, and Kroon has been a huge help. The season had ended in Holland, and I believe it had ended in England, but we were done. With Kroon and Malacia now separated due to the transfer of the full-back, the two are communicating more frequently via WhatsApp today. Malacia moved from Rotterdam to Manchester because the 23-year-old felt it was time to test himself in the Premier League, leaving Feyenoord, where he had been since the age of nine. They hadn’t played in four months, so he was looking for something to help him develop his skill set, strength, conditioning, and mental game,” Kroon explained. Since their first collaboration, the pair haven’t looked back and speak on a daily basis, with Malacia being put through his paces on a regular basis during pre-season while United’s No.12 was still in the Netherlands. What could possibly be better? “I’m sending him his programs, and we have daily contact,” Kroon explained. What was enjoyable? Every day, at the end of the day, we assess how the training went. “What can be created?” “At the time, he was Feyenoord’s third left back, so he wasn’t playing at all, so he needed to develop his game, and that was the main reason he started working with me,” he explained. He’s just doing his thing over there, and he’s the type of kid who is always striving to improve and take the next step. He is always working more hours than the manager has requested.” Malacia, who was expected to join French club Lyon at first, made a surprise U-turn at the last minute, joining United for a fee of around £12 million. Kroon owns the House of Champions gym in Rotterdam, which his father founded long before the 25-year-old was born in 1983. That is a good thing.” He usually calls me at the end of the day and films the dressing room, but everyone has already left. “Most of the time, he’s the last player on the Manchester United training field and in the dressing room who’s leaving,” he said. Malacia has seemingly dethroned first-choice left-back Luke Shaw for the position since arriving at Old Trafford, and Kroon attributes this to the number of hours Malacia puts in at the training ground. Where can I improve my performance? He’s not into social media. He is very interested in many things, including reading books and self-development. What am I going to do tomorrow? He is very into himself, so you won’t see him in many restaurants, and you won’t see him in a club or anything like that.” Malacia is frequently seen on United’s social media channels carrying himself with a smile on his face, demonstrating how much he enjoys what he does. When asked to describe Malacia, Kroon said, “He is really not the football player that most football players think they are.” So, a very serious guy who is always striving for better results.” When is the next training session?’ He is a guy who is very focused, who looks forward to every game, who wants to improve his game, and who is always asking himself, ‘How can I become better?’ When discussing the Dutch international, Kroon frequently uses the word development. He was too weak, but also far too hungry.” Standing at only 5 feet 6 inches, Kroon has worked hard with Malacia on her strength. Tyrell Malacia made his Manchester United unofficial debut against Liverpool in Bangkok. So he had a lot of big problems, such as [giving away] penalties, so we also needed to improve his mental game so he wasn’t too hungry, but aggressive enough to win his 1-on-1 games.” “We are really focusing on his explosive moves and, of course, his conditioning to keep him really explosive and strong to get his mental game very strong because I think of his [first] Feyenoord period,” he said. In the Premier League, however, it is every game. You could see that he could destroy an opponent of that level, so I knew he was capable of this from the start. You must do this twice a week. The former Feyenoord man had his best game in a red shirt against Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in a 2-1 victory for United at Old Trafford. However, it was a game much earlier in Malacia’s career that convinced Kroon that he has what it takes to play at the highest level. It was a significant change for us. Malacia had another strong statistical performance last weekend against Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka. “I think the games of the Dutch squad, when he played against Germany, and also the big games in the Conference League, like the final and semi-final, you could see that he has a real lot of quality,” he recalls. “You can see with all the fans and all the audience that every game, the stadium goes crazy about every tackle.” Kroon, a friend, said he is “really proud” of Manchester United and believes it is the biggest club in the world. Malacia has certainly improved on winning his own personal duals in just over four years. I knew he was going to do well from the start because he is so hungry and focused on becoming a starter.” Despite the fact that Kroon has yet to visit Old Trafford, he was present when Malacia signed his contract at Carrington earlier this summer. In the game against Germany, a good example is against Sane. He is now demonstrating his ability to do so.” “You feel everything that it’s a real big club,” Kroon said of his experience at the United training ground. A fantastic environment in which to grow as a bigger and better player. It was a very nice gesture.” It was a great experience to see how a big club like Manchester United works with a player, how the medicals go, and how everything goes. I’m so proud of myself every time I watch a game. Malacia has been a Red for about two months, but Kroon still finds it difficult to believe his good friend is playing for such a big club. “It’s really crazy,” he said. He’s just keeping his cool and going about his business as if it’s any other day at the office. It’s incredible to see him walk out at Old Trafford.” Something I still can’t believe is that he’s in the same dressing room as Cristiano Ronaldo, or any of the other big players at a big club. Orkun Kokcu, a Feyenoord midfielder, frequently collaborates with Kroon, as do several of the Turkish international’s club teammates. Kroon has also worked with Stefan de Vrij, one of Europe’s best center-backs. Malacia is one of several high-profile athletes with whom Kroon collaborates. Kroon, who has worked with former Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar, NBA champion Francisco Elson, and European Muay Thai champion Gokhan Saki, said, “The list can go on.”

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