Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Molenaar: Robert

1997-2000 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)

Central Defender

Born: Zaandam, Holland: 27-02-1969

Debut: v Leicester City (h): 11-01-1997

62 14st 4lb (2003)

#89 in 100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever

Molenaar started his football career in Holland and signed professional for FC Volendam in August 1992. He was always recognized as a solid and wholehearted defender and was well respected in Dutch football. Leeds Manager, George Graham, signed him for 1 million in January 1997 in an effort to plug a leaky Leeds defence. He scored twice in one hundred and twenty-four games while at Volendam. He went straight into the Leeds team and was a regular from joining until the end of the 1996-97 season. The following season, 1997-98, saw his performances decline and he slipped behind David Wetherall and Lucas Radebe as the first choice central defender. He re-established himself in the following season of 1998-99 and was once more the first choice central defender in place of David Wetherall, but a challenge by Nicolas Anelka in a game against Arsenal in December 1998 saw him suffer cruciate ligament damage, as he fell awkwardly. The injury was similar to that suffered by teammate Martin Hiden at Old Trafford only a few weeks earlier, and he was sidelined until 2000, after he had ruptured the ligament for a second time in April 1999. It proved to be his last game for Leeds and as United had Rio Ferdinand, Lucas Radebe, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Duberry and Dominic Matteo as central defenders, Molenaar became surplus to requirements and was sold to Bradford City for 500,000 in December 2000 to help their fight against relegation alongside former teammate David Wetherall. He made his debut for the Bantams on 2nd December 2000 in a 2-1 win over Coventry City at Valley Parade. He stayed until 2003 when his contract was not renewed. At Valley Parade he scored twice in seventy-one League appearances, including one as substitute, and played three times in the FA Cup and three, including a substitute game, in the League Cup without scoring a Cup goal. He returned to Holland with RBC Roosendaal before retiring in the summer of 2007. He scored six goals in sixty-six League starts and three games from the bench with Roosendaal in the top flight. He played his final game in the Eredivisie on 9th April 2006 in a 0-5 defeat at Sparta Rotterdam when he was replaced in the sixty-second minute by Edgar Marcelino Carvalho. He played in the Jupiler League in the 2006-07 season on limited occasions with his final game coming on 3rd November 2006 in a 2-2 draw at FC Emmen. After obtaining the necessary coaching qualifications he became coach of the AZ Alkmaar Under-Nineteen team in June 2011, where he stayed for a year. During his training he had spent time at Bayern Munich and SBV Excelsior and in the 2010-11 season he was an assistant at the latter under Alex Pastoor. He became an Assistant coach under his former mentor from mid-2012, along with former Leeds winger Willem Korsten, but when Pastoor was fired, in August 2013, Molenaar and Korsten left a few days later.

AppearancesGoals
League 47/45
F.A. Cup 51
League Cup 4/10
Europe 40