In January 2010, former outfielder Mireille Gill'ard (pronounce key-YAR) (who celebrates her birthday on January 29) is named as the fifth Flex Coach to complete this coaching staff of Head Coach Craig Montvidas.
In October 2009, Nathalie Franssen, Sandra Gouverneur, Marjan Smit and Maaike Zijlstra already were named.
The Flex Coaches, with 'flex' standing for 'flexible', were assigned to several coach-duties for the national youth teams, but also assisted Head Coach Craig Montvidas with the National Softball Team.
The four original Flex Coaches were introduced during a meeting with the 27 players on the preliminary roster of the Dutch Junior Softball Team on November 8, 2009.
Mireille was introduced during a meeting with the 22 players on the preliminary roster of the Dutch Junior Team White, which include players from the Cadets-category, on January 24, 2010.
With her naming as Flex Coach, Mireille returns to the coaching staff of the Dutch National Junior Team, having been a member of that staff in 2004-2005.
In October 2010, Mireille is named Head Coach of the Dutch Junior Red Team for the 2011 season.
In June 2011, Mireille is part of the coachingstaff of the Dutch National Softball Team during an international tournament in Bollate (Italy).|
Mireille started playing softball when she was 15 years old.
Mireille: ,,My girlfriend and I wanted to play a sport together.
I liked gymnastics and she likes horseriding, that's a difficult combination.
We then tried waterpolo, but not a real good swimmer.
As we both liked playing softball at school, we started to play that.''
Mireille started playing softball at Saints (the former club St. Lodewijk) in Rotterdam.
From there, Mireille went on to play for 17 seasons in the Dutch Major League, playing for four different teams: Schiedam (1988-1991), Twins (1992-1997), Zwijndrecht (1999-2003) and Birds (2004).
While playing for Twins, Mireille played for current Head Coach Craig Montvidas, who led this team from 1990-1994.
With Twins, Mireille participated in four European Cup-tournaments.
It was in her first season playing for Twins (1991) that Mireille was selected for the Dutch National Softball Team.
In that year, she participated with the national squad, which was then led by Head Coach George Presburg, in the Haarlem Softball Week, which was won by the Dutch squad, being the only time that the Dutch won this international invitation tournament in the Netherlands.
On July 21, during the Softball Week, Mireille makes her debut in the game against Italy.
While playing for the Dutch Team in 1991 and during her stay at Twins, Mireille was a teammate of Luciène Geels, who became the wife of Head Coach Craig Montvidas.
While playing for Twins and Zwijndrecht, one of her teammates was Marjan Smit, one of the other Flex Coaches.
Also with the Dutch Team in 1991 was Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, who at that time was the administrator and dug-out scorer of the National Team.
After retiring as a player after the 2004 season, Mireille concentrated on coaching.
In 2006, Mireille became the Head Coach of Birds in the Dutch Softball Major League, but already had coaching experience before that.
In 2004, she was one of the coaches of the Dutch National Junior Softball Team which then participated in the European Championships in France, capturing the title.
A year later, she traveled with the national youth team to Curacao for the bi-annual Kingdom Games.
In that year, the Juniors were led by Mary-Ann Hatt, who also went on to become a coach of the Dutch National Team.
When coaching the Juniors, the rosters back then included Virginie Anneveld, Anne Blaauwgeers, Maaike Blaauwgeers, Kim Donkers, Lotte Holvast, Merel Oosterveld, Areke Spel, Nathalie Timmermans, Karin Tuk, Fabienne van Uden, Chantal Versluis and Meike Witteveen, who currently are all (of have been part of) the roster for the Dutch National Softball Team.
Mireille lists Michael Caine and Hugh Grant as her favorite actors and Michelle Pfeiffer and Sandra Bullock as her favorite actresses.
What music is concerned, Mireille likes almost all kinds, but her favorite is the American rockband Counting Crows.
She likes all kinds of food, but ''I very much like French beans and sushi''.
Mireille names Dutch author Annie M.G. Schmidt, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendelejev and African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. as the three persons she would love to have a dinner with.
Mireille lives together with Frank Zaal (who played baseball in the Dutch big league for Kinheim and Amsterdam Pirates) and they have three children: daugter Noa (4 years), son Roan (2 years) and daughter Maja-Yann, who was born on November 20, 2010.
In 2012, Frank makes his debut as softball-coach in the Dutch big league, as he is the Assistant Coach of Daisy de Peinder at Twins.
2012 --- In the weekend of January 13-15, Mireille serves as Head Coach of Team Red, one of the two squads of the Dutch Junior Red Softball Team that participates in the International Indoor Cup in Schiedam (Netherlands).
During the tournament, she is assisted by Bianca Hageraats.
On Day 2 of the event, she is not able to be with the team and her position is filled in by Marjan Smit ---
In the weekend of February 11-12, Mireille is the Head Coach of Team Blue, one of the five combination squads of the Dutch Junior Red and White Teams that participates in the 3rd Donnay/Right To Play Future Stars Tournament in Amsterdam; she is assisted by Maaike Zijlstra.
2011 --- In the weekend of February 12-13, Mireille is the Head Coach of Team Blue, one of the four squads of the Dutch Junior White Team that participates in the Right To Play Future Stars Tournament in Amsterdam and wins the event ---
In June, Mireille participates with the Dutch National Team as Assistant Coach in the Torneo 150 Anni Unitá d'Italia in Bollate (Italy) and therefore is a member of the team's staff when it plays the 100th game in history against Italy on June 2 ---
For Mireille, this is her first international game as coach with the Dutch National Team.
2010 --- In January, Mireille becomes the fifth so-called Flex Coach for the Dutch National Softball Teams; She is introduced on January 24 ---
In February, Mireille heads Team Red (Dutch Juniors), which finishes in third place in the Right To Play Future Stars Tournament in Amsterdam ---
In October, Mireille is named Head Coach of the Dutch Junior Red Team for 2011.
2006 --- This year, Mireille makes her debut as Head Coach of Birds in the Dutch Softball Major League.
2005 --- Mireille again is part of the coachingstaff of the Dutch Junior Softball Team, which this year participates in the Kingdom Games, the bi-annual multi-sport event for young athletes from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
2004 --- In her first season with Birds, and her last in the big league, Mireille plays in 21 games and hits .234 ---
This year, Mireille also is one of the coaches of the Dutch Junior Softball Team, which wins the European title in France.
2003 --- Playing in 18 games for Zwijndrecht, Mireille this season hits .446 with 25 basehits and scores 15 runs.
2002 --- Mireille has a fine season playing for Zwijndrecht, finishing with a .282 batting average, 29 basehits and 16 runs scored.
1999 --- After not having played on the highest level in 1998, Mireille returns to the big league, playing for Zwijndrecht, where she hits .232 with 23 basehits.
1997 --- In her last season with Twins, Mireille appears in 29 games ---
With Twins, she also participates in the Cup Winners Cup Tournament in Oosterhout, the home site of Twins.
1996 --- Mireille hits .261, her highest average while playing for Twins. This season, she hits 24 basehits, including a homerun and scores 12 runs.
1995 --- For the third year in a row, Mireille participates with Twins in a European event, this time in the Belgian city of Antwerp.
1994 --- This year, Mireille participates with Twins in the European Cup Winners Cup Tournament in Livorno (Italy).
1993 --- Playing for Twins, Mireille participates in her first European Cup Tournament, traveling to Nice in France.
1991 --- In her first season playing for Twins, Mireille hits .238, has 20 basehits and scores 12 runs ---
In July of this year, Mireille makes her debut in the Dutch National Softball Team and participates in the Haarlem Softball Week.
1990 --- This year, Mireille plays in her last season for Schiedam and collects 21 basehits.
1989 --- In her second big league-season, Mireille increases her batting average to .208, registers 20 basehits and 10 runs batted in.
1988 --- Playing for Schiedam, Mireille makes her debut in the Dutch Major League, playing in 44 games. In her first big league-season, she hits 18 basehits and finish with a .145 batting average.