March 17, 2015

AMSTERDAM (AP) Dutch soccer club AZ Alkmaar says it has hired the Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane as an adviser.

Alkmaar says in a statement on its website that Beane will provide advice ''in the areas of high performance and innovation'', with the aim of closing the gap on big-spending clubs in the Dutch league.

Alkmaar's general director is Robert Eenhoorn, who played for the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels in the 1990s.

Eenhoorn says ''I have known Billy for a while, because of my history in baseball'' and that when Alkmaar approached Beane ''he was immediately enthusiastic.''

Beane says that despite Alkmaar ''being a great football club ... they face many of the challenges we have with the Oakland A's.''

Alkmaar is 25 miles north of Amsterdam.

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