Hi guys, apologies for the silence. I had to travel for a bit and had some busy times… As you can see, the title of the post is one we used and seen before. And the big lesson is: there is always hope for a better future. Yes, we will miss this World Cup, but I am convinced we will come back stronger than ever. And I mean this literally. We’ll win the World Cup in the next 12 years, mark my words.
And we’re on the up and up with Dutch football, I’d say. With Wijnaldum, Strootman, Robben and Van Dijk still in the mix in the CL and sadly less of that in the Europa League. Well, maybe Ajax or PSV or Feyenoord can do it next season (unless AZ wins the Cup Final next week, brrrr).
I’ve been enjoying all your posts about all the talent out there and very appreciative of the updates on the youngsters abroad whom I can’t follow that well. Keep it up!
Also, with all this comes great responsibility!! The blog annual expenses are coming up (hosting, templates, etc) and some help will be tremendously appreciated. The paypal button is on the front page for you to enjoy ;-).
Anyway, let’s get into it.
The Eredivisie’s average age is getting lower and with Koeman now fitting in some talent into the NT (Til, Kluivert, Frenkie de Jong) it has its effect on the different Oranje youth teams. Some of the youngsters do have experience in the Eredivisie of course, players like Kik Pierie, Deroy Duarte, Tom van der Looi for instance, while Perr Schuurs and Kadioglu play regularly a level down in the Jupiler League. Both their clubs, Fortuna and NEC are battling for promotion, by the way.
The younger the Eredivisie clubs get, the more experienced our under 19s (for instance) will be. This trend won’t stop anytime yet. And it might well be that this trend will keep young talent in Holland instead of them moving to Man City or Chelsea where it will be rare for a homegrown player to make it into the first team.
Things are moving fast. Matthijs de Ligt could still play for the Under 19s but the Ajax centre back is already a fixed asset for the NT and even carries the skipper band for Ajax 1. It goes fast with the young lad.
The rep teams of Oranje do suffer a bit from this too. It’s quite likely that players who are key in their Eredivisie teams will not be made available for the Under 19s or other rep teams if the planning collides with the Eredivisie clubs’ season preparation. Another remarkable thing, is that PSV suddenly becomes the main supplier of young talent. Ajax, AZ and Feyenoord have the name and reputation but the PSV youth is incredibly strong at the moment. Partly because Ajax and AZ have just moved a number of talents up to the A squad, but still. Ajax also tends to find more talent abroad. So their youth teams are impressive, but the Oranje teams won’t benefit from that. And then there’s the players who are under the radar still, like Nathan Markelo. He played for FC Volendam and made the move to Everton, where he impresses on a weekly basis in their Under 23 team.
Kik Pierie is a central defender of SC Heerenveen, who has the most Eredivisie experience. He got his starting berth early this season and is not giving up that spot. He enjoys playing for the rep teams. He played the Euros for Under 17 already. “It was a unique experience, as you are up against the Ozils and Iniestas of tomorrow.” Pierie knows the top clubs in the EPL are following his moves. “I heard it and it’s nice to hear and all that, but I’m not really concerning myself with it all. When something becomes serious, I’ll hear it in more detail. Otherwise, I’m focusing on playing my games.”
Delano Ladan entered the youth academy at ADO Den Haag in 2013 and has great promise as a striker. He made his debut this season.
Ajax – Carel Eiting – midfielder
Marcel Keizer allowed Eiting his debut this season but he’s not really a new face. Peter Bosz added the youngster to the first squad and he warmed the bench last season already. He made the move to Ajax in 2007 and the left footed midfielder is a typical deep lying playmaker with a lot of composure on the ball.
Ajax – Noussair Mazraoui – midfielder
Noussair is another player who owes Keizer gratitude. The youngster played without a contract at Ajax but Keizer made sure Ajax signed him up. He started as a defender but has been transformed to a multi-functional midfielder. Erik ten Hag is also a fan. Mazraoui is capable of playing everywhere, really. Defender, winger, midfielder. Morocco is on the prowl though, for this kid.
Dani de Wit is a genuine Ajax talent. He completed Ajax 2 midfield with Nouri and Eiting two seasons ago. With Dani de Wit in the Donny van de Beek role, box to box. De Wit can score goals and tackle.
Teun Koopmeiners is a kid of the club. The left footed midfielder (pretty two footed though) has everything a midfielder needs: legs, vision and a tremendous left foot. The Italian Gazzetta dello Sport picked up on him and mentioned him in their Talent list. His younger brother Peer plays in AZ Under 19.
AZ – Ferdy Druijf – Forward
Ferdy Druijf is a pysically strong striker, a killer in the box and an eye for his team mates.
Remarkable story… He escaped the violence in Guinee when he was 5 years old, with his older brother. He landed at a guest house in Dordrecht and started to focus on football. Via FC Dordrecht he was invited to play for Feyenoord. He’s a hot and cold winger, and made his debut already but faced some injury setbacks. He is the youngest debutant except for one Gini Wijaldum who was 2 months younger at his debut.
Tyrell Malacia made his debut for Feyenoord in the Champions League vs Napoli and got a string of games in a row. He’s a modern left full back: fast, defensively ruthless and with a good cross. He was born and raised in the shadows of De Kuip in South Rotterdam.
A famous football name in Rotterdam. His great-uncle Leen Vente scored the first goal in De Kuip in 1937 and 80 years later goal machine Dylan made his debut in the Feyenoord 1 team. He’s an allrounder, he’s not tall but is a good header of the ball. He’s not super fast, but he is smart fast. He’s got technique, a nose for the space and a goal scoring instinct. He too made his debut in the CL, vs Man City. In his debut in the Eredivisie he scored, and he scored with a goal that was almost 100% similar to the goal his great-uncle scored that made him famous.
Justin is also part of a real Feyenoord family and will be Feyenoord’s first goalie soon. He’s a tremendous line goalie with amazing reflexes.
Reis is the revelation of FC Groningen in an attacking midfield role. Reis is the son of Slovakian parents, but feels Dutch: “I live in Holland, I am Dutch and I want to play for Holland.” Reis is currently injured.
Tom van de Looi was a bench warmer for Groningen at the start of the season. When Groningen received 600k euros for the Van Dijk transfer to Liverpool, they didn’t spend it on a new midfielder: we have Tom. The son of coach Erwin van de Looi plays defensive mid and never gave up his spot after making his debut (against Willem II, coached by his dad).
Kik Pierie was born in Boston, MA. Dad studied at Harvard back then. Kik and his two younger brothers Stijn and Take also play for Heerenveen. He made his debut at 16 and was lauded for his passing, his reading of the game and his mature mentality. He’s on the radar of several top clubs in Europe and might leave Heerenveen this summer.
When assistant coach Arne Slot went from Zwolle to AZ, he almost immediately took Reijders with him. Tijjani made his debut for Zwolle in the Eredivisie but is currently part of Young AZ.
Kenneth Paal was developed at NEC and became one of Holland’s most talented central midfielders. In 2010 he made the move to PSV. He has played some games as left back for PSV’s first team, which wasn’t a tremendous success, but Cocu needed him there as PSV lacked a good option. Next season Paal will be able to focus on his fave spot in midfield.
Gakpo plays for PSV since his 6th birthday and finally made his debut 10 years later. A typical left winger…
Deroy Duarte made his debut this season under Alex Pastoor. He caught the eye of many supporters and analysts. He’s a typical attacking midfielder with a gift to find the gaps and holes to pop up. He’s got a strong right foot. After Van Drongelen and Dumfries, it seems he was the next to make a step up, but with Advocaat entering the fray and Sparta playing relegation football, Duarte lost his spot in the team. He got injured and with Advocaat using experience over talent, he has to be patient.
Buitink is a shrewd number nine who always scores. He’s already high on the scouting lists of many clubs in Europe.