Our talents at Oranje: U17

For the second time in 2 years, the Under17s won the European cup. Something the big boys can learn from. Success coach Albert Stuivenberg: “It’s great to see that both individually and as a team we are consistent and we can bring talent to the point where we can actually win trophies. Once, it might be a one-off, but doing it twice means something.”

Stuivenberg: “And it’s about experience, isn’t it. Experience in playing big games and gaining experience in winning. In how that feels. Any prospect that reaches the big Oranje can resort back to this experience and bring that along. That is the added value. And clubs benefit too. Quite a percentage of my lads have already played in the first teams of their clubs. This might be partly due to the financial stress some clubs have, but also because these players are almost ready for that. Seedorf, Vanenburg, Kieft, Robben, Van der Vaart, Van Persie, they all made their debuts around this age…”

In this campaign, Stuivenberg found that the quality of the smaller nations is increasing. “The difference in quality and playing level is diminishing. Countries like Slovenia and Poland play really strong football. They may lack the huge talents, but their team tactics are really good. Some nations compensate their lack of class with intense team practice and these nations almost play like club teams. So consistent and with lots of cohesion.”

Holland played Georgia in the semi finals. A strong and tough team, that defeated Spain and England in the group. “We played most of the game with one man more, but still have difficulties breaking them down. We played in a too low pace. Sometimes, when the other team gets red-carded early, complacency sinks in to the team. As if it’s easy to beat ten men. Experience learns it is not.”

Coach Albert Stuivenberg

Nathan Ake, the ex-Feyenoord midfielder in Chelsea service and PSV striker Rai Vloet had the best of the game and most chances but it was PSV defender Hendrix who found the net in the last quarter of the game. When Georgia tried to break for the equaliser, Oranje got more space and Feyenoord midfielder Trindade de Vilhena offered Thom Haye the deciding goal.

Oranje U17 would play the finals against Germany again, a repeat of the 2011 game, which Holland won 5-2.

The finals ended in a draw this time, but Oranje was better in taking spot kicks. The Germans did leave the initiative to Holland in the first part of the game, playing more old-fashioned counter football.

In a tense game most opportunities were shots from distance. Germany took more initiative in the second half and scored with a header from a corner in within 5 minutes: 0-1.

Germany got the better chances and Holland was a bit shaken after this German goal. It took the Dutch a while to get back into the game. Holland pressed and pushed but it took a lucky cross in from Haye to enable sub Acolatse to score in the dying minutes of the game. Goalie Nick Olij was the Dutch hero in the penalty series. He stopped the fourth German penalty and Tonny Trindade de Vilhena scored the winning goal.

After the finals, Albert Steuivenberg said the late goal was not just luck. “We know and knew we had talent but I wanted the boys to fight for their chances too. To stick together and work when things go against you. Against Georgia, we had to already and against the Germans you saw this again. Sure, it was luck but this is luck you sort of generate yourself by believing in it. And this late goal was a tremendous boost for us in the penalty series, just like Germany will have had trouble processing the late equaliser.”

Tonny Trindade de Vilhena and Nathan Ake

Stuivenberg is seriously impressed with his squad. “As I said, some of these guys have made their debut in the Eredivisie and with Feyenoord on the way up, AZ doing really well and also Heerenveen and Vitesse doing great the future of Dutch football is rosy.”

Ajax and PSV are the main suppliers in this age group.

“It’s interesting to see that clubs in England, Spain and Italy are already scouting these lads. It’s a good confirmation for them, but not necessarily a good thing to follow up on… But Ake has a good contract for instance, at Chelsea, and he will train with the A-team and what not… It’s hard for these lads to resist that…”

Both Ajax and PSV have four players in the squad, with Heerenveen/Emmen three.

Elton Acolatse, Djavan Anderson, Branco van den Boomen and Queensy Menig (all Ajax), Thom Haye and Nick Olij (both AZ), Nathan Aké (Chelsea), Tonny Trindade de Vilhena (Feyenoord/Excelsior), Sandy Walsh (RC Genk), Pascal Huser, Wouter Marinus and Joris Voest (all sc Heerenveen/Emmen), Riechedly Bazoer, Jorrit Hendrix, Rai Vloet ,Bram van Vlerken (all PSV), Mike Havekotte (FC Utrecht) and Jeroen Lumu (Willem II/ RKC).

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  1. Thanks for the post. This players will want to repeat it with the big Oranje:)

    And what do you guys think about Kluivert as LVG’s assistant?.

  2. Of this crop I like some players, although last year’s winning team was better probably. Trindade de Vilhena was a bit complacent at times, he played much better last year’s euro u17 championships. Nathan Ake was Netherlands best player, he’s got really great coordination in shooting and hangs on the ball very well. Acolatse was very vivid and should have played much more, I think he is great (seen him in Aegon future cup). Queensy Menig has a nice dribbling but has to be more imposing. I liked Haye, very Van Bommel like, but faster, and also Hendrix, centre back which started practically every action. I thought some played very bad, Vloet missed ball control, Lumu had a few decent long range shots but was very average (compared to what I had heard about him), the right and left full backs weren’t very convincing going forward, but defended quite well.
    Trindade de Vilhena, Nathan Ake will be world class, Acolatse also has the potential.

  3. Not sure if anyone mentioned it
    Feyenoord gets Dynamo Kiev for 3rd qualification round of CL
    This match-up is particular crucial as Netherlands and ukraine are close in coefficient. If Feyenoord knocks them out that will be a huge advantage.
    More importantly, Ajax could well sneak into pot 2 in group stage if Kiev is out(must also hope for exit of Braga)

  4. Tough draw for Feyenoord compared to other teams they could have faced. Vlaar might be leaving to Aston Villa soon. I hope he stays at least until they play these two games against Dynamo Kyiv. Since Aston Villa isn’t in any European competition, it will not matter if he’s cup-tied. Not sure how that works with the Europa league.

  5. I am very happy to see Kluivert appointed as Louis Van Gaal assistant. It seems LVG wants to build a team with strong personalities and by bringing along Blind and Kluivert he can control some egos.

    Kluivert was a party animal at some point but now seems very focused in becoming a top coach. With LVG and his two assistants that are very respected ex internationals, you can bet Van Gaal will have things in control and the player that wants to mess things up will be sent home inmediately. I like this new mix…Wanna see first team selection though.

    1. Apparently Pat is doing really well as a coach. I remember Raf van der Vaart speaking highly of Kluivert too. He might have been a bit of a rascal on the pitch but he might well be a tactical wizard… Who knows.

  6. Kluivert:) NICE. Amazing striker, too bad he focused more on his modeling career than footy on the last years but still. Immense experience, been there, done it all. I like having him around the team. Good stuff.

  7. Ajax dismantled Celtic 4-0 with 16 players out of 20 from the youth and an average age of less than 20. Remarkable and the way to go. We were missing Janssen, Eriksen, Suleimani, Boilesen and Boerrigter. The announcers were full of praise for De Boer. Very promising.

  8. Kluivert was a good but not a great player. He was so promising with Ajax and went downward after moving away from Ajax. He had the habit of missing countless opportunities but also scoring some spectacular goals. He was a joke at Milan. I haven’t heard his name in so many years and I am not sure what value LVG sees in him. Danny Blind was a leader, so was De Boer and Cocu but Kluivert never seemed as such therefore I am not reallu excited about him in the national team.

  9. People must understand that who is kluivert,he was/is class,had heart,honest,heavy footballing intelligence,very quick think footballer,had very good speed at his playing time considering his height,was master in headers etc etc.faced lots of racism issues.and media was always hunting him for an accident.Many dutch people were cruel to

  10. About to head to the Chelsea-PSG game at Yankee Stadium, i am wearing my RVP NT jersey, and my fiance is wearing the Robben NT jersey. Lets see what happens!

  11. So got back from the game, was good match! PSG looked good. I got a lot of RVP comments and a few holland ones as well, all respectful though

    1. I thought PSG totally dominated first half. Or maybe Chelsea wasn’t trying as hard. I didn’t see anyone wearing orange now that I think about it:P

  12. Hoffenheim’s coach wants Babel out!.

    Maybe it’s time for him to start focusing on his career…he is a great talent but it seems he likes rapping more than footbal.

    1. Start focusing on his career now?!?!?!?! What the heck?! Babel is done with soccer, nobody will touch him. If he can’t play at Hoffenheim where else can he play? His head is in the wrong place.

  13. Watched PSV play Bilbao and Benfica over the weekend. Van Bommel looked like he’ll be a big asset to that team. Narsingh was often able to slip behind the defense on long passes, but didn’t do much once he got the ball, and neither he nor Depay had much luck taking on the defenders right in front of them. Lens looked sharp; Wijnaldum looked dangerous and lively (he was playing behind the central striker). Willems went off injured in the first match against Bilbao. Anyone heard anything about his injury?

    You can see that Eindhoven has the makings of a strong team. Lots of speedy, skilled players up front. Lens, Depay, Mertens, Narsingh, Wijnaldum, with MVB and Strootman playing behind them…My guess is that ijnaldum could have a breakout year playing centrally.

  14. Nice goal by Emanuelson .
    I think he will be very important with van Gaal .
    He can be great left side mid for Oranje in 343 formation .

    ____ strootman ____
    Afellay ______ Emanuelson
    _______ sneijder_______

    Robben __ Persie ___ Elia

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