Tag: Gio

This Blog: the Future

My friends, Happy New Year, first and foremost. I started this blog back in 2004 when I was completely devoid of any Euro 2004 coverage in Australia and I had to have people in Holland tape the games and send it via snail mail to me, allowing me to watch the games “live” one week after the fact!

And all this time, trying to keep my ears and eyes closed for any news articles or coverage while awaiting that tape.

I started to get involved in the predecessor of this blog before I was forced basically to take the blog under my wing when the original blogmasters decided to stop their national team platform.

We’ve seen ups and downs, wins and losses. From the blood bath in Nuremberg in 2006 to the rollercoaster ride of 2008’s Euros. The amazing run to the finals in 2010 and heart break in 2012. The return of LVG in 2014 followed by too many years in the desert with a series of coaches, from Hiddink and Blind, via Grim and Lodeweges to Koeman, De Boer and Van Gaal again.

We saw Sneijder come into the fold and retiring from football. We criticised Kuyt, Blind and Howard Webb. We adored Gio’s wonder strike and were in awe of Stekelenburg’s save on Kaka’s attempt. The Casillas toe, the Van Persie own goal, the madness of Van Gaal’s antics in this past World Cup and the ongoing debates about players, systems, line ups and the Blind family.

It’s been 18 years. Time to move on. I hoped I could say my farewell with a World Cup win but it’s not to be.

I had fun doing it, and I made some great friends. The blog even resulted in a partnership with 3 dear friends, at least…they were dear friends when we started. Some meanderings resulted in a bright commercial idea by one of our Singapore based regular posters and that resulted in a partnership to execute the idea, potentially catapulting the new venture into stratosphere with gazillions of dollars as revenue.

The project failed. The tech wasn’t ready. The founder decided to make some silly mistakes with the money, the investors got antsy and lost patience and it all went to shite quite fast.

One of the partners died while watching an Oranje match (no joke) while the other three (me included) never spoke again.

There were amazing loyal and supportive and generous posters here. I won’t name their names, but a few of you were always happy to support me financially and I thank you all for this!! (You know who you are).

One of the many results that came out of this blog. We laughed, we cried, we debated and argued and we celebrated.

This blog is up for grabs. Whoever wants to pick it up and run with it: let me know. Send me something in the comments and I’ll reach out. I’m not selling it. It’s for the guy/gal with the best ideas, plans to move this forward.

I have not done many things. I never wanted ads (the money they pay is lousy and I feel it ruins the experience). But I also wasn’t able to bring daily news updates, videos, funny highlights, or whatever. I focused mainly on the Dutch NT and less and less on clubs. My video library was literally non existed on the site and I failed to engage you all with polls, quizes or other interactive stuff.

I hope the next blog master will be happy to do more with it.

If you’re interested in taking the mantle, let me know and we’ll work something out.

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New Season: Feyenoord

We covered Ajax and PSV, time to look at the number 3 of the Top 3 and the winner of the JC Shield: Feyenoord! Five trophies in four seasons is not bad, not bad at all.

The changes this summer were not too bad (knock on wood, transfer period isn’t over yet…). But Jorgensen didn’t get away, Vilhena didn’t get away and despite the interest for Berghuis (Germany) and Van Beek (Turkey), the only players who left are El Ahmadi (free transfer) and Bilal to Turkey for €1,000,000. Very late in the game, Brad Jones got a deal to go to the sand pit and the Australian goalie saw the writing by Bijlow on the wall – who played an amazing pre-season – and decided to prop up his pension fund by taking his exit.

So, with Robin van Persie staying on and homeboy Jordy Clasie returning on a loan deal Feyenoord looks in decent shape. Yassin Ayoub joined on a free deal from FC Utrecht and South American surprise Sinistera was signed to replace Bilal.

Clasie’s return is a good sign for the fans. The midfielder played a decent season for Club Brugge (“I played almost everything in the second season half… only when the finals came, I was dropped to the bench, without explanation. The coach wanted me to stay another year, but something broke when that happened..”). Clasie returned to Southampton and impressed Mark Hughes in the pre-season. Despite this, Clasie longed for a spell back in Rotterdam. Even a last sms by Hughes didn’t change things.

Clasie: “I want to play. Money doesn’t make you happy. Maybe I’m not a guy to play abroad, who knows. When I don’t play I need my friends and family around me, and when you’re in another country and you aren’t playing…it’s hard. But, having said that, it was magical. Playing in the EPL was a dream, I have great memories but I’m also very happy to be at Feyenoord. We’ll see what pans out.

Feyenoord’s pre-season looked ok, with some good, average and bad games / results. The first test was the match vs PSV for the Johan Cruyff Shield. Feyenoord won. And that win might have thrown some magic dust in the eyes of the fan, as Feyenoord didn’t play too well.

Reaction-football. Low pace, never great in possession and quite lucky not to concede. Although they did get the better chances towards the end of the match.

But goalie Bijlow made the difference and Feyenoord had another trophy.

The real test would be the away game against the orange coloured Trencin, for the Europa League. A game in which Gio van Bronckhorst had to trust his youngster for a result. Haps is injured for a spell already, as is goalie Vermeer. Ayoub is injured, Jorgensen as well, Van Persie wasn’t fit enough and St Juste couldn’t start either, while Vilhena was still suspended.

With these big name players missing, Gio hoped for his young talents to step up to the plate.

And sadly, their 4-0 bashing vs Trencin will dominate this post and the week ahead, as they played a dreadful game. Yes, also Bijlow, Van Beek, Vente and Amrabat… Naive, lacking in energy and leadership… Just shallow and clumsy and lacklustre.

Which will give Gio enough headaches for sure. With Van Persie in the team, or Jorgensen, you’d expect leadership, guidance… a player who can sense the danger. But Clasie, Van Beek, Berghuis and Toornstra weren’t capable of bringing some much needed grit to the team.

At home, next week, it is still possible for Feyenoord to do the heroic. Which would boost everyone sensationally of course. But, the odds aren’t good.

At the same time, it could be a blessing in disguise. With Ajax most likely reaching the CL after doing well away vs Liege (2-2) and PSV in the CL, it seems Feyenoord could benefit from a Europe-less season… One must always hope.

And who knows, with New Zealander Ryan Thomas making a late move from PEC Zwolle to PSV Eindhoven, the competition (Ajax and PSV) is getting stronger, while Feyenoord might still lose some players (Vilhena, Jorgensen, Berghuis, Van Beek).

The main issue I see for Feyenoord is their lack of will, their lack of real desire. The Must-Win mentality that Ajax always had and PSV most definitely will have even more of now Van Bommel is in charge. I fear Feyenoord will have to go for the third place. Ajax and PSV will fight for the title I suppose…

As for the rest: Heerenveen lost some quality but do have a new coach in Adriaanse adept Jan Olde Riekerink (my old school mate) and the signing of Rodney Kongolo, from Man City (former Feyenoord talent).

FC Utrecht will be a contender again, as per usual, as will Vitesse, under Russian coach Sloetsky. I do expect something from FC Groningen this coming season, in all honesty and I hope PEC Zwolle can keep on overachieving.

AZ still has to prove it to the fans, with their two threats up front – Weghorst and Jahanbaksh – gone. The new signings haven’t done it so far for the Alkmaar club but with Stengs on the way back and many great young talents, you can rest assured Van de Brom will have a goodlooking team and will battle for a place up top.

So, your turn guys… What do you think we can expect from this Eredivisie season?

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The New Oranje Coach…

KNVB General Manager Gudde, coach “inbetween jobs” Koeman and Feyenoord TD Martin van Geel

While Feyenoord got the maximum result out of the Champions League (getting on the score-sheet), we will keep our focus on the National Team.

Names. It seems the problem of Oranje will be fixed by yelling out names. “Van Gaal!” “Koeman!” “De Boer!” “Advocaat!”

Luckily, the new board of directors (chaired by Jan Smit) has made it clear. “We won’t start by appointing a coach. We will first introduce the new Technical Director”. And that new role will be key. That man will come up with the strategy for the KNVB in football development and support. And he will appoint the new coach.

As it is supposed to be.

We have had to deal with a KNVB without a technical director for too long and most of our issues are the result of this. Our coaching training, our youth system structure, the scouting and development programs, the selection and guidance of the Oranje coach, you name it. I don’t even count Hans van Breukelen as TD, he was a joke.

Rutten Fred

Fred Rutten

So, people without any real football insights or network just picked the popular name from the hat and basically said: “Play Dutch school football and get us to the tournaments”. That was all.

And these same people then went out and assessed the work of the coach. Bert van Marwijk, Guus Hiddink, they all had to suffer those morons. Danny Blind even had to deal with Hans van Breukelen…

The new general manager, Eric Gudde, has worked extensively in football. He knows club football inside out. He has a network. And he has the experience.

The Technical Director will need to be the man for the long term. This is why I think Van Gaal and Adriaanse will not be the right choice. Yes, if they would have been in their 50s. But Co is 70 years old. Van Gaal is also getting on in life, but for him I have more reasons why I think he’s not the right man. Too dictatorial. No real experience in this role. Tends to look too closely over the shoulders of the coach. Etc etc…

Time for new blood. Time for people with a long-term vision, with knowledge of coaching and player development. Good communication skills. Good management skills.


Jordi Cruyff

There are some excellent options around. Fred Rutten could be the man. He’s heavy on the football content and less charismatic and communicative maybe than other candidates, but he would be perfect for the role. He is highly respected, breathes football, has experience in different roles, hardly has any enemies. A real pro.

Martin van Geel and Marcel Brands are two good candidates as well. Both have a history as player, they have managed the technical affairs of big clubs (AZ, Feyenoord, Ajax, PSV) and have authority.

Jordi Cruyff could be a candidate too. Ex-player, son-of, coaching and management experience. Great network.

I hope it will be one of those. Van Geel and Gudde worked well as a team for Feyenoord for 10+ years. An outsider could be Robert Eenhoorn. He does not have a player background (but he did play for the Dutch baseball team for years) and he’s the man behind the tremendous success of the AZ Alkmaar academy. A good communicator, highly respected and a strong personality.

I hope that, whoever it will be, the new man will include people like Rene Meulensteen and / or Gert jan Verbeek in his team. Meulensteen should take the role as Innovation and Performance Manager (now taken by ex Volleyball coach/icon Peter Blange) and Verbeek could be awesome in coaching training development. Verbeek is always on the bleeding edge of coaching development. But sadly, he went to work for his boyhood dream club FC Twente.


Rene Meulensteen

Once that team is settled and the new direction of our football becomes clear, the new coach will need to be appointed (before March 2018), based on a clear profile description. Not just based on yelling a popular name.

The generation of the 1970s is done. Advocaat, Van Hanegem, Ten Cate, Jol, Adriaanse, Van Gaal… Forget about them. The gap with the current generation is too big. Some are too anal (Van Gaal, Adriaanse), some are too old-fashioned… “Go out there and enjoy yourself”. “No bullshit, just play football!” These are Happelesque and Michelsian statements that won’t cut it today.

The generation of the 1980s did not deliver too many great coaches. Rijkaard and Van Basten are out of the game. Gullit had a hit and mostly miss coaching career. Wouters decided early in his career that he is more an assistant than a head coach. Muhren prefers to be youth coach. Kieft is analyst on tv. Van Tiggelen is assistant coach. Only John van ‘t Schip has progressed his career relatively well. Success at Ajax 2. Less so at Twente. Relatively good with San Marco at Oranje. Successful with Melbourne Heart/City. Less successfull in Mexico. And now successful with PEC Zwolle.Peter Bosz might well the ideal candidate but I can’t see him depart Dortmund and this stage.


John van ‘t Schip

And there’s Ronald and Erwin Koeman, of course. They are the obvious choice for many. I can see that. Experience, the right age group, authority, discipline, huge careers as players, and Ronald worked only recently with some key Oranje players.

However, it would be terribly opportunistic to go and pick the ex Everton coach, just like that. I am all for a proper profile description matched to a job description. And a thorough assessment of the fit.

Maybe there are elements in Koeman’s approach or vision that won’t work with Oranje? Maybe there are better candidates? Maybe the new Technical Director has reasons not to want Koeman? Let’s do it properly.

There definitely is a new emerging generation of coaches. One could call them “laptop coaches”. Who – like Verbeek and Guardiola – use modern tools and techniques and have a fresh tactical outlook on coaching.

Koeman’s transfer summer and resulting season start were not too great and he was responsible… Being a club coach is totally different than being an NT manager so I would definitely tread carefully with appointing Koeman.

The new generation has names like Cocu, Frank de Boer, Gio van Bronckhorst, Erik ten Hag, Alex Pastoor, Fons Groenendijk, Jaap Stam. All these coaches have demonstrated to work well with the current generation of players. Erik ten Hag in particular – protege of Pep Guardiola – has demonstrated to work really well with “difficult characters”. Quincy Promes, Labayad, Haps, many disgruntled players were taken in by Ten Hag and turned around. He confronts them, stimulates them, “reaches” them and like Peter Bosz and Pep has a very thorough tactical approach and vision.


Erik ten Hag

I have never been open to a foreign coach. For obvious reasons… football culture, know-how of Dutch players, language… But these days, I think why not? We have had many foreign NT managers in the past, and nowadays, coaches from Argentina, Germany, Spain and Portugal have taken over our role as go-to innovators. Wagner, Klopp, Conte, Silva, Pochetino, Preud’homme, you can’t say these guys are struggling…

But here’s the problem. For the foreign big names and for the likes of Koeman and Bosz… The KNVB will not pay the fee that coaches get paid in other nations or at clubs. Koeman was on 6 million. Bosz is on 4,5 million. The KNVB will pay 800,000 max per annum for their NT manager. Maybe 1 million tops.

Based on the fact that we need to build for at least 4 years, using the utility talent of Wijnaldum, Blind and Strootman, and allow the young talents to shine, Koeman might well be not the right man for the job. Koeman, like Advocaat, is a result driven short-term thinking coach. I think he is good at club level (not great) but potentially not the man for the national team.

Like Italy did years ago and Germany with Low, maybe we should forget about the big name club coach and appoint a guy who can build. Who can instill a new Dutch football vision into the KNVB and the club academies and inspire a new style NT towards trophies.


Alfons Groenendijk

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Rick Karsdorp: “Me, arrogant? Hmm…maybe…”

Rick Karsdorp burst on the scene. Only 21 years old but already one of the driving forces in Feyenoord’s campaign and on the verge of snapping the RB spot in Oranje. All that, will big European clubs eyeing the development of the former playmaker. He’s one of the rocks Feyenoord leans on and the key question is: how good can he become?

Rick Karsdorp thanks two people in particular for his stellar development. His dad, will always be the first one he mentions and honours. Karsdorp senior raised Rick and his brother alone. Another broken family, working class, in Rotterdam. Dad Karsdorp is a no nonsense working man, mechanic, and dedicated his free time to his sons. Rick wanted to be a football player.

The street smart kid was a decent playmaker in the youth. Played on the #10 position in young Feyenoord and impressed with through passes, dribbles and goals. Being a Feyenoord player in the youth teams living in Rotterdam, a kid can get easily distracted. Karsdorp lived the live of any young teenager and school work suffered. Rick became a problem kid. When Rick was 15 years old, dad intervened. Grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and took him off football, for him to focus on school. He managed to get his high school diploma, but had lost 1,5 years of playing. When his dad told him he was able to return to football, the youngster refused. Karsdorp senior: “I don’t know exactly why. He lived for the sports, but I think he was afraid. Insecure. Afraid to fail. He hadn’t played at level for a long time and he’s a winner, afraid to fail and lose.” Karsdorp turned his back on football and was a bit lost. Until one day, when his old team was playing a friendly, dad took Rick to go and watch. It was a set up. While the team was getting ready, Rick’s dad grabbed Rick’s gear from the car and said: “Get changed, go out there and go and play!”.

Rick did and never looked back


However, getting towards the senior level, it seemed there would not be a lot of opportunity for the playmaker to get into the team on his favorite position. Maybe not good enough? Maybe Feyenoord needed to rely on more experienced players in that role? Feyenoord used to play with a deep sitting central midfielder (Clasie) at that time and used a more penetrative runner on the #10 position (Lex Immers, now Dirk Kuyt). But when Fred Rutten analysed Karsdorp, playing in the B-team, he did see what he liked: mentality, drive, speed, tough in the duels and great in build up.

So he picked Rick as a right back, when the other choices were not able to deliver. And he told Karsdorp: “You might not make it as a playmaker, but as a right back, you can reach the National Team!”. Rick Karsdorp remembers the talk. Vividly. “Man, I was livid. Angry, felt humiliated. That message was like being relegated from being a promising good player to a failure…” Karsdorp debut was dramatic. In a Europa League qualification game, Karsdorp made an error. A howler. The team lost thanks to his mistake. He was shattered. Spent minutes alone in the dressing room crying. Felt humiliated. And was again, ready to leave it all behind.

Rutten: “These are defining moments. I told him. You walk away now, that blunder will have defined your short career. But get up on your feet, climb back on the horse and take the lesson.”

Again, he didn’t look back.


Karsdorp now: “Rutten saw the game well. Not just because of that message to me, in general. Great coach. And he was right. He said: most of the attacks these days start with the full backs. They’re the new playmakers. The typical number 10s are not the ones with time and space anymore. And with my energy, he said, I could boost the team.”

And rightly so. French player Duplan was the assist king of the Eredivisie last season, but Rick Karsdorp was runner up!

Today, he is one of the most photographed Feyenoord players. The tattoos, the hairdo… Rick is popular. When a press photographer aims his long tele lens on the right back, the players snaps at him: “Hey, don’t take pics man, I don’t like it!”

With a big smile he arrives at the table, an hour later: “Did you see the face on that guy, hahaha! He took it serious didn’t he? I was just having a go, he’s allowed to do what he wants. It seems the media like to get pics of me without my hair up in a man-knot, hahaha. I don’t mind, doing your hair everyday takes up sooo much time, hahaha.”

He is considered to be one of Feyenoord’s gems, along with the likes of Vilhena, Kongolo, Hahn and Van Beek. Fred Rutten: “I could see he had it all. He’s a very complete player. I didn’t just tell him he’d be perfect as RB for Feyenoord. I told him he can be one of Europe’s best. If you analyse him, you’ll see he has it all.”

“But… when players break into the team and do well for a spell, the temptations and distractions come… How will he handle that? The money, the attention, the glamour, the girls, the parties….” Jean Paul Boetius used to be one of those gems. Came like a rocket. Impressed week in week out. He once said: “When you just come into the team, you’re invincible. You can handle everything. Every one pats you on the back, wants a pic taken with you, they tell you how awesome you are… But then… when you start to struggle, they’re all gone. That hurts!”


Karsdorp recognises it. He is still in the first stage. His first game for Feyenoord was the disappointment, since then he went up and up. Not yet saw the freefall. Are the temptations an issue for Rick? “I’m still young, and afraid of no one. Boetius is right, that is how the world works, but I have to say…I’m not a target so much. I don’t think there’s people wriggling themselves into my life. I have small inner circle, whom I trust fully. My dad, my brother, my girlfriend. That’s basically it. I don’t live in the city but away from it all. I don’t need to surrounded with distractions.”Another temptation exists too. When you play well for Oranje vs France, with the likes of Martial and Payet, you might return to De Kuip with a different mindset? Maybe too cocky? “Getting too big for your shoes, kindathing? Well, obviously, when you are a starter for Feyenoord and play for Oranje, you do feel different. That’s normal, yes? But even in the academy, I was a player who would ask questions. I’m the guy who’d say “Why?”. I question things. And as a kid, I got a lot of “hey you snotty kid, shut your mouth” and all that. I just needed to know and understand. And the more you play, the more you will bring your personality in it as well. People might think you get arrogant, but I don’t see it like that.”

Talking about the days when his dad took him off football… “It is very strange. I always knew I would be a pro player. That was all I wanted and in all honesty, it’s all I can do. I can’t work with my hands, I have no real skill other than football. I’m not a reader or study person. I can’t sit still… I told my dad: I will be a football player or …. Nothing… I can’t even remember what I did with my time when I was not playing that one year.”

People close to the team do believe he has a whiff of arrogance about him. The hand gestures to coach Van Bronckhorst during the away game vs Zorja. The discussion with the ref after a challenge on him, while being yellow-carded already…

Karsdorp flashes another smile. “Me arrogant? Hmm yes… I do hear that sometimes. And yes, I can see why people think this. I experience the match in an intense way. And now, I’m under the magnifying glass of course. I changed my hairdo and suddenly it became a “thing”. But, as long as my dad and girlfriend don’t tell me off, I’m not worried, hahaha.”

So, how good can Rick Karsdorp get: “I don’t know? The sub top abroad? Who knows… I know I can play better than I do. Better than against France and Belarus. Much much better!”. Another big smile. There is quite some interest from Italy, England and Germany for the right back. Is he ready for a move? “Well,” another wry smile: “I will not go until I lifted the champions shield on De Coolsingel for Feyenoord…”

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Ryan bleeds Orange

Hey my friends, remember I asked you to send me some personal thoughts or anecdotes or memories or simply cool stories about our team, our players, your dreams or whatever?

Ryan Brown is getting to be assistant moderator real soon, after taking very cool pics back in 2008 and now contributing this cool blog post.

I am waiting for you to send me stuff to: netherlandsworldcupblog@gmail.com.

“Hey my name is Ryan Brown on the blog im known as OranjeAussie or Stijnis, here is my story for you about my love for dutch football and the Netherlands in general and why i bleed Oranje, I hope you enjoy.

This is the only disappointment about this bloke: he’s an Ajax fan 🙁

To get started, of why i have such a love for The Netherlands and Bleed Oranje is that my Mother is Dutch, born in Amsterdam and moved to Australia when she was around 10 with her family. Stijnis is my mums family name, my mums name is Mieke (very dutch) so thats where it all starts.

i was born in 1984 i grew up with a strong Dutch up bringing as my mums Aunties and Uncle’s all decided to move here and we where part of small Dutch community in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne mainly Brighton and Hampton. Unfortunately i never became fluent at the Dutch language but can understand it quite well. Living in Melbourne, Australia i grew up loving and still do our national game AFL (Australian Rules Football) where i follow the Essendon Bombers who coincidentally enough have the most famous dutch expat to play AFL known as Paul van de Haar who was a cult figure in the 80’s known as the “flying dutchman” for his fantastic aerial marking abilities.

As well as my love for AFL you could often find me in the back garden of my Opa & Oma’s house having a kick of the world famous round ball with my Opa who would also tell me stories about the Dutch national team and his beloved Ajax and the days when he would go to the famous “de Meer”. at the time in Australia there was not as much exposure of the game that ruled the world except a highlights show of the Premier League on a Monday night and a Serie A highlights show on a monday morning as there a a lot of Italian immigrants living in Australia.

Ryan with his Dutch oma….

But it was in 1994 and the World Cup in the USA which was my first time to watch Oranje ply there trade and from then on i was hooked. Within two week’s i had my first dutch national top its was a kit made by Lotto and of course i got my hero’s number on the back the one and only “Iceman” Dennis Bergkamp who to this day is still and i think will always be my favourite dutch player. I dont want to blab on and bore everyone to much with my background so i will get onto more of my memorable football moments of why this country and team mean so much to me.

To keep it short and sweet i will just name my top three most memorable Oranje moments going from 3 to 1…

3. Euro 2008 and the games against France & Italy, its simple the way we totally destroyed two of the worlds soccer powerhouse’s was lovley to watch it had me going crazy even if i was watching the games live at 4am in the morning.

2. Would be the 2010 World Cup and if things had of been different and we where to change the final result. i agree we didn’t stick to what Oranje football has always been about which wasn’t nice, but for me personally living in Australia if you said when it comes to great soccer countries in the history they would say Brazil, Italy, England, Germany and Argentina, The Netherlands would not even get a mention so the success that the dutch had brought a great deal of respect for dutch football and its significant history in creating the most attacking, creative and exciting football the world has seen revolutionising the game to what is today.

Ryan in Orange, looking like the deer with the headlights, etc… 🙂

1. I have two joint number 1’s. Firstly is my hero Dennis Bergkamps wonder goal against Argentina, Yet again i was watching the game live at the early hours of the morning on the edge of my seat in my Oranje top it was a game with everything lows, highs and a dramatic finish. i had my older brother who was drivng to the snow on his mobile the whole of extra time doing the best i could to be a commentator… and when that long ball came to Dennis and his cut in and goal all i can remember screaming on the phone to my brother GOOOOAAAALLLL! it was amazing all the dutch fans behnd the goals the comentary and Bergkamps celebration will stick in my head forever. sends shivvers down my spine thinking about it.

1. Take 2… was when the Dutch team travelled to Australia i decided two buy four tickets in the Dutch end of the stadium of course, i convinced some mates to join me on the trip to Sydney. I went up early hoping to catch a training session but was unable too. the only dissapointment was a nil all draw but that isnt where it ended me and my mates decided to head out after and went to Sydney’s hottest nightspot The Ivy… halfway through the night and many drinks later across the packed nightclub i see a short statured guy at the bar and who else could it be then Mr Sneijder himself enjoying a drink with Cocu, i didnt even think i went straight up and offered to by him a drink he declined, saying to me… ill get you a drink opening his wallet filled with cash i was speechless i talked about my dutch background and love for oranje, after the chat he said to me would you like to come up to the Ivy’s famous private pool bar on the top of the hotel to meat the rest of the players… i met the whole team and they even came down to the club and met my mates, they where just like any other guys it was surreal… i had my camera in hope that something like this may happen and it did and they where more then happy to take photos partying with me… at the end of the night i even had help Johnny Heitinga and a few of the boys get a cab as they where finding it difficult….. It is and will always be one of the greatest moments of my life.

i dont want to go into to much about the disappointments but all i can say is my life will not be complete if i dont see this great country win a world cup…

Anyway to finish up i love oranje so much even at my Opa’s funeral my Oma in her eulogy talked about his grandkids and when she talked about me, “Ryan the second oldest grandchild is as dutch as any dutchman i know and would always make his Opa proud that i will continue the families strong dutch traditions” i was extremley proud.

Anyway thats me and my story of how i Bleed Oranje….. I would just like to finish with a big thank you to Jan who has brought all us passionate dutchies together he keeps me in contact with everything Oranje and without the job he has done here i dont what i would do. and a second thank you to all the other contributors on this website, everyone is so informative and makes the website what its is today, thanks guys hope you enjoyed


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