Last season we were lucky enough to be able to attract players who used to play in the Eredivisie, the top division in the Netherlands in the past. The problem was though, they many were all older players who were over 30 and close to retiring. What happened at the end of the previous season and the start of this season was that we had six players retiring. We knew beforehand that they were a short term solution and I had the great foresight to already buy a replacement for them before the end of the previous season. The impact was thus not severe luckily. Midfielder Nourdin Boukhari, left-back Tim de Cler, central defenders Milan Berck Beelenkamp and Saleh Dahmani, Goalkeeper Cees Paauwe and striker Mustapha Riga all retired. All of them stayed in football as staff members but we only signed Cees Paauwe who will be our under 19 goalkeeping coach.
With great success as we had last season also comes the problem of players who played superb last season attract the attention of bigger and better clubs. With us going from amateur to semi-professional we offered a new contract to all first-team players and some of our talents. Sadly before we were able to get our top scorer Adham El Idrissi to sign a semi-professional contract Beerschot who play in the second tier in Belgium the Proximus League offered him a contract so he left on a free sadly. We did get to give contracts to all other players before we had offers for further players which meant they had to pay us good money. The second one out the door was Dario Tanda the midfielder who came during the winter transfer period last season and only played seven games. Beerschot clearly had been window shopping at our club and we sold him for 125k. The third one who left was Henk Dijkhuizen who had been our right back most of the last season but we got a bid from Eredivisie club Excelsior who bid 200k and gave him a fulltime contract for 2300 a week so he left. The last player who we sold was a player for the future, he played in the reserves he only played one game last season and a couple before he left this season. Haris Alispahic we found at a 10th tier club and signed him for free. When Premier League club Southampton came and offered 100k we could not say no. After he signed he was right away loaned out to QPR in the Championship.
With all the people going we had to keep out the selection at a certain level so we also bought players to compensate for the players leaving. All in all, we did well and in general improved the quality of our first team. Josemar Makiavala had played for TEC last season but was released even though he scored twentyone goals in thirty-four games. I gladly picked him up and give him a new home. Another striker that was bought was Jelle van Kruijssen who played in the third tier in Belgium for Berchem Sport but was released even though he scored twenty goals in thirty-nine games. Both van Kruijssen and Makiavala could fight for Adham El Idrissi’s old spot next to Samet Bulut. We went shopping for midfielders in Leeuwarden both Jerge Hoefdraad and Milan Vissie joined our club. 31-year-old Hoefdraad before this played for Almere City where I been a youth coach and Milan Vissie a former Ajax youth player who I knew from my time as a youth coach there. The final signing was a big one, the thirtytwo-year-old Jeffrey Hoogervorst who had played for Real Madrid B and Barcelona B one but most of his career played for lower league Spanish club joined the club. I knew this was a short term transfer but it was still a big name and was good for the clubs name recognition and shirt sales.
Besides players, we also had some staff mutations. As mentioned before Cees Paauwe who was a keeper for us last season signed a contract with us as under 19 goalkeeping coach after he hung up his boots and we also signed Edward Linskins who in the ’80s and 90’s played for PSV as a coach. We had two under 19 physio’s leaving, apparently, our under 19 physio’s where at the level that Eredivisie clubs wanted to poach them. Who knew.