The next few months I had a respite from international football, the next matches that Solomon Island was going to play was against Cook Islands Under 20s and American Samoa Under 20s in a couple of weeks after not having to have played between November and March. I was still pondering my options what I wanted to do but one thing was sure I was not going to stay the manager of Solomon Island under 20 and 27 hours of traveling each time we had a (friendly). I was contemplating if I wanted to stick with only being a coach of a team or also keep doing international football. During the cup game against Duno I talked to their manager Lodewijk de Kruif who used to be the manager of Bangladesh and through him, I heard that they are looking for a new under 20 manager. That might be an opportunity, it would at least be a step up and a cut my travel time in half with “only” thirteen-hour flight.
We again had multiple people joining the club all on a free transfer and we also had four players leaving, mostly reserves and under 18 players who were not needed anymore or who started complaining about the lack of playing time in the first team. Out of the players leaving there was one that was worth mentioning that was midfielder Melvin Visser, the Ajax youth player who came to HVV at the start of the season he got a contract offer by VVV Venlo who play in the Eerste Divisie, the second tier in the Netherlands. Although they only offered him an amateur contract as he has with us playing for a club who plays five tiers above is a huge chance who he could not pass.
As said, we also had a lot of players coming in, Andrew Dykstra a Dutch-American keeper who used to play for D.C. United but was released signed for us. We also had another American joining us, Championship Manager 03/04 legend Freddy Adu who last played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the United Soccer League. Former Viborg Fodsports Forening and FC Groningen defender Jeroen Veldmate, former FC Twente midfielder Dario Tanda, former Cambuur Leeuwarden winger Furdjel Narsingh and former FC Volendam left-back Jermano Lo Fo Sang all joined the club.
We also had incoming and outgoing staff. Rob Sidoel was our Chief Scout when I came to the club and I finally found somebody to replace him, Wim van Zwam former Holland under 19 manager and Top OSS manager was signed as the new Chief Scout. After only 6 months we also had to replace our Director of Football, Rob Landsbergen left to become under 19 coach for KMSK Deinze in Belgium who play in the Proximus League, the second tier. Rob Landsbergen was replaced as Director of Football with Jan Everse the former Feyenoord and Ajax player. We also signed a sport scientist for our 1st team, one for our reserve team and one for our under 19 team, a fitness coach, a physio and a Data Analyst.
In the District Beker in the 6th round, we had to play at the same level but in a different group than us but we won it by a 92th-minute winner by our right back Henk Dijkhuizen. In the quarter-final, we had to play TAC ’90 who play one division above us. we were 1-0 behind for most of the game but in the 51st minute Mustapha Riga and in the 75th minute Samet Bulut scored the winner for us. In the Semi-Final we had to go against Heinenoord who also play one division above us. This game was easier than expected, for a club that reached played a division above us and reached the semi-final they were not hard to beat and we won 4-0. In the final, we had to play FC Rijnvogels who play in the Derde Divisie (Third Division) which is three divisions above us. Although we lost we should be proud of how we played and how close the game was. After full time it was 3-3 and in extra time both teams scored one goal which means at 4-4 it wend to a penalty shoot-out. we missed two penalties and lost the final. Although we did lose the cup final it meant we qualify for the KNVB-beker voor amateurs for which the finalist of the 4 regional cups play.
The competition also went well, we won all 7 games and scored 25 goals and only 3 goals against us. The only game that was close was our first game, our game against BMT which we won 1-0. We beat Foreholt with 3-1 and after that, we win from Wateringen with 2-0. Then we started scoring a lot, pir game against GDA we won 6-0, VUC we beat 4-1, RKDEO we beat 5-0 and finally we beat Wilhelminus with 4-1. Our duo upfront Adham El Idrissi and Samet Bulut scored a ton and also Lorenzo Davids, cousin of Edgar Davids scored a couple of goals for us.
The league looks good, in the standing we’re 14 points ahead of Laakkwartier and our goal difference is three times their goal difference. The expectation this season by the board was to avoided relegation but that ship has sailed many moons ago because with only six games to go we’re already sure of the playoffs and possible one game away of securing the championship in this division. We’re already going to look ahead to next season in the 1e Klasse and look for players to strengthen us next season.