Tag Archives: Heerenveen

Eredivisie Team of the Week: PSV’s Gaston glows on Week One

The Eredivisie season is back and so is our Player of the Year tournament. Every week Will Burns and Steve Davies select the best 11 from that week’s action and each player is awarded one point. One member of the team will win the ‘Player of the Week’ award and be awarded two points. Check the current standings here.

Due to the fantastic performance in PSV’s emphatic 4-0 win over FC Utrecht, with a goal and assist we have awarded Gaston Pereiro the ‘Player of the Week’ award and he receives the two points.

PSV hold two other positions in the team with Denzel Dumfries and Steven Bergwijn, who notched goals themselves in the Saturday evening’s game. Heerenveen, 3-2 winners over PEC Zwolle on Friday night, have a pair in the team: Arber Zeneli and Morten Thorsby. Thorsby notched two goals before receiving a red card near the hour mark, however we felt his performance still warranted a place in the eleven. Zwolle striker Mike van Duinen notched both goals for this side in the opening game of the Eredivisie campaign.

AZ were big winners on Sunday afternoon smashing NAC Breda for five and Teun Koopmeiners was the star of the show. He is joined in the team by left-back Thomas Ouwejan, both were scorers in the 5-0 victory. Vitesse also hit five goals this past weekend (5-1 vs. FC Groningen) and Roy Beerens created one and scored one to gain a place in the team of the week.

Ajax failed on the opening day against Heracles and if it was not for Matthijs de Ligt it could have been worse. The 19-year-old defender headed home an late equaliser to spare Ajax’s blushes in a 1-1 draw.

Rounding out the team is German goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall who was unstoppable in VVV’s 1-0 over Willem II.

More next week. Remember to keep an eye on the standings of the Player of the Season tournament by clicking here.


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 7


Welcome to week seven of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



ERWIN MULDER – SC HEERENVEEN: The big goalkeeper was invaluable for Heerenveen in their goal-less draw at home to Vitesse.


RICK KARSDORP – FEYENOORD: The youngster is having a real breakthrough season and his performance in the 2-0 win over PEC Zwolle on Sunday begins to ask the inevitable question – should he be considered for the Oranje squad next time round? Well, that is for all to debate but one thing is for certain… he is our PLAYER OF THE WEEK

JEFFREY GOUWELEEUW – AZ ALKMAAR: Gouweleeuw notched his first goal of the season as AZ start to put a run together in a 3-1 win over Heracles.

JOP VAN DER LINDEN – AZ ALKMAAR: Jeffrey’s partner at the back, Van der Linden, put in a shift to protect all three points for AZ against Heracles.

ROBBERT SCHILDER – FC TWENTE: A vital 2-1 win over Roda JC to get their season on track with Schilder playing a great part in the victory.


HAKIM ZIYECH – FC TWENTE: Ziyech pulls all the strings in the Twente midfield and in Sunday’s 201 win over Roda, it was no different.

RIECHEDLY BAZOER – AJAX: What a talent this young man is. Coach Frank de Boer stated this was Bazoer best match in the 2-0 triumph over FC Groningen – we agree.

SIMON GUSTAFSON – FEYENOORD: Cool and composed on the ball, the Swedish youngster showed Jens Toornstra and Lex Immers that there is a new guy in town and he wants their place in the first eleven.


BARTHOLOMEW OGBECHE – SC CAMBUUR: The Nigerian striker notched a double in the 3-3 draw with FC Utrecht.

MIKE HAVANAAR – ADO DEN HAAG: See above. Two goals from Havanaar in ADO’s 3-3 draw against Excelsior.

ELJERO ELIA – FEYENOORD: The former Southampton winger has been an inspirational for the Rotterdammers so far this season and he notched himself another goal in the 2-0 win over Zwolle.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Breakthrough Talent of the Season


Throughout this year’s campaign, we have seen some great talents emerge as scouts from all over Europe honed in on them. Myself and the remainder of the staff at TotalDutchFootball.com have been assessing who can be declared as the best ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Season’.

All staff were asked to name their top three talents. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…



Winner – JESUS CORONA (FC Twente) 5 points

The little Mexican nicknamed “El Tecatito”, signed on a free transfer aged 20 from Liga MX side Monterrey after rejecting a new contract from the Mexican club in 2013. After taking a while to settle in under Albert Schreuder, Corona now 22-years-old, has shown he is perfect example of a pacy winger with a tremendous dribbling ability to torment full-backs down either flank.

He appeared in 27 games for Twente this year, notching nine goals and supplying four assists, showing to be a shining light, in a what has been a disappointing season for his side. Tecatito’s consistency has enhanced his already impressive skills. His speed and trickery make him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

Due to Twente’s crippling financial status, Corona looks to be moved on next season and could end up leaving the Eredivisie. However, the young Mexican has finally shone in Holland and he is surely set to raise a big chunk of funds for the Enschede club.

Joint 2nd – MARK UTH & SAM LARSSON (Heerenveen) 4 points

The Heerenveen pair have been surprising successes for Dwight Lodeweges this year. Both used as replacements for summer sales, Alfred Finnbogasson and Hakim Ziyech respectively have excelled. The stocky German striker, Uth has scored 15 times in 32 outings to become the club’s top scorer and managed to use his strength to hold the ball up and created 10 assists. Also notching goals is Swedish winger Larsson with eight with four assists. Both players have linked with moves away themselves this coming summer, not an unusual process for Heerenveen.


ALBERT RUSNAK (FC Groningen) 3 points

TJARONN CHERY (FC Groningen) 3 points

ANWAR EL GHAZI (Ajax) 3 points

TOM VAN WEERT (Excelsior) 2 points

TERENCE KONGOLO (Feyenoord) 2 points




BERTRAND TRAORE (Vitesse) 1 point


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Swansea set to sign Heerenveen’s top Swede stopper

Premier League side Swansea City are finalising a deal with Dutch side SC Heerenveen for Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt. The 25-year-old has a contract until the summer of 2016 writes Martijn Hilhorst.

Therefore the (unknown) transfer fee wouldn’t be that enormous for the Garry Monk’s side, who are seeking  a competitor for Lukasz Fabianski regarding the first goalkeeping position. As stated before, both parties have already agreed a transfer fee. Still, Swansea needs to do some convincing towards the Heerenveen-goalie, because it’s important for Nordfeldt that he will regularly play during the upcoming season with the Euro Cup 2016 in sight, where he will most likely will be called up by Sweden.

Kristoffer Nordfeldt has already made seventy appearances for SC Heerenveen since he joined in 2012 and the goalkeeper has not missed one minute this season and managed to keep his clean sheet in nine of 33 Eredivisie matches this term. Potentially, a great coup for the Welsh side.


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How does PSV replace Memphis Depay?

The announcement last week of the transfer of Memphis Depay to Manchester United has left PSV with a significant hole to fill.  Luckily for PSV, they have money in the bank now in order to try and fill this hole.  We all know and appreciate Memphis’ talents and he might be one of those once in a generation footballers but PSV need to ask the question “How do we Replace Memphis”? Even with Memphis leaving, PSV still have a very talented side but they will certainly miss the X-Factor that he provided.  Replacing Memphis will be a hard task but there are some options at PSV’s disposal.  Rogier Waalder looks at the candidates:

Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

One of the only players in the Eredivisie this year who catches the eye as much as Depay does, is the Mexican winger Jesus Corona, who plays for FC Twente.  A very tricky and skilful winger, he certainly has the ability to turn a game like Memphis does.  He has scored 13 goals in his 32 games this season and his dribbling, first touch and technique are in the same class as Memphis.  He does lack the power and free-kick abilities of Memphis but is only 22 years old.  FC Twente will be holding a fire-sale in the summer to clear their debts and so Corona is very much on the market.  A big stumbling block, though, is his wage demands with a recent poll showing that 85% of PSV fans do not think he is worth the reported 1 million EURO salary that he is after.

Sam Larsson (SC Heerenveen)

Swedish international Larsson is a new arrival to Heerenveen this season, after joining from Goteburg in the off-season.  He has proven to be yet another potential Scandinavian jewel that the Heerenveen scouting team has delivered over the years.  Has all the same hallmarks as Corona but represents a more powerful, cheaper option.  Larsson has contributed 8 goals and 6 assists in his 20 games this season. Heerenveen have already offered him a new contract, but he has refused to consider this at present.  He has a contract until 2018 so Heerenveen aren’t in any rush to sell but PSV might be tempted to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Ricardo Kishna (Ajax)

Yes he plays for Ajax presently and yes this is probably the biggest obstacle in Kishna going to PSV, but transfers between PSV & Ajax are not unheard of.  Kishna is a year younger than Memphis and despite his young age has already proven that he can light up the Eredivisie.  His flair, trickery, dribbling and pace are very comparable to Memphis and he has a return of 5 goals and assists from 20 matches this season.  This current Dutch youth team player only has 1 year to run on his Ajax contract, so he could force the issue if PSV make a serious play for his services.

Elvis Manu (Feyenoord)

Plays for Feyenoord, so again some question marks surrounding a desire to sell him to PSV but he also has the hallmarks of someone who could replace Memphis.  A 21-year old natural Left Winger, Manu has had a good season for Feyenoord with 14 goals in 34 matches, including some great performances in the Europa League.  Manu has great pace and strength but his overall technique and consistency would need some improvement to reach Memphis levels but definitely a great raw talent.

Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar)

Berghuis has been a standout performer for AZ this season with 10 goals in 22 appearances.  The former Twente youth player can play on either wing or as Striker and has excellent technical and passing abilities.  He has a strong desire to succeed (much like Memphis does) and would arguably be the cheapest of the options presented thus far.  He probably isn’t quite at the standard that Memphis is but would be a good squad player, in conjunction with another big name signing.

Bilal Ould-Chikh (FC Twente)

If PSV are looking at a longer term prospect that they can bring up to Memphis’ standard then Ould-Chikh might be their guy.  Only 17 years old he has already played 15 full games for FC Twente this season.  An out and out winger with great technique, pace and dribbling abilities Ould-Chikh certainly has the potential to rival Memphis one day.  FC Twente might be needing cash to satisfy their creditors at the moment, but surely they’ll want to hang on to their star prospect and try and build a team around him.

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)

Januzaj has been on the outer at Manchester United since Van Gaal’s arrival and was rumoured to have been offered as part of any deal taking Memphis to England.  It doesn’t look like this has eventuated but a cashed up PSV could do a lot worse than taking the talented Belgian to Eindhoven, even if it is on loan.  Even though he has not scored in the Premier League this year, the footballing world is very aware of Januzaj’s abilities with a ball at his feet and his technique and flair do rival those of Memphis.  He is on a massive salary at Man Utd and this is why a loan move but be the best for both teams, particularly as Memphis will certainly be a direct rival for Januzaj.

Serge Gnabry (Arsenal)

Another potential loan option is the Arsenal youngster, Serge Gnabry.  Like Januzaj Gnabry burst onto the scene last season before injury curtailed his plans and has had limited game time since.  He may be best suited to a spell in the Eredivisie, whilst also getting guaranteed Champions League action.  Gnabry has fantastic physical attributes and his attacking tendancies would be very well suited to this PSV side.

Ola John (Benfica)

For a 22-year old John seems to have been around for a long time, and certainly his club movements would indicate the same.  Currently at Benfica, the lure of returning home to PSV may be one that suits John as he looks to break back into the Dutch national team setup.  Another out and out pacy winger John could be the perfect provider for Luuk de Jong.

Filip Kostic (Stuttgart)

22-year old Serbian Kostic played 2 seasons in the Eredivisie with Groningen before earning a move to Stuttgart in the off-season.  He has played reasonably well in a struggling side with 3 goals and 7 assists thus far.  He has tremendous cross abilities and is also an accomplished finisher.  If Stuttgart do get relegated this season this might be enough to convince Kostic to return to the Netherlands and the lure of Champions League football.

There are some options available internally at PSV at present headlined by the wantaway Zakaria Bakkali and the raw but very inconsistent Florian Jozefzoon.  A long term potential replacement is the exciting young Steven Bergwijn, who made his Eredivisie debut on the weekend at the age of 17. Bergwijn is very highly thought of at PSV and has tremendous pace and acceleration.  If his technical abilities continue to develop over the next few seasons he is definitely one to watch.


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Heerenveen – The Best Football City in the Netherlands

A while ago Rogier Waalder set out to ask the question “What is the Best Football City in the Netherlands” which was published here.  The answer to the question I posed was fairly easy in the end, with the clear winner being Heerenveen.  Heerenveen won the title based on the level of support in the ‘city’ for its local side SC Heerenveen as a proportion of its total population.  The average attendance of the club (22,700) equates to 80% of the town’s population.  So as a natural follow up to this original article I looked into why is it that Heerenveeners love their football so much. 

Heerenveen is a town (not a city) in the North of the Netherlands in the Province of Friesland. Its population of just fewer than 30,000 makes it the 4th largest population centre in Friesland, which in turn has only the 8th largest population out of the 12 Dutch Provinces.  So it’s a small place but one that is renowned across the Netherlands for its sporting achievements and facilities.  In a footballing sense, Heerenveen is home to SC Heerenveen, which has the most fervent supporters in all of the Eredivisie.

There are several key factors that have all combined to make the people of Heerenveen so passionate about football:

A Regional Club

One of the main reasons why the people of Heerenveen love football so much stems from the fact that the club is seen to represent the whole of Friesland.  SC Heerenveen has set itself up as the club that represents the people of Friesland, going as far as to incorporate the Friesland flag in its logo and shirts and its nickname is De Superfriezen.  This is in spite of the fact that by far the largest and most important city of Friesland is nearby Leeuwarden (home of rivals Cambuur).  There is a perceived attitude in both Heerenveen and Leeuwarden that the Leeuwarders turn down their noses down at those who identify as being Fries, due to perceiving them to be peasants or farmers.  This attitude has developed a very healthy rivalry between SC Heerenveen and Cambuur.  In fact during last weekend’s derby between the 2 clubs the Heerenveen supporters predominately waved around Friesland flags whilst the Cambuur supporters waved the Dutch flag.  The Heerenveen supporters also hired a plane to display a banner that read ‘Leeuwarden: Anti-Fries’.  So in effect the snubbing of anything Fries by the people of Leeuwarden has made SC Heerenveen a symbol for not only Heerenveen but the rest of Friesland, which in turn has helped SC Heerenveen’s stature immensely.

Historical Injustice

Going hand in hand with SC Heerenveen appealing to the greater Friesland community, is also the historical sense of injustice amongst the citizens of Heerenveen to their overlords in Leeuwarden.  This injustice stems back to the middle ages when the noblemen in Leeuwarden refused to grant Heerenveen city rights and as such Heerenveen has officially remained a town rather than a city ever since.  This holds special significance in Friesland as its 11 ‘cities’ are part of the legendry ice skating race the ‘Elfstedentocht’, which is a massive event in the Netherlands (when it takes place) and Heerenveen of course misses out.  This has also sensed to increase the anti-establishment feelings that Heerenveeers feel toward Leeuwaarden, which has resulted in an immense civil pride.  The people of Heerenveen are naturally therefore very proud and defensive of their town and look to every opportunity to show off their town in a positive light.

A Sporting City

Heerenveen has a proud sporting history, particularly in football and speed-skating.  Heerenveen is the spiritual home of the all-conquering Dutch speed skating team that shocked the world with their dominance at the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Heerenveen’s Thialf arena regularly hosts Speed Skating World Cup events.

When I asked a spokesperson from the Gemeente (Council) as to what the positive reactions are for the town as a result of SC Heerenveen, the response was:

Heerenveen is extremely sports-minded, not only when it comes to football. There is also speed-skating, gymnastics, ice hockey, athletics and dozens of other sports. It is the combination of all of this which is very positive for the town’s reputation. There are several up-to-date facilities available to all sportsmen and women, for training, schooling and (medical) supervision.

And sport-minded Heerenveen is a place tinged with gold: which has led us to choose ‘A Golden Plaque’ as the motto for Heerenveen. Golden Plaque has a double meaning for people here in Heerenveen and Friesland: it is a plaque as in ‘medal’ at championships but in Frisian ‘plak’ also means ‘place’. So in this instance Heerenveen is a place with its own golden tint”

So it’s quite evident that the Gemeente actively encourages sporting success and participation within Heerenveen as they realise the synergies for the whole community that can come out of football and sport in general.

Excellent Facilities

So all this positive mantra that the community reaps from having successful sporting ventures inside the town is appreciated by the Gemeente, who are more than willing to provide support in whatever way it can.  When pressed on this point, the Gemeente spokesperson expanded on this point:

“The Abe Lenstra football stadium, named after the legendary footballer, is an integral part of the multi-sport complex Sportstad Heerenveen. The complex also hosts the Centre for Top-Class Sport and Education (CTO), supported by the Netherlands Olympic Committee*Netherlands Sports Federation (NOC*NSF), is also a central part of this complex. Through the CTO, young people can combine studies and sports at a personalized and top level, which allows them to train as much as possible. The municipality of Heerenveen owns 50% of Sportstad Heerenveen, of which the football stadium is a part of. The complex was built in 1996 and rebuilt in 2006.
By co-financing like this, the municipality of Heerenveen encourages SC Heerenveen enormously. This shows, once again, the town is proud of its football club.  

Also, the municipality of Heerenveen pays for maintaining the training and playing fields which SC Heerenveen uses for the first team and its youth teams.”

So it seems as though passion for football (and sport in general) runs through all levels of society in Heerenveen, which in turn breed success.


So it seems that Heerenveen has the perfect mix of passion and holistic community support for football which in turn has bred success.  Despite coming from one of the smallest towns to ever host an Eredivisie side, SC Heerenveen has been in the Eredivisie consecutively since 1992. They were runners-up in 1992-3 and 1999-2000 seasons, whilst also winning the Dutch Cup in 2008-9 along with the multiple successes in the 1940’s in the then Regional leagues.  They’ve qualified for a European competition in 16 of the past 20 seasons, including an appearance in the Champions League group stages in 2000-1 season.  These are quite some achievements for a club from a town with less than 30,000 inhabitants.

The success of the club is not only represented by what happens on the field but also off it as well.  According to club’s supporters at SC Heerenveen, football is experienced as it should be – an accessible, ‘fair’ game for the whole family.  For years, SC Heerenveen has enjoyed the best reputation among the Eredivisie clubs. The club adheres to norms and values. It is also the ‘second team for many football supporters from other Dutch clubs. Corporate partners also enjoy being associated with SC Heerenveen, making its business club the largest one in the Netherlands.

So Heerenveen is an example of what happens when an entire community positively supports its football club and the benefits that come out of this support for both the football club and then back to the community.  Heerenveen is a worthy winner of the title of ‘Best Football City in the Netherlands’ and I’ll leave the last word from a prominent supporter of the club who says Heerenveen is a club for the people and Win, lose, or tie, SC HEERENVEEN TILL I DIE!”


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EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 1-0 PSV





Potential star of the future Daley Sinkgraven grabbed the winner as PSV lost for only the second time this season and both sides have a man sent off writes Ryan OGrady.

The home side came into this game missing striker Sam Larsson and having lost to Eerste Divisie side Roda JC 2-1 in the cup. Coach Dwight Lodeweges was scathing in his reflection on the game whilst captain Martin de Roon said the six senior players who played in that game had to take responsibility, not the 5 youngsters who were replaced for this game. PSV also brought an injury list with them as Andrés Guardado, Luuk de Jong and star player Memphis Depay were all missing, however PSV did manage to win their midweek cup game against FC Utrecht 2-0.

Despite it being goalless in the first half it was far from boring, the half had 18 attempts on goal and a red card to boot as well. PSV got themselves an early half chance in only the 38th second after Adam Maher just managed to keep the ball in on the sideline before playing a low cross to Jurgen Locadia but the ball bobbled just before the Dutch striker hit it and as a result it went wide of the near post. Heerenveen then took control of the game, pressing high and repeatedly forcing mistakes from PSV players. Their first chance came in the 5th minute when Joey van den Berg had a dangerous shot that looked goal bound but it his teammate, German frontman Mark Uth. They then had another chance only two minutes later when Daley Sinkgraven brilliantly controlled a long ball on his chest before knocking past a defender. Unfortunately he could only muster a weak shot and as a result Jeroen Zoet recovered the ball easily. Despite dominating, Heerenveen’s final ball wasn’t always great and as a result they sometimes struggled to break down the PSV defence. They nearly had a stroke of luck in the 21st minute when Joost van Aken mishit a long range effort and it was going well wide but Uth nearly ran onto it and had he been able to control it then he would’ve been through on goal.

The direction of the first half started to change after that chance with PSV starting to come back into the game. In the 26th minute Luciano Narsingh ran into the box before pulling the ball back for Georginio Wijnaldum who back heeled it to Florian Jozefzoon who hit a low curled effort towards the bottom corner but Kristoffer Nordfeldt in the Heerenveen net managed to change direction at the last second and push it just past the post. Heerenveen did have a couple of chances in the period of PSV dominance, these were both down to Jetro Willems, firstly when the ball was played to Luciano Slagveer on the right wing Willems slipped allowing Slagveer to race clear. Fortunately for Willems, Slagveer tried to square it for Uth rather than shoot himself and Jeffrey Bruma knocked it behind for a corner. Then both Willems and Sinkgraven went for the ball in the 32nd minute but Willems appeared to pull out allowing SInkgraven to cross for Uth who after controlling it with his chest hit a shot on the spin that was well saved by Zoet.

Then came the first of the two sending offs. Jozefzoon was put through and was in on goal when Stefano Marzo appeared to cut across the back of the PSV winger bringing him down. As Marzo was the last man he was sent off but replays showed that Jozefzoon had gone a bit theatrically although the red card was justifiable. Almost immediately afterwards Locadia went down in the box and half-heartedly appealed for a penalty but referee Kevin Blom wasn’t swayed and simply told the young striker to get back on his feet.

PSV threatened early in the second half as well, Adam Maher had a decent chance in the 53rd minute when he hit the side netting from a tight angle. The game swung back in Heerenveen’s favour in the 68th minute when Joshua Brenet was sent off for a challenge on Uth. It initially seemed harsh but replays showed that Brenet clearly had his studs up and caught Uth on his inner thigh after the ball had already gone. This forced Phillip Cocu to bring off striker Jurgen Locadia for defender Santiago Arias. Heerenveen’s pressure finally payed off in the 77th minute after some neat build-up play resulted in a goal for Daley Sinkgraven. Initially Slagveer had the ball just inside PSV’s half. He passed the ball to Uth who immediately gave it back with a lovely first time pass, Slagveer then drew in two PSV defenders creating space for Sinkgraven who he then subsequently passed to. The young Dutchman then appeared to get the ball stuck underneath his feet but then produced a lovely finish into the top corner leaving Zoet with no chance. PSV obviously needed to get back into the game but they were only able to muster up one decent opportunity which fell to Jeffrey Bruma. A shot from Wijnaldum was deflected off Doke Schmidt for a corner and the resulting ball in fell to the feet of Bruma but he could only put his effort over the bar.


HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, van Aanholt, van Aken, Buijs, van den Berg (van Amersfoort 82’), de Roon, Thorsby (Schmidt 36’), Sinkgraven, Uth (Dalgaard 89’), Slagveer

Subs not used: Otigba, Raitala, Warmolts, de Fockert

Goals: Sinkgraven 77’

Bookings: Sinkgraven 34’

Red Cards: Marzo 33’

PSV: Zoet, Bruma, Rekik, Willems, Hendrix (Vloet 81’), Brenet, Wijnaldum, Maher (Ritzmaier 78’), Narsingh, Jozefzoon, Locadia (Arias 73’)

Subs not used: Isimat-Mirin, Pasveer, Leemans, Boljević

Goals: None.

Bookings: Willems 41’, Jozefzoon 67’

Red Cards: Brenet 68’

MAN OF THE MATCH: Daley Sinkgraven (Heerenveen)


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EREDIVISIE: Vitesse 1-1 Heerenveen





Heerenveen held Vitesse to a great 1-1 draw on Saturday evening however, they could have left Arnhem with more writes Will Burns.

The hosts started the better of the two sides with Davy Pröpper, Marko Vejinovic and Zakaria Labyad forcing early stops from Kristoffer Nordfeldt, however all efforts from long range.

After some great awareness from Morten Thorsby, Mark Uth grabbed the first goal of the game on 22 minutes in empathic fashion. Thorsby held the ball up, while Uth sneaked behind him down the left side of the area. The German striker then smashed a first time shot into the roof of the net at Piet Velthuizen’s near post to shock the home fans.

De Superfriezen were not in the lead for long after Davy Pröpper scored the equaliser after the ball was carried forward by Denys Olinyk. The ball fell perfectly at the edge of the area for Pröpper to side foot home.

Heerenveen looked more likely to take all three points with Velthuizen keeping the Arnhem side in the game while the Gelredome crowd became restless.

Peter Bosz’s Vitesse sit second bottom with just five points so far with their season is still to yet get going, Heerenveen sit in fourth claiming 11 points in the first six games so far.


VITESSE: Velthuizen, Wallace, Van der Heijden, Kruiswijk, Achenteh, Vejinovic, Pröpper, Leerdam, Labyad (Ibarra 46), Dauda (Qazaishvili 71), Olinyk (Traoré 76).

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, McEachran, Diks.

GOALS: Pröpper 29.

BOOKINGS: Vejinovic 45, Pröpper 88, Wallace 90+1.

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs, Van Aken, Van Anholt, De Roon, Sinkgraven, Van den Berg, Slagveer (Schmidt 89), Uth (Dalgaard 81), Thorsby (Van Amersfoort 66).

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Raitala, Otigba, Varga.

GOALS: Uth 23.

BOOKINGS: Van den Berg 45, Uth 70, van Aken 86, De Room 90+4.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Davy Pröpper (Vitesse)


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EREDIVISIE: AZ Alkmaar 0-1 Heerenveen





AZ played host to coach Marco van Basten’s former club Heerenveen on Saturday with the Dutchman still unavailable on the touchline due to illness. Alex Pastoor once again barked out the orders as they fell to a 1-0 defeat writes Will Burns.

It was the first time that the home AZ fans inside the AFAS Stadion got to see summer signing Sergio Rochet and he impressed early on. The 21-year-old Uruguayan goalkeeper, arrived from Danubio in May, stopped early efforts from Mark Uth and Jordy Buijs inside a busy first half but seven minutes before the interval, his goal was breached.

Young midfielder Daley Sinkgraven has had a great and impressive start to the 2014/15 campaign and he was on hand to make it 1-0 after poor defending from AZ. Morten Thorsby found some space down the left-wing to find Uth on the edge of the area. Uth lost to the ball to Jeffrey Gouweleeuw who could not direct his clearance out of the path of Sinkgraven who hit a first time shot past Rochet, giving the young keeper no chance.

AZ barely threatened Kristoffer Nordfeldt at the other end but on 55 minutes they should have maybe had a spot kick awarded after Joost van Aken made a clumsy challenge in the area on Derrick Luckassen. Referee Bas Nijhuis waved away any appeals and Heerenveen rode the game out for the win that places them in second place, two points behind PSV.


AZ: Rochet, Luckassen (Elm 73), Gouweleeuw, Wuytens (Haps 54), Poulsen, Ortiz, Hupperts, Gudelj, Haye, Tankovic, Mühren (Johansson 64).

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Henriksen, Hoedt, Rosheuvel.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Johansson 67.

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Van Aken, Buijs, Van Anholt, Van Den Berg, De Roon, Sinkgraven (Schmidt 90), Slagveer, Uth (Dalgaard 86), Thorsby (Otigba 81).

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Raitala, Varga, Van Amersfoort.

GOALS: Sinkgraven 38.

BOOKINGS: Sinkgraven 58, De Roon 76.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Sergio Rochet (AZ Alkmaar)


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Who is Middlesbrough’s new signing – Yanic Wildschut?

Yanic Wildschut has signed for English north-east side Middlesbrough today but could the winger be a positive addition to Boro’s squad? Martijn Hilhorst reveals all.

In the previous season he played twenty-five matches (18 for SC Heerenveen and seven on loan at ADO Den Haag) in which he only scored twice and only had one assist. His career is not impressive thus far: scoring 13 times in 119 matches. The stats prove he is possibly not the player Middlesbrough should be looking for.

Although on the plus side, he can be a threat, but not a big one.  He comes across as dangerous and possesses great speed to outrun any defender, but his ball-control is so poor that when he gets to the ball, his actions are not mind-blowing. However, his physical appearance is astounding (Six-foot one-inch) for someone that pacey.

Wildschut is a typical player you substitute on when struggling defensively and being forced to play on the counter. Do not expect a constant performance from him, Yanic is a player who could be absolutely brilliant or incredibly pitiful.

This would be the second winger from SC Heerenveen this transfer window to make a transfer to the Championship. The first one was Rajiv van la Parra that signed a four-year deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers last month.

*All stats courtesy of WhoScored and Squawka, via Opta.


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EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 3-1 FC Utrecht





Life after Ziyech, Basacikoglu and Finnbogason looks rosy for Dwight Lodeweges’ Heerenveen after young striker Mark Uth netted a hat0trick to dispatch Utrecht 3-1 in Saturday’s late game writes Will Burns.

The hosts exploded out of blocks and were ahead after just three minutes after shrewd play by Joey van der Berg. The midfielder was standing over a set piece on the right-wing and spotted Mark Uth running through to goal. Van der Berg took the free-kick quickly and Uth creatively spun marker Gevero Markiet and finished coolly.

Utrecht lost Jens Toornstra to Feyenoord last week but added Swedish winger Kristoffer Peterson from Liverpool on a four-year deal. The 19-year-old nearly announced his arrival in style after turning with Pele van Anholt with ease before a popping a shot straight at Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Nordfledt’s opposite number Robbin Ruiter was substitute just before the half-hour mark for the veteran Jeroen Verhoeven, after the keeper pulled his groin taking a big boot up field.

Yassin Ayoub came close before half-time after clipping the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the area as American forward Rubio Rubin forced Nordfeldt hand too but it was Heerenveen that nearly extended their lead before the interval.

Daley Sinkgraven and Sam Larsson combined well and set-up Luciano Slagveer in the area. Slagveer took his time setting a shot up and Christian Kum, Utrecht’s signing from Heerenveen in the summer, slided in to clear in a potential goal-saving tackle.

After Uth missed a great chance to give the hosts a further advantage, Utrecht’s Willem Janssen was denied by Nordfeldt after the midfielder powered a header at goal from Peterson’s cross. Just minutes later, Heerenveen were two goals up.

Larsson and Slagveer’s speed was opening Utrecht’s back four up but it was Mark Uth who notched his second goal. Slagveer spotted Uth pulling away from Ramon Leeuwin and the striker had plenty time to chip a composed finish over the onrushing Verhoeven to make it 2-0.

Willem Janssen grabbed a consolation goal in stoppage time before Uth added a third to seal his hat-trick.


HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Otigba, Van Aken, Van Anholt, De Roon, Van den Berg, Sinkgraven, Slagveer, Larsson, Uth.

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Thorsby, Dalgaard, Schmidt, Raitala, Wildschut, Lumu.

GOALS: Uth 3, 54 & 90+4.

BOOKINGS: Marzo 45, Van den Berg 89.

UTRECHT: Ruiter, Van der Maarel, Kum, Leeuwin, Markiet, Ayoub, Janssen, Kali, Oar, Peterson, Rubin.

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoeven, Barazite, Diemers, Sarota, Cortie, Antwi, Kallon.

GOALS: Janssen 90+1.

BOOKINGS: Ayoub 20, Leeuwin 60.



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EREDIVISIE WEEK 4: Saturday’s Preview & Betting Tips


The Eredivisie on Saturday brings four games and Will Burns returns to provide you of his top four bets to make an profit this weekend.




After a great win last weekend demolishing of FC Groningen, ADO Den Haag travel to Leeuwarden to face a Cambuur side that are undefeated in three games including an away win to Heracles last weekend. Will Burns thinks this game could be a low scoring stalemate.

Sixth play seventh in the Eredivisie, and I see this being a game that is tight as those positions are. ADO added Timothy Derjick to their defensive options this week from PSV to tighten up a defence that has only concede three in three games, now in the Eredivisie, that is a great ratio!

This fixture has seen some goals in that past with Cambuur have seen over 2.5 goals in their last four matches against ADO Den Haag in all competitions at Cambuur Stadion. Although, I see these two competing in a midfield battle that may end a 1-1 or even, dare I say it a 0-0.

Betfair offer the draw at 13/5 and I see this being a price too good to ignore.


Draw (13/5 – Betfair)



AZ Alkmaar will look to bounce back from their defeat to Eredivisie newcomers Willem II (3-0) last weekend with a trip to another newly promoted side, FC Dordrecht. Will Burns thinks Marco van Basten may find it tough on Saturday.

Van Basten will be looking to change AZ’s fortunes away from home after failing to win nine of their last ten games on the road in the league. The introduction of Guus Hupperts from relegated Roda JC has not seen the success that many were predicting, however, after just three games who am I to judge?

Dordrecht have made a solid return to the Dutch top flight with a win, a defeat and a draw so far. Going one better than their opponents after AZ have been defeated by Ajax and the aforementioned Willem II, after a opening day win against the poor-looking Heracles.

Once again, Betfair value the draw at 13/5 and this is worth a decent stake to gain some profit.


Draw (13/5 – Betfair)



Excelsior’s first choice goalkeeper Jordy Decker is suspended for the visit of Heracles for his red card last weekend’s late defeat against Heerenveen. Debutant Alessandro Damen will replace him however, Will Burns does not think the new stopper will see much action as his side should overcome the boys from Almelo.

Heracles prop up the league with three defeats in three and are on a terrible running that continued at the end of the last campaign, totalling their seven losses in their last eight Eredivisie matches. Manager Jan de Jonge was booed off in last weekend’s home defeat to Cambuur and his job could be in jeopardy if they concede this game to newly promoted Excelsior.

The smaller of the two Eredivisie Rotterdam sides have performed above their station drawing against relegation contenders NAC Breda on the opening day and then defeating Go Ahead Eagles in a five-goal thriller the next week. Their last game was the 2-0 defeat to Heerenveen which they held strong until the 82nd minute dismissal of Deckers.

I predict Heracles’ dreary run to continue and Excelsior claim all three point which is available at 6/5 at Betfair.


Excelsior to win (6/5 – Betfair)



Dwight Lodeweges found his first win of the season in a ‘lucky win’ over Excelsior but with the talents of Daley Sinkgraven, Luciano Slagveer and Sam Larsson pulling the strings, Will Burns thinks Heerenveen could win again in Saturday’s late game.

Utrecht themselves have returned to winning ways, claiming all six points in their last two games (home to Willem II and away to Feyenoord). Last weekend in Rotterdam, could be seen as a ‘lucky win’ too with Feyenoord crumbling in the second-half to gift Utrecht the victory.

The sale of Jens Toornstra will not help matters for Rob Alflen’s side but signing Liverpool’s Kristoffer Peterson midweek may have calmed supporters nerves. Utrecht are capable of scoring goals however, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in the opening three matchdays and Heerenveen should find a way through here. Sinkgraven, Slagveer and Larsson all have sufficient talent to put Kai Heerings and Ramon Leeuwin under pressure and get past Robbin Ruiter in goal.

Betfair offer a great 2/1 for a Heerenveen win but Utrecht to score and this is my final recommended bet of Saturday’s matches.


Heerenveen to win with both teams to score – (3/1 – Betfair)


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EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 2-0 Excelsior





Heerenveen fans must have been nervous about life after Alfred Finnbogason and even more so over the past week after FC Twente took Hakim Ziyech out of the side too. Although there is a new guy in town, his name is Sam Larsson. A young winger who top Swedish journalist Markus Wulcan tipped for greatness. Along with the excellent skills of Daley Sinkgraven, Larsson showed a glimspe of this and provided a goal against Excelsior on Saturday night in Heerenveen’s 2-0 win that may have calmed down those fans’ fears writes Will Burns.

Dwight Lodeweges not only handed a debut to Larsson but to Morten Thorsby also with this week’s new signing Jeroen Lumu, formerly of Willem II, started on the bench.

The home side should have been a goal up early in the game after Stefano Marzo skipped past Elso Brito on the right-wing and decided to pop a shot off himself but blasted his effort way over the bar.

The first half was a tight affair and mostly consisted of midfield battles; however Excelsior were unlucky no to head into the break a goal up after a great chance from captain Sander Fischer. From a right-wing free kick Fischer received the ball on the edge of the box and smashed a shot right down the middle of the goal but Heerenveen stopper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was on hand to tip the shot onto the bar, much to the home fans delight.

Heerenveen had a decent chance which striker Mark Uth made a right pig’s ear of just before the half-time whistle. Larsson switched a wonderful ball over to Luciano Slagveer on the opposite wing, and Slagveer proceeded to pop a lovely ball into the area for Uth. The striker got it all wrong and eventually headed the ball away from goal instead of testing Jordy Deckers in the Excelsior goal.

Just after the break after Slagveer hit a low drive just wide, the impressive Daley Sinkgraven, only 18 year of age displayed great skill weaving in and out of the Excelsior defenders and the youngster threaded the ball through to Slagveer on 53 minutes, but Deckers held firm and made a vital stop.

The action really started to build with just eight minutes to go when Excelsior threw away what could have been a good point. After Sinkgraven again put Slagveer through on goal, hesitation from Deckers and Kevin van Dierman let Slagveer take control of the ball. The led to Deckers bringing the winger down and referee Edwin van der Graff point to the spot and dismissed the goalkeeper immediately.

With the visitors using all three subs, midfielder Kevin Vermuelen had to pull on Decker’s green shirt and do a stint in goal. He could do nothing about Martin de Roon’s spot kick and Heerenveen were ahead.

With the ten-men, Excelsior pressed for an equaliser however as usual in these cases it worked to their disadvantage as Heerenveen substitute Yanic Wildschut nearly made them pay with five minutes to go with a great counter attack. However, stand-in keeper Vermuelen made a great stop with his feet.

Minutes later, it was two and Sam Larsson capped off his debut with a goal that cemented all three points for his side. Great work again from Wildschut running at the retreating Excelsior defence, as he played the ball through the fast Larsson rushing down the right-wing. The young Swede used great composure to hit a first-time finish superbly to clinch the points.


HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs (Otigba 59), Van Aken, Van Anholt, Thorsby (Lumu 70), Sinkgraven, De Roon, Slagveer, Uth (Wildschut 78), Larsson.

SUBS NOT USED: Schmidt, Raitala, De Fockert, Van Amersfoort.

GOALS: De Roon 84P, Larsson 89.

BOOKINGS: Uth 35, Otigba 64.

EXCELSIOR: Deckers, Karami, Van Dieren, Kruijs, Fischer, Botaka, Auassar, Van Weert (Maletic 73), Stans (Vermeulen 69), Van Mieghem (Gouriye 80), Brito.

SUBS NOT USED: Kuipers, Mattheij, Damen, Bovenberg.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Brito 61.

SENT OFF: Deckers 82.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Daley Sinkgraven (Heerenveen)


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