I expect it to be a busy season for many goalkeepers in the Eredivisie, but no other number ones will feel the pressure quite like the following keepers mentioned in this piece. I can only imagine that the 2014/15 campaign will be remembered for either all the right or wrong reasons for these five men writes Kalkeren Kieran.
JELLE TEN ROUWELAAR (NAC Breda)
It is never easy being a keeper in these times but being captain of the club along with the responsibility of holding the goal really brings it into a different level of pressure. In which NAC Breda’s first choice stopper this season will be once again the 33 year-old Jelle ten Rouwelaar.
Already appearing a remarkable 236 times for the club, Ten Rouwelaar has spent virtually all of his livelihood in the Netherlands, appearing for Austria Wien for one year out of his fifteen-year long career.
At the age of 33, there is no doubt that he will be depending on all of his experience this season to lead the side. His main objective will be to keep them out of any trouble and another season to look forward to in the top flight, however it will not be easy for this Dutch-born star, as the side conceded 54 goals last season finishing with a -11 goal difference. Considering 11 of the 54 were scored in the last ten minutes of the game, means that concentration will be key for the side staying out of trouble during the 2014/15 campaign.
LEONARD NIENHUIS (SC Cambuur)
SC Cambuur will be relying on 24-year-old Nienhuis to keep the goals out this season. Although he is currently recovering from a serious injury sustained from late last season, his return is unknown. I am sure all the supporters of Cambuur will be hoping that he recovers in time for the first week of the season, as the team face an impressive FC Twente side at home in Leeuwarden.
I am sure if the Cambuur stand any chance of taking something out of the opening weekend they will need Nienhuis to be in tip-top shape. Mainly due to the fact, that the first choice stopper is recovering from injury, Cambuur have three keepers in their squad for this coming season, including Harm Zeinstra and Jurjan Wouda.
After winning the Eerste Divisie with the club in the 2011/12 season, Nienhuis knows what it is like to taste success. However, as everyone knows not all clubs are capable of continued success, and this upcoming campaign. I cannot imagine Cambuur’s expectations are higher than a play-off place into the Europa league qualifying round and this season could be a real battle for the club, to prove that they are worthy of a spot in the Eredivisie for the 2015/16 season.
Last season Cambuur’s opponents scored first 17 times out of a possible 34 matches, although the team only conceded a -10 goal difference, unlike other teams such as FC Utrecht or Go Ahead Eagles.
FILIP KURTO (FC Dordrecht)
Born on Olsztyn, Poland, Kurto could be the first name on the FC Dordrecht team sheet, as the side attempt to avoid the drop zone this season and resist exiting the Eredivisie in their first year back.
The 23-year-old may be remembered for his embarrassing own-goal last year during the 3-3 draw against FC Utrecht while keeping goal for Roda JC. He was released by the club and in July 2014, he signed a contract for the newly promoted FC Dordrecht.
I believe this will be a massive chance for the Pole to prove himself in the Dutch top flight and also to demonstrate to his old side that he should not have been let go so easily. Kurto is no stranger to Eredivisie football after appearing 65 times for Roda JC in the last two campaigns. As a relatively young keeper, I would love to see this number one at Dordrecht having the season of his life. I have high hopes for this club in general this coming season, however they will have to build from the back and no better way to do it than to start off with a keeper that has a safe pair of hands.
JORDY DECKERS (Excelsior)
Deckers will be preparing for a busy season ahead as his club Excelsior Rotterdam in their fight to try to avoid the drop zone like so many other clubs this season.
The 6ft 3 inches goalkeeper has appeared 54 times prior for Excelsior. He was a large part of the Rotterdam side’s promotion success last year as Deckers went on to play 38 Eerste Divisie matches and appeared in the four play-off matches.
The Dutchman will be out to do his best this upcoming season and there is no doubt, that the pressure will be on. Hopefully he can return from his summer break with a smoking hot pair of gloves to keep this club in the league. Success could be discovered by the club by competing in the KNVB Beker and doing respectablely well. This would be a great positive for the club, which I believe can only go into this season with realistic views and not get too eager.
All eyes in the Woudestein will be on Deckers this coming season, as his inexperienced defence will come under immense strain from the attacking forces of several of the top sides.
KOSTAS LAMPROU (Willem II)
Beginning his loan spell at Willem II for this campaign, Lamprou will be hoping he can show his parent club Feyenoord that he is worthy of a place in their starting eleven.
Born in Athens, Lamprou could be in the spotlight every weekend as his side attempt to fight for their lives in the Eredivisie. In 2012, he received the call from Greece national side, due to his consistency. However, his lack of height has continued to hinder his goalkeeping career, as he has received criticism from past stars of the game for only being 5ft 10. Which is a tad small for a regular keeper of this day and age, but this should not be too much of a factor for Lamprou this season.
Either way, the Greek keeper will have his work cut out for him this season and keeping a well mannered defence will be his main priority.
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