As a young boy you usually do not have much input on club choice. That is mostly for you and in 99 of the 100 cases to do with the club where mom or dad are already active, or have been very active, in any role. Well, it doesn’t matter, as long as I could play soccer. Whether I was very aware of the club where I would make my first meters, not so. I was 6 years old when I went out with my brothers. No idea where to go, because at that age you soon walk behind your big brother or sister. In my case, brothers, because they were already on soccer. And my sister … well, she never liked soccer. My parents didn’t have time for soccer. After a while, I arrived at the destination with my brothers. Oh, but I knew this; the local soccer club, right in front of the Zaanse Schans (famous windmill parc). I thought I would play soccer with my brothers.
Just before I was ready to kick the ball, I was pulled by my brother. If I wanted to come along. I met an elderly man who welcomed me to the club. How welcome? Then it became clear to me. The best man told me that I had become a member of the soccer club. He asked me if I already had soccer boots. I shook my head like “no”. We walked to a large closet. My eye fell on the many soccer boots that were stacked in it. Used soccer boots, slightly worn, but ah, who cares? More good news! That Saturday there would be a big soccer tournament and I was allowed to participate right away. Funny when I think back, because I met my future teammates for the first time on the tournament day itself.
It was a high class tournament, at least for us, because I think we were all on soccer for the first time. Yes, then everything that you have to play on seems extra strong. We had some hope, because the first opponent looked a bit smaller on average. We were laughing about it. What could those gnomes do against us now? Pffff, well we’ve known the conscience; one attack after another was expertly completed. We could happily limit the damage. Not that we ourselves got better, but the matches lasted for a maximum of fifteen minutes. Those were just not double digits. From that moment on I already thought differently about physical differences. By the way, my mother recently told us that our neighbor had approached her at the time that I had not been given any sandwiches or drinks to the tournament. Believe that she still struggles with that today. I am not angry with my mother, but now I understand why people always liked my style of playing soccer ….. I made a hungry impression ….
I have gone through the youth education totality. Can remember that from the juniors I came into contact with the phenomenon “selection soccer”. In any case, I knew that I would be in one of the two teams. Give it a name, because if I had not been a selection soccer player, I would still play in the same team, on the same level. I can remember that the coaches I’ve had were doing their best to make a nice workout out of it. It had little to do with the game of soccer as we were used to playing on the Saturday. Would be something if you had to jump over fences during the game. In the higher junior selection, a qualified coach was appointed who provided the training sessions on weekdays and was the coach on Saturday. That made it much clearer. Later I realized that I might have played soccer under my own level all those years. Whether my career would have turned out differently when I started playing soccer at the other local club, I will never know. No idea who could have pointed this out or been able to guide me.
Still, I can say in a way that I also played professional soccer. A fat check on the doormat every 3 months? No … membership fee with the final payment date