The outlook appeared bleak for Romeo Castelen in the aftermath of the tackle that ended his participation in the game in Katwijk Tuesday. The right attacker remained stretched out on the turf for what felt like an eternity. An anxious Erwin Koeman raced to the scene, fearing the worst, but Castelen eventually made it to his feet and limped off towards the dressing room. And when the news came, it was better than expected.

‘It is an ankle contusion,’ explained Castelen. ‘I think it’ll give me some trouble for a couple of days.’ Those were words that brought relief to the Feyenoord camp, but no more than that. ‘Because we have lost this evening. And you obviously never want to lose to amateurs,’ said Erwin Koeman. ‘It’s beyond me. It’s difficult to accept.’

Hard to stomach, but not without its benefits, according to the head coach. ‘You get more out of a 1-0 defeat than a 20-0 win in preseason. The lads are very disappointed, which I feel is a good sign. We’ll just keep going, we still have a whole bunch of friendlies to play.’

‘Football is about initiative, insight and having the courage to play. We lacked those things in the first half. The second half was better however. We started well. After that Katwijk introduced a lot of substitutes and the game was stopping and starting. That is more difficult to evaluate. But it’s clear that there is a lot of work to be done.’

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Feyenoord Business CLub