‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
After eight seasons loyal service, including more than 300 official appearances and 30 goals, Patrick Paauwe is leaving Feyenoord. The thirty year old is moving to French Championnat club Valenciennes, winners the country’s second division last term, with which he is set to sign a two-year deal. ‘After all those years with us Patrick was ready for a new challenge and we wish him all the best, from the heart,’ said Chris Woerts.
After moving to De Kuip in 1998 Patrick Paauwe soon established himself as a given on the first team sheet. In his first season he won the title with Feyenoord, adding the Johan Cruijffschaal (1999) and the UEFA Cup (2002) to his roll of honour in quick succession. Paauwe also won five international caps during his time in Rotterdam, and broke the club’s record for the most appearances in European competitions last campaign.
Patrick Paauwe started his Feyenoord career on the left side of midfield, but he also played at left back and centre half for a long time. His prime assets are his strength in the tackle and his rasping shot. His most important – and most beautiful – goal came in the Johan Cruijffschaal meet between champions Feyenoord and cup winners Ajax in 1999. Paauwe’s 25-metre drive won the plate for the Rotterdammers.
The garden was less rosy for Paauwe under Ruud Gullit’s single season at the reins, going from captain to reserve in the space of nine months. But with the departure of Gullit and the arrival of Erwin Koeman he got a second wind, earning his place in the starting line-up again.
‘It’s been great,’ says Paauwe. ‘I have had eight wonderful years and the first four in particular were brilliant. Feyenoord has become part of my life and will always be so. It’s a pity that we haven’t won anything these past few years, but it was unforgettable anyway. I’m now really looking forward to a new challenge in another league. I’m really happy about having a new challenge.’
‘Patrick has been of enormous value to this club’, says Chris Woerts. ‘That is why Feyenoord took a flexible attitude in the transfer discussions. We wish Patrick a lot of success in France. We’ll obviously be giving him the chance to say goodbye to the supporters.’