Despite or rather owing to being unavailable for selection, Romeo Castelen was the main topic of conversation when Erwin Koeman spoke with the press Friday ahead of Sunday’s Eredivisie match at Roda JC. The outside right picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty and Koeman was unable to hide his frustration at what he feels was an avoidable injury. ‘The KNVB acted without due care. We are now saddled with a problem, because we are missing an important player with a tough game ahead of us.’

Koeman was verbose when asked about the ‘Castelen affair’ at the Friday press conference. ‘Romeo left here fit. In preparing for the game against Italy he became troubled by his hamstring. It was then decided to let him play ninety minutes’ football anyway. The days following that he wasn’t fully fit, but he did have to play for the Under 21s four days later. There was no time to recover. He also has a history, because he developed the same injury in preseason and he was out for a long time. Two games were too much in his situation. I put a message on Romeo’s voicemail Tuesday morning, because I had a bad feeling. I told him that Feyenoord paid his wages, have priority as a consequence and that we needed him against Roda. Unfortunately I was proved right. The days before the game he most likely did not train flat out and in the first sprint he had to go for broke in it went awry. I think that they acted without due care at the KNVB. The medical staff should have stepped in. Romeo himself could have been more careful. But I have been a footballer myself and I did not always take proper care of my body. We are now saddled with a problem and that is frustrating.’

The absence from Friday training of Hossam Ghaly seemed to indicate a problem there too, but Koeman silenced the alarm bells. The midfielder was forced to extend his stay in Egypt, where he’s been on international duty, for personal reasons. ‘But all things being equal he will be back on time for the game against Roda.’ Bearing in mind the absentees Koeman was shocked by a training game tussle between Jonathan de Guzman and Ali Boussaboun that left the Moroccan with a sore ankle. Boussaboun is Koeman’s choice for the outside right position, now that both Castelen and Vincken are unavailable. So he will have breathed a sigh of relief when Boussaboun was able to return to the fray. ‘I assume he’ll play,’ confirmed Koeman.

Injuries in the final third have led the coach to bring youth international Diego Biseswar into the squad. The striker made his first-team debut last May against ADO Den Haag.

Besides Castelen and Vincken, Koeman will also have to do with Karim Saidi, Cory Gibbs, Patrick Mtiliga, Alfred Schreuder, John Owoeri, Nicky Hofs and Shini Ono Sunday. There is good news with respect to the Japanese international however, as Ono flies back to Holland Friday for the first time since he underwent surgery on his foot in his homeland. Ono has now started some light training, ‘but I will have to do without him for a couple of weeks,’ said Koeman.

Roda JC – Feyenoord

Sunday 20 November 2005 at the Parkstad Limburg Stadium
Referee: Van Egmond

Feyenoord:  Lodewijks; Östlund, Greene, Bahia, Snoyl; Ghaly, Paauwe, De Guzman; Boussaboun, Kuyt, Kalou.

Roda JC: Begois; Lachambre, Vicelich, Kah, Senden; Bodor, Sergio, G. van Dijk, Bodnar; Oper, Cissé.


13/3/2005 Feyenoord - Roda JC 4-1
28/3/2004 Feyenoord - Roda JC 3-0
29/5/2003 Feyenoord - Roda JC 3-1
3/2/2002 Feyenoord - Roda JC 5-0
5/11/2000 Feyenoord - Roda JC 4-2

17/10/2004 Roda JC - Feyenoord 0-2
19/10/2003 Roda JC - Feyenoord 1-1
24/8/2002 Roda JC - Feyenoord 2-2
22/8/2001 Roda JC - Feyenoord 0-2
29/4/2001 Roda JC - Feyenoord 1-0

Feyenoord Business CLub