‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord play only their second home game since mid-September when Vitesse come to De Kuip Sunday in the Eredivisie. Last week’s win in Tilburg ended a run of three straight away losses, but the standard of opposition meant that it still has to be seen how much confidence the victory generated. ‘Let me be honest: a better team would have made things harder for us. Vitesse have more quality than Willem II, so in that perspective it is going to be an interesting meeting,’ says Koeman.
Koeman invited a number of youngsters to cross the road from Varkenoord to train with the first-teamers this week. The coach wasn’t looking for options with an eye to Feyenoord’s match against the league’s fifth-place team however; he simply feels it makes sense to give up-and-coming talents a taste of what’s in store. Evander Sno, Sammuel, Diego Biseswar and Royston Drenthe were all given that opportunity this week.
Drenthe has established himself as a gifted left back at the youth academy, but he had his hands full with Romeo Castelen in Thursday training. He also showed there was room for improvement in his passing, making a mistake that led to a goal at one point. ‘That’s good for him to experience and also for the other boys who are expected to make the leap,’ says Koeman. ‘I’ll particularly be bringing these boys into the squad when there are internationals, provided they aren’t selected for youth internationals themselves of course.’
Koeman kept to the training theme at the Friday press call when he expressed some thoughts on a possible January training camp in South Africa during the winter break, which is much shorter this year due to the need to get the league wrapped up ahead of the World Cup. ‘The advantage is that there is no time difference. What’s more, we’d return on a Tuesday morning and still have five days to prepare ourselves for the first game against Vitesse. I am assuming, if we go we’ll be going with a large group. I’ll also take along a few young players with an eye to the African Cup of Nations, which starts in January and which will probably deny us Ghaly, Saidi and Boussaboun for a couple of weeks.’
Coincidently, Ghaly and Saidi are the only real doubts for Sunday’s meeting with Vitesse. Both are troubled by a hamstring problem. Patrick Lodewijks on the other hand is fully recovered and will play. Long-term injuries continue to rule out Ono, Mtiliga, Schreuder, Gibbs and Hofs.
Feyenoord – Vitesse
Sunday 6 November, 14:30, at De Kuip
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund, Greene, Bahia, Snoyl; Ghaly (Pardo), Paauwe,De Guzman; Castelen, Kuyt, Kalou.
Vitesse: Wapenaar; Vreven, Dingsdag, Knol, Swerts; Van der Schaaf, Yakubu,Janssen; Hersi, Amoah, De Mul.
LAST TEN LEAGUE MEETINGS
23/1/2005 Feyenoord - Vitesse 1-2
22/11/2003 Feyenoord - Vitesse 3-0
12/4/2003 Feyenoord - Vitesse 2-1
17/11/2001 Feyenoord - Vitesse 3-2
20/12/2000 Feyenoord - Vitesse 2-0
29/8/2004 Vitesse - Feyenoord 1-1
8/2/2004 Vitesse - Feyenoord 0-0
19/10/2002 Vitesse - Feyenoord 1-1
17/2/2002 Vitesse - Feyenoord 2-1
4/3/2001 Vitesse - Feyenoord 0-0