Feyenoord and Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC have taken the first step towards a talent and coaching development partnership. The two...
<P class=MsoBodyText style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-GB><FONT face=verdana size=1>In the league, Feyenoord’s performances have exceeded all expectations and that’s drawn praise from far and wide. But also close to home, because coach Koeman has also flagged up his side’s good start. ‘Twelve points from four games is very good,’ although the coach was quick to tag on a rider. ‘In football everything can be turned on its head from one day to the next. That’s why I wasn’t surprised that we played less well against Rapid. It’s now important we get back to form against Heerenveen.’</FONT></SPAN></P>
Feyenoord appear to be taking on the northerners at the right time. Gertjan Verbeek’s side are experiencing a so-so start to the season compared with the Rotterdammers’ 100% record. Koeman agrees that he could have picked a worse time to play Herenveen, but is less inclined to jump to conclusions. ‘Them not having picked up so many points means little to me. Rapid were also doing badly and look how Thursday’s match went. It’s no guarantee. But clearly it’s not a disadvantage that Heerenveen have also just played a European game. They have had a tough game and a long journey, that cannot work against us looking towards Sunday.’
Shinji Ono could find himself back in the side, after being left out for the past two matches. ‘I’ll decide on Saturday which players are in the squad; that goes for Ono too,’ says the coach. Romeo Castelen will certainly be in that squad. The international has played a part in the last two games, although he started both on the bench. ‘It’s also got to do with him coming back from a serious injury,’ says Koeman. ‘With Vincken and also with Robben I have often seen that this type of injury can return in explosive players. That’s why I want to approach it with care. It’s no good to us if he’s out of action for several weeks again.’
Jonathan de Guzman may make his debut against the Frisians. The Canadian – who only became eligible last Tuesday when he turned eighteen – did warm up, but didn’t ultimately come on against Rapid. That didn’t have anything to do with the occasion, as Koeman emphasised afterwards. ‘I have the feeling that I could play in any game, whether that’s against Rapid, Heerenveen or Ajax. He’s a lad with a lot of technique who can handle himself in many positions in midfield. He’s a calm lad whose doing well in the reserves. But that obviously doesn’t mean he’ll be successful in a full stadium. He has a lot of potential, but he still has to prove it of course.’
Gyan, Vincken (both will make their comeback in the reserves Monday), Gibbs, Hofs and Mtiliga are all out of contention, although Ferne Snoyl is available again after serving out his one-match suspension.
Feyenoord – Heerenveen
Sunday 18 September 2005, 14:30 at De Kuip
How they may line up
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund, Greene, Bahia, Bosschaart (Snoyl); Ghaly, Paauwe, Pardo; Boussaboun (Castelen), Kuyt, Kalou.