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Jens Toornstra leaving de Kuip after eight seasons

Jens Toornstra has decided to leave Feyenoord after eight years at the club. The midfielder will head back to FC Utrecht, the club he left to join Feyenoord back in 2014. Toornstra’s contract at De Kuip was running out.
Toornstra’s eight years at Feyenoord were highly successful for both player and club. For many fans the much-loved midfielder, who was made club captain last season, to a great extent personifies what Feyenoord represents. His performances on the pitch – as well as his boundless energy and indefatigable character – made him a highly-valued member of the team with a winning mentality.
‘Impressive service record’
General director Dennis te Kloese stresses that Jens didn’t have to leave Feyenoord: ‘Actually we would have liked to keep him and we’ve said that in several meetings over recent days. But the management and the coach don’t want to keep a player who’s done so much for the club here against his will. Coach Arne Slot has previously said that Jens is very valuable and that his role has not changed since last season. Jens is in every respect a model pro for the youngsters and someone who, as has so often been shown, will always play enough. In-house we’ve said that we would only consider Jens leaving if he were to repeatedly say he wanted to. He has done this on several occasions and, given his impressive service record, we’ve decided to adopt a reasonable stance in cooperating on his departure. We don’t want to stand in the way of a player who has shown such complete devotion for such a long time, who has meant so much for the club and has now decided to try his luck elsewhere.’
‘Unbelievably proud to have played at Feyenoord for so long’
Jens is grateful for that, as he is also grateful for everything he has been able to experience with Feyenoord. ‘I’m unbelievably proud to have been able to play for this fantastic club for so long. Together with the fans and everyone in the organisation, I have managed to win everything there is to win in the Netherlands and we have also been in a European final.’
‘As a result my sporting dreams have been realised and Feyenoord will always have a special place in my heart. But I feel too fit not to play every week. One day my body will tell me that I’m done, but I still feel so good that I want to work towards the match all week and in every training session with the idea that I can be one of the starting eleven. That’s the reason for the difficult decision to leave.’
At Feyenoord Toornstra won two KNVB Cups, the Eredivisie title and two Johan Cruijff Shields. Last season he was part of the team that impressed the continent as it played its way into the Europa Conference League final. With 313 official matches to his name, Toornstra has won a place not only in the hearts of the club’s fans but also in the top ten list of players by appearances, alongside such icons as Wim Jansen, Eddy Treijtel and Willem van Hanegem. He has scored 65 goals and claimed 62 assists.
The four-time Dutch international has also achieved some fine personal milestones in his time at De Kuip. When Feyenoord won the title in 2016-2017 he was named Fans’ Player of the Year and at the Footballer of the Year Gala he was presented with the Bronze Boot.
It’s expected that the former captain will return to Feyenoord in another capacity once he hangs up his boots, an intention previously confirmed by club and player. Says Te Kloese: ‘That’s still the plan, his departure does not change that, but that’s all for later. We now want to wish Jens lots of success at FC Utrecht.’