We continue our look at each Eredivisie club ahead of the new season by previewing what the 2014/15 campaign has in store for Heracles Almelo.

  • By Michael Bell
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linssesLast season, Heracles flirted dangerously with relegation, finishing only two places above the bottom three, after winning only two of their last twelve matches. Heracles coach Jan de Jonge has overhauled his squad this summer, but will it be enough to stop the club once again being dragged into a fight for survival?

Transfers:

Experienced goalkeeper Remko Pasveer has departed the club to join PSV Eindhoven, left back Jason Davidson has gone to Premier League side West Brom, Ben Rienstra swaps Heracles for PEC Zwolle, while both Matthew Amoah, and Kwame Quansah have been released. Two of the clubs stars from last season, Mark Uth, and Mikhael Rosheuvel are also gone after their loans ended.

Incoming have been experienced centre back Ramon Zomer from Heerenveen, goalkeeper Bram Castro from MVV, and midfielder Bas Sibum from Beveren, while Mark jan Fledderus has returned to the club from Roda JC. A number of youngsters have come in from neighbours FC Twente, including Joey Pelupessy.

Pre-season:

The preparations for Heracles began with an encouraging 10-0 win over De Zweef, before they were defeated 2-0 by Den Bosch. A 3-2 win over De Graafchap was then followed by a 2-1 defeat by Konyaspor. The final pre-season game ended 1-1 against Al Ittihad.

Heracles strongest XI: Telgenkamp, Te Wierik, Schenkeveld, Zomer, Aktaou, Bruns, Cziommer, Fledderus, Bel Hassani, Tannane, Linssen

Key Players:

Simon Cziommer: He may be 33-years-old and nearing the end of his career, but Cziommer is still a class act, and keeps Heracles ticking in the midfield. The German’s passing ability, and determined play in the middle is a big asset for the club.

Bryan Linssen: The 23-year-old was Heracles top scorer last season with eleven goals, and will once again be the clubs biggest threat this season. The forward is tricky, and has a devastating finish around the box. Its actually a surprise that Heracles have managed to keep Linssen after his excellent performances last season.

Young Player to watch:

Oussama Tannane: The 20-year-old Moroccan made a big impression in his first season at the club, scoring four goals in 20 appearances. Most of those appearances were from the bench, but the attacker will be hoping to make a much bigger impact this year.

Prediction:

Heracles have lost some good players this summer, and i have doubts over whether the players that have been brought into replace them are good enough to avoid a relegation scrap. The importance of Bryan Linssen to Heracles can not be overstated, and if the attacker was to leave, or get injured then they could really struggle. If Heracles keep their strongest eleven fit, then they should be safe, but if not, a place in the end of season relegation play-offs may be looming.

My prediction: 13th-16th




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