Season preview of PEC Zwolle, who were definitely the surprise package of the Eredivisie during the last campaign.

  • By Nick van Ruiven
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zwollpecIf there ever was a fairy tale in Dutch football, the story of PEC Zwolle last season certainly had the makings of one. Topping the Eredivisie early on but a slide down the table meant Jans’ men finished off the season in 11th place. A sterling performance in the Dutch Cup Final against champions Ajax saw the Zwollenaren win 5-1 in order to claim their first piece of domestic silverware. The cup winners went on to beat the champs again to claim the Johan Cruyff Schaal. Could this be another remarkable season for Ron Jans and his squad?


PEC Zwolle have lost some of last season’s key men as Fred Benson (FC Sheriff), Guyon Fernandez (free agent), Darryl Lachman and Kahmohelo Mokotjo (FC Twente) as well as Mateusz Klich (Wolfsburg) have all departed the IJsseldelta Stadion. To replace them Ron Jans has recruited Nikolaos Ioannidis (on loan from Olympiakos), Thomas Lam (AZ), Ben Rienstra (Heracles) and Jody Lukoki (Ajax). If the performance in the JC Schaal match is anything to go by, PEC have not really suffered from the departure of their star men.


Zwolle faced some decent opposition in pre-season. The first three games against amateur sides were all won convincingly and after that they beat Jupiler League side Sparta, drew with Royal Mouscron. During the last week of pre-season  there were victories over PAOK Saloniki and Hannover 96.

Possible starting XI: Boer, Van Polen, Sainsbury, Broerse, Van Hintum, Rienstra, Saymak, Nijland, Drost, Thomas, Ioannidis

Key players:

Diederik Boer: The nine-fingered goalkeeper – Boer lost a finger as child – has put it some star performances ever since PEC Zwolle returned to the top flight in 2012. Several bigger clubs have been linked to him over the years.

Bram van Polen: The rock solid right-back has been a great servant for PEC Zwolle over the years. Like Boer, Van Polen has been the personification of PEC Zwolle’s rise.

Mustafa Saymak: Saymak has been capped by both  Netherlands and Turkey at youth level and has been an influential player in PEC’s midfield. Last season Saymak scored 6 goals in 33 games and was also involved in many more successful attacking moves.

Ryan Thomas: The Kiwi international joined PEC Zwolle in September of 2013 from Ole Football Academy and showed some real talent in his maiden season at IJsseldelta Stadion. During last season’s cup run he proved to be a real handful.  Overall he played 24 games, scoring 4 goals. There is definitely a lot more to come from him.


PEC Zwolle are not weaker than last season, although they lost as many key players as they did but they seem to have replaced those departing players adequately. Their current crop of players should be able to play a similar style as last season.

Nick Van Ruiven (37 Posts)