James Rowe recently spoke to NAC Breda defender Fabian Sporkslede. They talked about coming through the AZ Alkmaar youth team, his time in Italy with Chievo Verona and of course his current club NAC Breda.

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Below is a transcript of the interview:

JR: ”Could I ask for your reaction to the 1-0 home defeat last Sunday against Roda JC? ”

FS: ”It was a a frustrating afternoon for us. We did not start the game well and I thought that we created enough chances to go on to get a positive result against Roda JC. It is frustrating for us not to pick up any points from the home match against Roda JC. ”

JR: ”How is the mood in the NAC Breda squad going into the last six matches of the season? ”

FS: ”We have six finals ahead of us and we must keep going until we are safe from relegation. We must pick up points. After these six finals, the season is finished and we must ensure that we remain in the Eredivisie. We are not there yet so we must remain focused and pick up the points that we need in order for NAC Breda to avoid relegation and stay in the Eredivisie next season. ”

JR: ”You spent part of your youth career at AZ Alkmaar. Ho do you look back on coming through the AZ Alkmaar youth system? ”

FS: ”I spent two years at AZ Alkmaar. Since my time there the youth setup at AZ Alkmaar has seen immense growth. I would now say that the current AZ Alkmaar youth setup belongs to the best youth setup’s in the Netherlands and when I was there that was not the case but I had a great time at AZ Alkmaar and I had many good managers. In my two years there I developed as a player and I learned all about what it takes to play in the youth teams of a professional football club and that helped me to grow as a footballer. ”

JR: ”You spent time in Italy playing for Chievo Verona and Lupa Castelli Romani. How do you look back on your experience in Italy?”

FS: ”My time in Italy was a really interesting period of my career particularity off the pitch as a person. I am religious and I am a Christian. I believe that it was a risk for me to go to Italy. In footballing terms, it did not work out that way I wanted it to but I grew as a person in my strength of character. I learned under the circumstances that you must keep working hard and learn to deal with certain situations and that was a learning curve for me. I believe that you always have disappointments and struggles in life and due to my faith I believe that these situations arrive in order for you to grow as a person and I must say that my strength of character grew during my time in Italy. ”

JR: ”Was daily training for you at Chievo Verona completely different from what you were used to in the Netherlands?”

FS: ”Yes there are many differences between Italian and Dutch football. Also the manner in which you train that is due to history and also the average age of players. In Italy there are many experienced players and in the Netherlands, it is very youthful. ”

JR: ”Could you say how is the best player that you have every played with? ”

FS: ”I was lucky enough to make my debut at Ajax and I played with Christian Eriksen. He arrived at Ajax and started to play in the under 17’s and at that time I was then playing in the under 16’s but I was promoted to the under 17’s team a year earlier and we grew towards one another. Even back then I could see how good he was and he has gone on to grow as a player and I believe that he is the best player that I have played with so far in my career. ”

JR: ”Who is the most difficult opponent that you have faced so far in your career? ”

FS: ”I have been fortunate to play in the Champions League against Real Madrid in Amsterdam. We lost 4-1 and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hattrick and I was up against Mesut Ozil. It is an amazing experience to play against Real Madrid as a professional footballer. The level that Mesut Ozil has is by far the most quality I have had to deal with from any opponent that I have faced so far in my career. ”

JR: ”Who are the managers that have helped you so far in your career? ”

FS: ”I have been fortunate to have great managers and big players with an Ajax history at Ajax Frank De Boer, Jaap Stam, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronald De Boer and Fred Grim and I must say that I learned something from everyone. When those types of players try to tell you something then you listen intently. For me personally, there has not been one manager in particular where I would say that I learned the most from him. I have been lucky enough to have many good managers during my career so far. ”

Sporkslede isn’t just a talented footballer. He also owns a sports equipment company called Amplify. Check out their website by clicking here.




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