After an excellent campaign with NAC Breda’s U19’s, Sydney van Hooijdonk, son of Pierre, is now part of the club’s first team and ready to make a splash in the Eredivisie. 

  • By Michael Bell
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Pierre van Hooijdonk started his career in the youth set-up of NAC Breda before having an illustrious career with clubs such as Feyenoord, Nottingham Forest and Celtic, while earning 44 caps for the Dutch national team.

In 2017, his son Sydney followed in his father’s footsteps by being drafted into the NAC’s U17’s and he quickly made his debut at U19 level. Last season, van Hooijdonk was unstoppable for NAC’s U19’s, netting 23 goals in 25 appearances, which persuaded the club to tie him down to a three-year deal and promote the forward into the first-team ahead of the new campaign.

Sydney understands that his name carries some weight but he is keeping calm, “I understand that people look at me as the son of Pierre van Hooijdonk, but I myself am cool, I am Sydney and I am doing my best, I understand that people are going to compare and that is not bad either. Making my debut in the first team is my biggest dream, but I stay calm, I just want to develop.”

Van Hooijdonk was quick to make an impression during pre-season, scoring in NAC’s first game, a 5-1 win over amateur side Madese Boys.

Style of Play

The 18-year-old is a tall and powerful striker, much like his father, but can also be deployed on the left wing. A powerful runner, good in the air and possessing a powerful right-foot, van Hooijdonk has all the attributes of a potentially great centre-forward.

Another similarity between Sydney and his father is the ability to take free-kicks. The youngster showed last season that he is a specialist from a set piece, scoring a lovely free-kick in a derby match against Willem II.

What to expect from Sydney this season

Only three sides scored less goals than NAC Breda last season and with Thierry Ambrose returning to Manchester City the club look light on options up front. Mitchell Te Vrede will probably start the campaign up front alongside Gervane Kastaneer, but van Hooijdonk will be knocking on the door and will be hoping to quickly make his Eredivisie debut.

Van Hooijdonk has quickly risen through the ranks since joining NAC two years ago and looks ready to make an impact in the first-team this season. If he can adapt to the step up then Netherlands may be looking at another Van Hooijdonk capable of reaching the national team one day.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)