James Rowe recently spoke to MK Dons Goalkeeper Wieger Sietsma. They talked about his time coming through the FC Groningen youth academy and his current club MK Dons.

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Below is a transcript of the interview:

JR: ”In 2017 you signed for MK Dons. Are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how are you finding playing your football in England? ”

WS: ”I am really enjoying playing here at MK Dons. It was a big step for me to go from playing football in the Netherlands for FC Emmen to playing football in England. The setup here at MK Dons is really professional. I believe that the professionalism here is better than the average Eredivisie club I am completely convinced of that.”

JR: ”This Saturday you play at home to Blackpool FC in League One. How are the preparations going for the upcoming league match? ”

WS: ”Yes we play at home to Blackpool FC tomorrow and it is is a match that we must win given the situation that we are in fighting against relegation every point is important to us. We always approach our matches with the intention to win. We must avoid relegation this season and pick up enough points to achieve safety as soon as possible. ”

JR: ”You mentioned the professionalism at MK Dons. As a goalkeeper that has also played in the Netherlands . How would you describe the level of League One? ”

WS: ”League One is quiet difficult to describe because the biggest difference between the football in the Netherlands and England is the physical aspect. The difference is huge and you can see that in the amount of matches that we play here each season. We play here in England around 60 matches a season in all competitions and if you compare that with the Eredivisie I believe that is around 40 matches. There is more intensity here in England but I would also admit that the Eredivisie is tactically superior than League One but I would also rate League One as higher standard than the Jupiler League ( Dutch 1st Division ) ”

JR: ”You came through the youth setup at FC Groningen. How do you look back on that experience and your time at the club? ”

WS: ”My time in the FC Groningen youth setup was wonderful. I was born and raised in Groningen and my friends and family still live there. It was great to go on to be a part of FC Groningen’s youth setup. Even though that I went on to leave the club after breaking through to FC Groningen first team it is still my club. ”

JR: ”When you made the choice to transfer to MK Dons did you have many choices in terms of clubs that were interested in you. How did your transfer to MK Dons come to fruition? ”

WS: ”Just before the end of last season my agent received a phone call from the then manager of MK Dons Robbie Neilson because MK Dons were looking for a goalkeeper for the upcoming new season. I came here last season for two days to train with the squad and the reports were really positive and then MK Dons invited me back for pre season and things went so well that MK Dons offered me a contract and I decided to stay here. I am really happy here at MK Dons and I hope to remain here at the club for many seasons and build my career here in England.”

JR: ”Could you say who is the best player you have played with so far in your career? ”

WS: ”During my first year at FC Groningen and my first year with the first team I trained regularly with Virgil van Dijk. He is one of the best players I have played with. I would also like to mention Stijn Schaars when I was at SC Heerenveen, The best goalkeeper that I have ever worked with is without a doubt the current FC Groningen goalkeeper Sergio Padt. He can read matches really well and is always strong in a positional sense. He also has good footwork too. He is a complete goalkeeper and in my opinion he is the best goalkeeper in the Netherlands at the moment. ”

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

WS: ”Coincidentally this season we played at home to Swansea City in the 2nd round of the EFL Cup. It was also my first match for the club. Swansea City played with a strong startling lineup featuring Leroy Fer who scored twice in the match, Mike van der Hoorn and Luciano Narsingh. We lost 4-1 and it was a real football lesson. Swansea City was a difficult opponent and I can safety say that they are the most difficult team that I have faced so far in my career. ”

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

WS: ”If I had to chose one manager it would be Robbie Neilson. He was the manager that brought me here to MK Dons and he gave me the chance to play football in England and I am grateful to him for that. I would also give a special mention to Dick Lukkien (Current FC Emmen manager). He was my manager in the FC Groningen reserves and he brought me to FC Emmen. Dick Lukkien is a real people manager and is also really clear in what he wants from his players. I have never heard anybody say a bad word about him including the substitutes and that is unique in football. I had a great relationship with both managers and they were both very important in the progress and development that I have made so far in my career. ”

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