James Rowe was recently invited to Goffertstadion in Nijmegen to interview Feyenoord loanee Jari Schuurman. They spoke about coming through the Feyenoord youth teams. Learning from current NEC Nijmegen manager Pepijn Lijnders and his hopes and dreams for the future.

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Below is a transcript of the interview

JR: ”You arrived at NEC Nijmegen in August 2017 on loan from Feyenoord. Are you enjoying your time at the club so far? ”

JS: ”Yes I am really enjoying myself. NEC Nijmegen is a great club and I feel at home. I have only had back luck with injuries so far. I had a thigh injury that kept me out for 12 weeks in total. Eight weeks with the injury and four weeks recuperation. It was tough but the team and staff helped to get me through it and I have been playing regularly again these past few weeks. ”

JR: ”Having experienced both the Eredivisie and Jupiler League. Do you believe there are differences between the two divisions? ”

JS: ”Yes I believe that the Jupiler League is more physical where you experience a lot of one on one situations with opponents. I notice in the Eredivisie that up to a certain point you have more time to execute your pass or shot on goal. I also believe that the Eredivisie is more tactical than the Jupiler League.”

JR: ”What is it like to play under current manager Pepijn Lijnders? ”

JS: ”The first thing you notice about his ability is his experience abroad with FC Porto and Liverpool FC. Our training is different where we apply a lot of pressure on our teammates to win the ball back and start attacks he calls that pressing. He also explains to me why we are doing certain training exercises and the idea behind them √°nd it’s very interesting and different to what I have experienced before. ”

JR: ”NEC Nijmegen are currently top of the Jupiler League. Is the goal of this team to win promotion back to the Eredivisie? ”

JS: ”Yes I believe we have the quality to do it. I have played at Feyenoord and Willem II in the past and I believe that NEC Nijmegen are a team that deserves to be playing Eredivisie football. We have a good squad and we must get promoted this season. ”

JR: ”You came through the entire youth set up at Feyenoord.What is like to complete that¬†journey from a young playing coming through the ranks and making your debut for the first team? ”

JS: ”It is very special to have come through the entire youth setup at Feyenoord. I was 7 years old when I arrived at the club and it was a great experience because you invest so much time to fulfil your dream of becoming a professional footballer. Not playing outside with your friends every day and being picked up from school in the team bus to go to training. I am delighted to have made the grade to become a professional because there are many players that do not make it. Even the experiences of playing tournaments abroad, playing a high level, winning titles. It was fantastic.”

JR: ”You had a season on loan at Willem II. How do you look back on your time at the club? ”

JS: ”It was my first season as a professional player and I played Eredivisie football and towards the end of the season I managed to force my way into the starting lineup and it was a very interesting year for me. ”

JR: ”At Willem II Erwin van de Looi was your manager. What type of manager is he? ”

JS: ”He is really clear in what he wants from his players. He is not really a big talker but you know where you stand with him and if something is bothering you his door is always open. You never have to wonder about things whilst playing under him and that gives you a nice feeling. In my case I did not start many matches for Willem II in the beginning of my time on loan at the club but we always got on really well with each other. ”

JR: ”You are still very young what are your dreams and ambitions for the future? ”

JS: ”I am still only 20 years old and I have managed to accrue a lot of experience. My goal is to reach the first team of Feyenoord and become an important player for the club. My current contract runs until 2020. If I manage to fulfil those dreams then it would be great to play for a big club abroad. Real Madrid would be my dream club but that’s maybe a long way in the future who knows? ”

JR: ”You have accrued a lot of experience. Could you say who is the best player that you have played with so far in your career? ”

JS: ”At Feyenoord in the youth teams I played with Marlon Slabbekoorn. You have probably never heard of him, I believe he is now playing for Jong Den Bosch. He had fantastic ability and some of the things I saw him do on the pitch were unbelievable. In terms of ball possession, I would say Abdelhak Nouri a great player and also current PSV Eindhoven forward Steven Bergwijn. I became the Netherlands top scorer at the Euro under 17 tournament and he was also crowned player of the tournament. I have been lucky to play with many young players that are really good but Marlon Slabbekoorn stands out for me when he was in form. ”

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

JS: ”Last year we played against France in the Under 19 European Championship and we lost 5-1. There was a winger called Kylian Mbappe. During the match I was not aware of him only after the match and the progression that he has made since with AS Monaco and Paris st Germain. After the match I thought who is that good winger in the French national under 19 team and 6 months later the whole world knew who he was. He has unbelievable acceleration and speed. You could tell even back then that he was a great player. ”

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

JS: ”There are a few managers who I have not forgotten. Gaston Taument helped me in the beginning of my development at Feyenoord. Cor Adriaanse is a key figure behind the scenes at Feyenoord. Maarten Stekelenburg was also important for me during my time at the Dutch national team under 17. He knew my strengths and gave my freedom on the pitch to express myself. ”

JR: ”Finally Jari you mentioned the Dutch national team. You have played up to the U19’s in the past. Do you believe it will be possible to fulfil your dream to one day debut for the Dutch national team in the coming years? ”

JS:: ”I believe that it is possible but I must first continue to develop and play at the highest possible level in the Eredivisie. I was born in 1997 so I still have time to realize that dream. ”

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