James Rowe recently spoke with Sønderjyske defender Kees Luijckx. They talked about the challenges of playing in the Danish League, his time at NAC Breda and Excelsior Rotterdam and playing under Louis van Gaal at AZ Alkmaar.


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Below is a transcript of the interview:

JR: “You signed for Sønderjyske in 2015. Are you enjoying playing in and what are the challenges of playing in the Danish League? ”

KL: “I really feel at home here in Denmark and I have recently extended my contract too. In the last few matches I have been captain and I am really happy how things are going here at Sønderjyske and I am very happy in Denmark. ”

JR: “What is the main strength of this Sønderjyske team? “

KL: “The main strength of the club is our collective qualities. We have players that fight for one another and our team spirit is very good. A few seasons ago we finished 2nd in the Danish League and last season we were in the playoffs to achieve European football. Our team building is fantastic and as teammates, we can always count on one another. “

JR: “You played a lot of matches for Excelsior Rotterdam. How do you look back on your time at the club? “

KL: “I played at Excelsior at the beginning of my career and I really enjoyed my time there. You can compare Excelsior Rotterdam with Sønderjyske in which there is always a great atmosphere surrounding the club and that suits me. Excelsior Rotterdam was great for my development as a professional footballer. “

JR: “You played for NAC Breda for 3 seasons (2010–2013). How do you look back on your time with the club?”

KL: “What was great about NAC Breda was that I learned to love the club and the city. NAC Breda became my club in the Netherlands. I still visit that club and I also own a home in the area even when I am not from there. That tells it’s own story about my time there. I believe NAC Breda to be the best club in the Netherlands that a footballer can play for. Their supporters are fantastic. “

JR: “You also played abroad in the past in Greece and Hungary. What are for you personally the most important decisive elements when being approached by a foreign club to sign for them? ”

KL:“It really depends on the moment that you are approached and in what phase you are in during your career. I never made my choices on the basis of money and that is a fact. I had the chance to go to Australia and nothing came of it. When I was 20 I had the chance to go to SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga and also Russia too but at the time I was not mature enough to make that decision .There are choices to be made in football and you must never regret your decisions. The decisions you make are very important and you need good advice and a bit of luck too that you get to play regularly at your new club. ”

JR: “Who is the best player that you have played with in your career? ”

KL: “When I was at AZ Alkmaar a player who I thought was fantastic was Moussa Dembele. He has so much to his game. You could put him in every position on the pitch and he would do well. ”

JR: “Who is the most difficult opponent that you have faced? “

KL: “In the Eredivisie I always thought that Ibrahim Afellay was a great player I played against him on many occasions when he played for PSV Eindhoven. We also played against one another in Greece when Niki Volos played against Olympiakos. ”

JR: “Finally Kees who is the best manager you have played under in your professional career? “

KL: “At AZ Alkmaar I played under Louis van Gaal and we won the Eredivisie in 2009 and they were fantastic times. My experiences with Louis van Gaal as my manager are still with me today and I am so pleased to have worked under him. As a player if you have had Louis van Gaal as your manager then you have been spoilt as a player. After AZ Alkmaar I still had very good managers but looking back I am really grateful to have had him as my manager when I was only 20 years old. ”

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