James Rowe recently spoke to AS Trencin Dutch midfielder Desley Ubbink. They spoke about his time playing in Kazakhstan for Taraz and Shakhter Karagandy and playing in the Slovakian Super League.

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Below is a transcript of the interview.

JR: ”In 2017 you signed for Slovakian team AS Trencin. Are you enjoying your time at the club and what is it like to play in the Slovakian League? ”

DU: ”Yes I am really enjoying my time at AS Trencin. The Slovakian League is completely different to the Dutch League especially in terms of mentality. But I have been playing abroad for the last five years and I am now used to that. There are clubs such as Slovan Bratislava and MSK Zilina that are tactically very strong and the other teams in the league are very physical and they like to play on the counter-attack. ”

JR: ”You also played two seasons in Kazakhstan for Taraz and Shakhter Karagandy. How did such a transfer happen from RKC Waalwijk to Taraz? ”

DB: ”A chance came my way and I took it. I was playing for RKC Waalwijk and I felt that I was not getting a chance to show what I can do and I received a chance to go and play football in Kazakhstan via a Dutch manager. I decided to take the chance because I reached the conclusion that I did not have a future at RKC Waalwijk so I chose an adventure in Kazakhstan. ”

JR: ”What are your highlights from your time in Kazakhstan? ”

DB: ”I am delighted that I got to experience such an adventure because Kazakhstan is not necessarily a country where you would go to play football from the Netherlands. Kazakhstan is an upcoming football country and a lot of money has been invested in Kazakhstan football and they also pay players very well. You also see that a lot of progression has been made with Astana FK who play Sporting Lisbon is the last 16 of the Europa League. There are more and more quality players coming to the Kazakhstan league and in the years before that it was very physical. The bigger teams in the league are Astana FK and Kairat Almaty and they both play good football. Former Russian international Andrey Arshavin plays for Kairat Almaty and I believe that is it an upcoming league. ”

JR: ”As a Dutch professional footballer. Do you miss the Netherlands and Dutch football in general Desley? ”

DB: ”With my experiences abroad I have not thought about Dutch football or the Netherlands. I wanted to focus on my football and if I was to think that I miss the Netherlands then that would stunt my development abroad. I excluded Dutch football from my thoughts in order to fully concentrate on my future and in my case that has been abroad. In the future if my career takes my back to the Netherlands then so be it but at this moment in time I can’t predict that. ”

JR: ”Having playing abroad for five years could you say who is the best player that you have ever played with so far in your career?”

DB: ”That is a really difficult question. I played with a lot of international players in Kazakhstan. I played with players who have represented Armenia and the Ukraine and also playing against famous names too. When I take that all that into account I do not wish to say one specific name as being the best player I have ever played with so far in my career.”

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

DB: ”When I think about it there have not been too many difficult opponents that I have faced so far in my career. But I must say I was very impressed by Andrey Ashavin that even at an older age he still had so much quality. I played against him for Shakhter Karagandy against Kairat Almaty in Kazakhstan. He is so skillful and so intelligent when in possession of the ball. ”

JR: ”Finally Desley you mentioned about the Dutch manager that brought you to Kazakhstan. Who are the managers that have helped you the most so far in your career?”

DB: ”I had a Dutch manager in Kazakhstan Arno Pijpers and he helped my to develop as a footballer. His brother Peter Pijpers was his assistant. They were both really good to me in terms of advice. Via Arno Pijpers brother Peter I arrived at Taraz. Peter knew me and asked me if I would like to come and train and Taraz and that is how it happened that my professional football career continued abroad in Kazakhstan. ”

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