Heerenveen defender Kik Pierie is a regular with the Dutch youth teams but the United States Men’s National Team will be watching the youngster with a keen interest in what could be breakout season for the 17-year-old.

  • By Chaka Simbeye
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Kik Pierie was born in Boston as his father was working at Harvard University but he grew up in Leeuwarden only to play for the local team Cambuur’s biggest rivals, Heerenveen. The Frisians are becoming renowned for grooming fine ball-playing defenders like Jeffrey Gouwelleuw and Jerry St Juste, with 17-year-old Pierie the next off the production line. The teenager is eligible to play for the United States of America and the Dutch National Team as he is a player both country’s youth teams will be looking at. Heerenveen have sold St Juste to champions, Feyenoord and allowed Wout Faes to join Excelsior. The dual-national will have more opportunities to impress Jurgen Streppel this season after some impressive appearances in the Europa League Playoffs last season.

Playing Style

Pierie has shown that he is next on the conveyor belt of fine Dutch ball-playing centre-backs but has also shown glimpses of grit although his body is not fully developed. Against Utrecht in the Europa League Playoff, he was comfortable in charging out of position to make timely interventions while he also showed astute positioning and reactions to make an important goal-line clearance in the second-leg. Pierie finished the second-leg with a 91% pass succession rate and 2 interceptions as his confidence on the ball is the most eye-catching facet of his game. He displayed poise and calm to drive the ball out of the back and thread the ball through tight passing lanes into the front-line on multiple occasions. He is a player who always looks to be creatively constructive with the ball even in high pressure situations as he has the makings of a well-rounded centre-back.

What is next for Kik Pierie this season?

After the departures of both St Juste and Faes, Pierie should be looking to make himself a staple in the Heerenveen starting lineup after impressing in the Europa League Playoffs last season. He and Denis Johnsen who is touted as a replacement for Sam Larsson have been earmarked for increased first team participation this season. The Frisians’ academy has produced Hakim Ziyech, Daley Sinkgraven and Luciano Narsingh in recent times as Pierie is next on a long-line of immensely gifted footballers who began their careers donning Heerenveen’s blue and white kit. At the beginning of pre-season, Jurgen Streppel hinted at a first-team spot for Pierie as the man who once made Willem II ‘The Ajax of the South’, will have no qualms at replacing a brilliant ball-playing centre-back from the academy in St Juste with another one in Pierie.

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)