Football Season Guide



Reda Kharchouch (att) Sparta Rotterdam, Nathan Markelo (def) PSV Eindhoven U21, Jacky Donkor (att) Dordrecht, Yassin Ayoub (mid) Panathinaikos


Thijs Dallinga (k)(att) Toulouse, Reuven Niemeijer (k)(mid) Brescia, Bo Geens (sp)(gk) released, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill (r)(def) released, Abdallah Aberkane (sp)(def) released

After two years in Eerste Divisie, the third team from Rotterdam is back in the topflight. It was not a perfect year having finished the regular season in 6th position, but they had the merit to win the playoffs, beating Heracles Almelo in the semi-finals and winning the final against ADO Den Haag in a dramatic match that ended on penalties. The strength of coach Marinus Dijkhuizen's team, confirmed on the bench again this year, was undoubtedly the attack. They scored more than any other team, 82 goals, 32 of which were scored by Eerste Divisie top scorer Thijs Dallinga. Unfortunately, during the summer transfer market Dallinga went to play in Ligue 1 and another key player, like midfielder Reuven Niemeijer, also left. As for the arrivals, they signed forward Reda Kharchouch, who will try the arduous task of making Dallinga not regretted, and interesting right-back Nathan Markelo from the PSV youth team. In the pre-season they only faced second tiers teams, drew two with NAC Breda and Telstar, lost 2-0 to Almere City and defeated Dordrecht 3-2.


It will probably be a difficult season for Excelsior, especially having to do without last year's best two players. The goal is obviously to avoid an immediate relegation.