Football Season Guide

Sparta Rotterdam


Koki Saito (att) Lommel SK, Jason Lokilo (att) Gornik Leczna, Omar Rekik (def) Arsenal U21, Nick Olij (gk) NAC Breda, Charles-Andreas Brym (att) FC Eindhoven, Youri Schoonderwaldt (gk) ADO Den Haag, Mike Eerdhuijzen (def) Volendam, Jonathan de Guzman (mid) free-agent


Tom Beugelsdijk (r)(def) Helmond Sport, Reda Kharchouch (att) Excelsior, Michaël Heylen (sp)(def) Emmen, Adrián Dalmau (sp)(att) released, Lennart Thy (r)(att) PEC Zwolle, Benjamin van Leer (gk) released

Sparta ended last season in 14th position, just one point above the playout zone. Until a few rounds from the end they were in the penultimate position and avoided relegation thanks to three wins in the last three games. A very disappointing season, therefore, especially considering that in the previous one they had reached a spot in the playoffs to access Europe. Their adventure in KNVB Beker ended already in December, eliminated by Vitesse in the second round. Compared to last year, the purchasing campaign was more lively. The most notable departures were those of seasoned defenders Tom Beugelsdijk and Michaël Heylen and forwards Lennart Thy and Adrian Dalmau, the latter being a real disappointment last season. In terms of signings, they mainly involved players who stood out in the Eerste Divisie, such as NAC Breda's goalkeeper Nick Olij, Volendam's defender Mike Eerdhuijzen and FC Eindhoven's striker Charles-Andreas Brym. In addition, the club has also invested in interesting young foreign players such as Japanese forward Koki Saito and promising Arsenal U21 defender Omar Rekik. The remaining gaps were filled with players from the youth team. The most important news, however, concerns the bench where from this season the former NAC Breda Maurice Steijn will sit, definitively a more offensive coach than Henk Fraser, who after 4 years moved to Utrecht. Steijn's most used system of play is the 4-2-1-3. In the pre-season Sparta played three friendly games winning against Heracles Almelo and Willem II and losing to Beerschot.


The team looks more or less at the same level as last year, the determining factor could be the new coach. A quiet survival could be the more realistic target.