Sparta Rotterdam

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Season Guide
2022/2023

Sparta Rotterdam

In


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

Out


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.

Target


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.

Season Review
2020/2021

№8: Sparta Rotterdam

It was Sparta's best season in 25 years. Last year they had already surprised everyone by reaching an excellent 11th position as a newly promoted team, this year they went even further ending in 8th position, thus qualifying to the playoffs for a spot in Conference League. Unfortunately, they failed to go beyond the semi-finals in which they were eliminated by Feyenoord in the Rotterdam derby. Yet, the start of the season did not bode well, far from it, given that after seven rounds they had only gained 3 points and had not won any games. Then the season changed, November and December were positive months, they had a slight decline between January and February, but from March onwards it was a crescendo that led them to collect 13 points in the last 5 decisive games. Coach Henk Fraser, who almost never changed his usual 4-2-3-1, gave a clear identity to his team, not a spectacular side, but certainly very compact and full of determination and fighting spirit…the typical Spartan character. As for the individual players, if the talented midfielder Bryan Smeets has definitely betrayed expectations, and in fact has often ended up on the bench, Abdou Harroui and Adil Auassar have given solidity to the team having a consistent performance throughout the season. However, there were two main surprises, first of all goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, who should have been the substitute of Ajax loanee Benjamin van Leer, while after a few rounds he became the immovable starter. Then German forward Lennart Thy, arrived from PEC Zwolle to replace Ragnar Ache, who scored 14 goals.


Player of the Season: Lennart Thy

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