HEIJSMAN: “SQUAD HARMONY ISN’T A CONCERN”

FC Volendam manager Dan Heijsman denies that bringing in 9 new players has caused a rift in the squad. One new signing, goalkeeper Gabriele Marchegiani, has immediately gone out on loan due to his unhappiness at the signing of a second keeper in the window; Heijsman is understood to be angry at his conduct and he’s unlikely to ever feature for the club.

There have been 9 new additions at Kras Stadion so far.

Dan Heijsman has hit out at reports that his side, newly promoted FC Volendam, are unhappy with the arrival of 9 new signings. Rumours have circulated that some of the senior members of the squad are unhappy that a side that won the Eerste Divisie by 12 points last season hasn’t been given the chance to prove themselves in a higher division, but Heijsman says those reports are wide of the mark and harmful to the cause.

“The players all understand how this business works,” said Heijsman. “We did exceptionally well last season and every player in the squad knows they have my backing, but the reality is that we need to put ourselves in the best position possible to survive and quality additions will do that. Reports that the players are unhappy at the situation are simply untrue and undermine the work we’re trying to do. The squad are committed, focused, and ready to give everything they have this season. I’m pleased with the work we’ve done in the transfer market and although there are no deals currently in the works, I won’t rule out more signings if the right calibre of player becomes available to us.”

Volendam have added players in a number of positions, with goalkeepers Gabriele Marchegiani and Thijmen Nijhuis; defenders Peet Bijen, Dennis Lippert, Marc Navarro and Brendan Schoonbaert; midfielders Jan Ras and Cisse Sandra and striker Reda Karchouch all joining the squad. The heart of the apparent ill contempt seems to be based on the goalkeeping position, something which has been all but confirmed by Heijsman.

“The situation with Gabriele is a frustrating one, definitely.” Heijsman told journalists at his latest press conference. “It’s true that he’s gone back to Italy to play for Carrarese on loan for a year, something which we hadn’t planned for him. We were delighted to get his signing over the line, with Filip heading back to Inter we needed competition for Barry (Lauwers), but we made it clear in discussions that there would be competition for places.”

Heijsman continued: “When we found out that Thijmen (Nijhuis), a player we had tracked for a while, was available for what we believe to will prove to be a bargain fee, it seemed foolish not bring him in. This extra competition has caused an issue with Gabriele, who made it clear he felt he wouldn’t get enough playing time. To have complained a month into his time at the club, with no competitive football played or decisions made, suggests to me a lack of fight which I won’t accept at the club. Never say never, but it’s a long road back from here for Gabriele.”

Heijsman also has issues at full-back, where new signing Dennis Lippert will miss the season with a cruciate ligament injury he sustained in training. “It’s a real blow for Dennis, he impressed in pre-season and we were looking forward to what he could offer throughout the season. We’ll support him the whole way, he has a 2 year contract so we’ll hope he can get fit and back to his best ahead of schedule.”

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