PEC midfielder Van den Belt beams after switch: ‘Feyenoord is my club’

PEC midfielder Van den Belt beams after switch: ‘Feyenoord is my club’

NOS Football

Van den Belt on transfer to ‘dream club’ Feyenoord: ‘From KKD to Champions League’

Beaming, a smile from ear to ear above the training shirt of – for now – PEC Zwolle. Thomas van de Belt will be a Feyenoord player from next summer and that is (cliché alert!) a dream come true. “Feyenoord is my club,” he said.

Had Ajax applied, Van den Belt would not have expressed himself in such enthusiastic terms, he stresses. This is because of his grandfather, who passed on the Feyenoord virus to him. “He has done that well.”

Father Gerald, a former professional soccer player and former director of the Zwolle club, was not directly a Feyenoord fan. “Maybe a little more now,” Thomas van den Belt says with a smile.

Gerald van den Belt (center, fifth from left) in FC Zwolle team photo with Arne Slot (below, third from left) in July 1996

Van den Belt senior does have a direct line to the Rotterdam top club, he is good friends with success coach Arne Slot. Did this accelerate the switch? Thomas van den Belt: “I do know Arne, but I didn’t take advantage of that.”

“I think I just performed on the pitch and this caught the eye of Feyenoord and other clubs. He wouldn’t have wanted me if I was a bad player,” continued Van den Belt, who also played 30 games in the premier league last season.

Top season in Zwolle

‘Just performed’ the Kampen-raised attacking midfielder certainly has. He was already good for thirteen goals and eight assists for the first division leader this season. Because of his good performance, Feyenoord wanted him as early as the winter break, but PEC kept him in Zwolle.

Thomas van den Belt already played against his new club Feyenoord for the cup in January

Van den Belt was disappointed, but never hesitated to force a transfer the hard way. “I would have liked to go there very much, but we are also working on something at PEC Zwolle. If you are playing for the championship, then you would also like to finish that as an important player and bring PEC back to the premier league.”

This attitude is explainable, as Van den Belt is a boy from the region and sat in the stands at games as a child. When asked whether he would rather have become champion with Feyenoord or with PEC this season, he replied firmly, “Champion with PEC Zwolle.”

Van den Belt does hope that Feyenoord takes the title without him. “That would be unique. From the Keuken Kampioen Divisie to the Champions League.”

Kayleigh Williams