After promotion, PEC Zwolle now also wants ‘dessert with championship’
PEC captain Van Polen after promotion: ‘I’m very happy’
After one year in the first division, PEC Zwolle will return to the premier league next season. A mediocre match against Almere City resulted in a draw and that was enough to be sure of promotion. “The result is the most important thing, that’s a cliché, but it’s true,” said club icon Bram van Polen with a big smile.
The 37-year-old defender recently extended his contract and is now certain he will play in the premier league again in his seventeenth season with PEC. “I am very happy. The club is close to my heart, so I’m very happy.”
In recent weeks PEC could have been promoted a couple of times, but each time the party did not go ahead. Against Almere City the team had it in their own hands for the first time. “It was sloppy from both sides. I thought we were a bit nervous today.”
Compliments to coach and staff
According to Van Polen, it is mainly the trainer and his technical staff who deserve the compliments. After relegation, they had to work with an almost completely new selection. “We are playing so attacking and with so much intensity, that has not hurt us.”
“We put together a whole new team. With young players who haven’t played a minute in professional soccer and older players. That has become a good mix. They are working every day to improve,” coach Dick Schreuder told me proudly.
Watch the reactions of trainer Dick Schreuder and Thomas van den Belt below:
Almere took the lead, but Thomas van den Belt’s equalizer ensured that it was celebration after all in Zwolle. “It’s nice to be decisive in the promotion game,” Schreuder said.
The midfielder, who will play for Feyenoord next season, chose to stay in Zwolle after relegation. “We are working on something beautiful and I am glad I stayed,” Van den Belt said. “Now another nice dessert with the championship.”
Van Polen expects next season to be his last as a professional soccer player. So he will end his career in the premier league and will enjoy the entourage and stadiums. “You still prefer to play in the Arena or De Kuip. That remains the best thing as a footballer, to be able to play in those kinds of stadiums.”