‘Being a little kid on the field’
His teammates Wout Weghorst and Cody Gakpo crowned a strong World Cup with a move to the top of the Premier League. A route that also seemed logical for sc Heerenveen goalkeeper Andries Noppert. But a transfer never materialized. To make matters worse, the tall Fries also got injured.
Yet it is not in the nature of the goalkeeper to complain. He is happy to be back in full training with his club sc Heerenveen. The groin injury took him far too long. “For a very long time there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Now I’m back on the pitch like a little kid. I can practice again what I love so much.”
By the way, it was a bit of a scare when the goalkeeper had to be treated with a bloodied face at training Monday, but the damage was not too bad. “I got a little bump on my nose, but that’s part of being a goalkeeper,” Noppert said.
The goalkeeper has turned the knob back and is focusing on his current club. “It’s a very nice club. It’s my club,” Noppert said of Heerenveen. The club where he played in youth and now, after many wanderings, serves as first goalkeeper.
Noppert: ‘Like a little child so happy that I can stand on the pitch again’
Noppert is in talks with Heerenveen to see if he will extend his contract, which expires in 2024. But he honestly says he also wants to see where his ceiling lies. “Everyone has the ambition to play as high as possible,” says the now 29-year-old goalkeeper.
The Marum native is not the type to look back at World Cup matches. “What I experienced doesn’t interest me for a while, I’m just busy getting fit,” says the goalkeeper, who certainly hasn’t put Orange out of his mind yet.
He is still in regular contact with players like Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Aké. But also with the medical staff and the goalkeeper coach of Orange. “It is very human that they ask how you are doing. There is a fine interaction.”
Noppert wants to do everything he can to still be in action this season. That will then probably have to happen in the playoffs. To reach those, his team must get a good result on Sunday. “We have that in our own hands,” Noppert said.
Heerenveen plays at home against Go Ahead Eagles and if they win, they are sure of spot eight which entitles them to participate in the playoffs for European soccer.