‘They want to go higher, so do I’
Van Domselaar: ‘Super happy I got the confidence’
Daphne van Domselaar is transferring to English side Aston Villa. The Oranje goalkeeper signed a contract for three seasons. “After six years at Twente I am ready for a new step,” she said.
She is only 23, but talks remarkably deliberately about her choice, which surprises at first glance. Aston Villa finished fifth in the English Women’s Super League last season. That is still at a tremendously high level compared to the Dutch premier league, but not top three. And surely that was the expectation of many.
“I want to get playing minutes and not end up on the bench at the best club in the world.”
View from the national coach
After last year’s European Championship, top clubs lined up for the FC Twente goalkeeper, who filled in for the injured Sari van Veenendaal. Since then she has been the number one goalkeeper with the Dutch national team.
And, she says, she wants to stay that way. “I’ve talked about it with national coach Andries Jonker. Making playing minutes makes me happy. He looks at that too.”
The choice for Aston Villa also means in the picture remain for the Orange. Does she feel the hot breath of second goalkeeper Lize Kop on her neck? “Yes, that plays into it. The national coach is also looking at playing minutes.”
The 13-time international cannot stress it enough: she would rather be under the crossbar at a club like Aston Villa than warm the bench at national champions Chelsea. “Getting playing minutes is more important than the color of the shirt,” she said.
Van Domselaar talks enthusiastically about Aston Villa’s ambitions, which fit well with hers. “They want to go higher and grow to the top. That’s exactly what I want too. I am 23 now and a goalkeeper is at her top when she is 26, so my development is important.”
Moreover, at her new club they have the best facilities and an atmosphere she recognizes from Twente where she played for six years.
“I’m being thrown into the deep end. That’s good for my personal development. But I really had a family feeling at Aston Villa.”
She is happy that the high word is out for the World Cup, which begins July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. “Now I can focus on the Dutch national team one hundred percent,” she said.