Zwaanswijk backs Jaliens to lift Jets

PATRICK Zwaanswijk crossed paths with new Jets defender and fellow Dutchman Kew Jaliens many times during their playing careers in Holland.
Nanjing Night Net

Zwaanswijk, 38, spent more than a decade at Utrecht (1998-2004) and NAC Breda (2005-10) before joining the Central Coast Mariners.

Jaliens, four years Zwaanswijk’s junior, spent a similar period at Sparta Rotterdam (1997-99), Willem II (1999-2004) and AZ Alkmaar (2004-11).

Now, after a two-year stopover in Poland, Jaliens is about to venture Down Under and spearhead the Jets defence.

Zwaanswijk retired after the Mariners’ grand final success this year and is regarded as one of best imports to grace the A-League.

He has no doubt Jaliens has the pedigree to be a hit.

‘‘He has always been a strong defender,’’ said Zwaanswijk, who is now the Mariners’ head of youth and community football.

‘‘When I played him he was more a right fullback. In the national team he played there, but at times he played central defence at AZ.

‘‘His motivation will be the key.

‘‘In the past there has been players from all different countries who came here for a holiday and did not get to the standards of the past. Knowing Kew, I’m sure that won’t be a problem for him.’’

Zwaanswijk admitted he initially struggled in Australia and believed the biggest challenge for Jaliens would be adjusting his mentality.

‘‘In Europe, it is a bit higher level tactically, the way we play the game.

‘‘Here you have to be patient and be positive with the players. Not all are at that pedigree that you used to play with.

‘‘In the beginning I got frustrated, but in a good way. I wanted more from the players. I had a good mentor in Arnie [Graham Arnold]. He explained they weren’t there yet and he needed my experience at the back as a leader to help them get to the next level. That is the role of an import, in my view.

‘‘The league is growing and getting to a really good level. It is not a Mickey Mouse competition. Technically it is going up, and that is where we need the foreign players to be an asset.

‘‘Kew was coached by Louis van Gaal and has had great coaches in the past.

‘‘He knows total football. He knows that Dutchy [Jets coach Gary van Egmond] wants to play football out from the back and is one who can lead from the back.’’

● Emerging Jets striker Cameron Joice has been named in a 20-man Australian under-16 side for the ASEAN Championships in Myanmar.The tournament is the start of the Joeys’ build-up to the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Kew Jaliens.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation