Saturday, May 4, 2013

Elroy in the spotlight

Elroy van der Hooft before marking his debut with a hat-trick
With his match-winning hat-trick on his debut last Saturday, Winson Elroy van der Hooft made quite an impression. Tomorrow, he will play his second match against BBU, so its time we took a more detailed look at who this Flying Dutchman really is.

Elroy was born on 20 April 1990, in Zeven in Germany to Dutch parents with Indonesian roots on his mother’s side. The family moved to Holland when he was 7 years old and he began playing for his local Oegstgeeste-based team VV UDO. When he was ten he was spotted by the Ajax scouting system and began making the regular 30-minute journey to join the world famous AFC Ajax youth academy on a daily basis at De Toekomst. He remained at Ajax for six years progressing through the age group levels and appearing for the Dutch national U-15 youth team but was released by the club at the age of sixteen. He quickly joined Eredivisie League team ADO Den Haag’s youth set-up for two seasons without appearing in the senior team and then a season at another Eredivisie club, RKC Waalwijk, where he was the club’s youngest professional. Unable to make the breakthrough, he left and took six months off before rejoining his local amateur team VV UDO, where he topped the scoring charts and re-found his appetite for the game.

In August 2011, Elroy decided to try his luck overseas and signed a two-year contract with AO Xania (Chania FC) on the island of Crete in Greece. He did well for the Football League 2 team but the club had money problems and couldn’t pay him, so he returned home to play with VV UDO after a frustrating six months. Determined to continue his overseas adventures and spurred on by his mother’s Indonesian heritage, Elroy was successfully contracted by Indonesian Divisi Utama Liga team Persekap Pasuruan, who reside in East Java, at the beginning of April but as he missed the signing-on deadline, he was unable to play in the first half of their season. That alerted Sam Schweingruber, the coach of Phnom Penh Crown and Elroy was offered the opportunity to play the second half of the Cambodian League season before he returns to Indonesia in July. Wearing jersey number 49, and with just a couple of training sessions under his belt, Elroy made an explosive entry into the C-League top flight with a hat-trick on his debut against Kirivong last Saturday. Let's hope that continues for the remainder of the season.

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