With new signing Jordy Buijs set to arrive at Sydney FC HQ this week, we piece together his career and ask: could Buijs be Arnie's new Patrick Zwaanswijk?
Dutch youth international
Buijs was a member of the Netherlands Under-17 side which finished third at the 2005 FIFA Youth Championships in Peru, the same tournament Ange Postecoglou was in charge of the Australian side. His team-mates in the squad included current Dutch national team keeper Tim Krul and ex-Wellington Phoenix striker Jeffrey Sarpong.
The 28-year-old has played for Dutch clubs NAC Breda and Roda JC, which are both former clubs of his new coach Graham Arnold.
And he spent the second half of last season at Roda, where he also played alongside young Australian midfielder Daniel De Silva.
Silverware in the Netherlands
With Sydney FC chasing the title this season, Buijs knows what it takes to win a league championship, albeit in the Dutch second divisions. The defender helped De Graafschap win the Eerste Divisie crown – with a handful of crucial goals - in the 2009/10 Season and promotion to the Eredivisie. He helped the club stay up the following season before moving on to NAC Breda for the 2011/12 campaign.
A goal-scoring defender
He’s scored 22 goals in eight years playing in Holland, blessed with a powerful shot from distance and is an excellent free-kick taker. You only need to check out some of his goals on YouTube to know what we’re talking about.
Ready to fill Sky Blues’ defensive gap
With Matt Jurman gone and Seb Ryall injured, Buijs gives Arnold an experienced option in the heart of defence alongside Alex Wilkinson. At 28, he’s at the peak of his career and has his best footballing days still ahead of him. And his versatility could also be crucial for Sydney, also able to play at right-back or as a defensive midfielder.
Double Dutch for Sky Blues
Buijs is not the first Dutch defender to play for Sydney FC. Fellow Dutchman Pascal Bosschaart was a Sky Blue fan favourite during his two season stint at Moore Park from 2011-13. Interestingly, Bosschaart also spent two years at Feyenoord (2004-06), when Buijs was in the Rotterdam club’s youth set-up.
He shares a birthday with Denzel and Legend
Buijs was born on December 28, 1988 and he shares his birthday with a few well-known worldwide celebrities.
Famous American actor Denzel Washington was born on the same day [in 1954], while singer John Legend also shares his birthday with the new Sky Blues defender.
Will he be Arnie’s new Zwaanswijk?
Not many in Australia had heard of Patrick Zwaanswijk when Arnold plucked him from Holland for the Mariners in 2010.
But the veteran defender went on to be an outstanding defender and was crucial in Central Coast’s 2013 grand final triumph.
Can this Dutchman have a similar impact for Arnie?