Veendorp on Netherlands' U17 final run

The Netherlands won ten in a row on the way to the 2014 U17 final only to lose on penalties to England; captain Keziah Veendorp looks back at their campaign.

Kaziah Veendorp with the Respect Fair Play trophy
Kaziah Veendorp with the Respect Fair Play trophy ©

The Netherlands came within an ace of winning their third UEFA European Under-17 Championship in four years back in May, only to lose the final on penalties to England having recorded ten straight victories on their way to the decider.

Still, there was a consolation as captain Keziah Veendorp was invited to UEFA headquarters in Nyon earlier this month to receive the UEFA Respect Fair Play trophy on behalf of his team. The 17-year-old FC Groningen defender looked back at the tournament with and had his say on whether this season's squad can go one step further than his. Is there one particular memory you have from Malta?

Keziah Veendorp: The memory that stands out is the final. We lost against England so it's not a great memory but it's the one that stays with me. Why did you do so well, winning all your group games?

Veendorp: We really were a team – not just the starting XI, but the whole staff and the other players on the bench; that togetherness was our strength. Then you did even better in the semi-final ...

Veendorp: The Scotland semi-final was a nice game; we won 5-0. It was a great feeling after the game and we went to the final with a great feeling. Really good memories. Segun [Owobowale] scored a really nice goal and we were really happy. What are your reflections on the final?

Veendorp: It was a typical final; 1-1 and then extra time and penalties so it was tight. We were tired and England were too, but everyone was giving 100%. What are your next ambititons?

Veendorp: I'm playing for Groningen, I want to rise higher, get to the first team but time will tell. I have to take a few steps before that. You always dream to play for the senior national team and a big dream of mine is playing in the Spanish league or England. What do you think of this season's U17 team?

Veendorp: This year's team have a few really good players. There are a few playing in England – one for Manchester United [Timothy Fosu-Mensah], two for Manchester City [Javairô Dilrosun and Rodney Kongolo]. I think they are really good players. I've seen them play.