Nick Olij learned to keep goal at Royal HFC: “He deserves a place in the Dutch team”

The European Championship qualifiers of the Dutch National Team against France (Friday) and Greece (Monday) could be very special for Nick Olij. The Haarlem goalkeeper is tipped as a debutant in the Dutch team. If Olij is indeed under the bar, the flag will be raised not only at his home, but also at the Royal HFC complex.

As a boy, Olij was on the membership list of the oldest association in the Netherlands for three years. He laid the foundation for a career that led him to Sparta via AZ, Top Oss and NAC. In Rotterdam, with his good play, he has been applying for a spot in the Dutch national team since the beginning of last season.

Illustrious list

At Royal HFC they hope that national coach Ronald Koeman will let the Haarlemmer make his debut. In that case, Olij joins an illustrious list of fifteen HFC players who played in the Dutch team: Gejus van der Meulen and the brothers Mannes and Jacques Franken are, in times long past, the best-known names.

‘As a boy he had the steps of a grown man’

Although Olij only played for HFC for a short time, the goalkeeper is still clearly remembered by ex-chairman Hugo Bettink. “As small as he was, he already had the steps of a grown man,” says former chairman Hugo Bettink, currently a member of the club’s archive committee. “It was expected that he would go far. As far as I’m concerned, he deserves to be under the bar on Friday.”

Watch a video below about the history of HFC players in the Dutch team.