Ody Velanas: “The trainer wants to see more fire in my eyes.”

Born in Samos, Greece, raised in Zeist, child of the club at FC Utrecht. Played in the KKD at Helmond Sport and NAC Breda. Now in the Eredivisie at PEC Zwolle, where he has found his niche. This also confirms his important role in the away match at AZ. Plenty to talk about.

From Samos to Zeist

“When I was about 4 years old, I moved from Samos to the Netherlands with my father, mother and my 1.5 year older brother. I grew up in Zeist. My first football club was the local VV Jonathan. My brother Thodorie also started there. He is now a goalkeeper at SDC Putten. Before that, he defended the goal at DVS Ermelo and in the youth team of Feyenoord. Football is probably in our genes because of our father. He played in the youth team of the Greek Olympiacos. At vv Jonathan I was followed by scouts from FC Utrecht. After a number of trial matches, I was allowed to report to the youth of FC Utrecht. After FC Utrecht D2 and D1 I returned to Zeist. There I scored 53 times in one season. That meant that FC Utrecht sent another invitation.”


“From 2016 to 2021 I played for Jong FC Utrecht. In August 2016 I made my debut in the KKD against NAC Breda and was allowed to train with the first selection. A year later, in August 2017, I made my debut in the Eredivisie under Erik ten Hag against Willem II. In the 82ste minute I replaced Zakaria Labyad. It only lasted a few games in the first. A great experience was that I was able to watch the European matches of FC Utrecht against Valletta FC from Malta, Lech Poznań and Zenit Sint-Peterburg – albeit from the couch. At that time I also played for the Dutch Juniors under 17, 18 and 19. A highlight was playing against France with Kylian Mbappé. FC Utrecht had a very strong and broad selection in my time. I am sure that a team with the bench seats at the time would be good for the left row in the Eredivisie. So the competition was very fierce. At FC Utrecht they then advised me to look outside the club. In 2019, I joined Helmond Sport halfway through the season, where Rob Alflen and Sjors Ultee, whom I knew from the FC Utrecht youth academy, were the trainers. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play much due to a hamstring injury. NAC Breda was my next club. I played at 10 or on the left wing. In two seasons I scored 26 goals and 11 assists in 72 games. When I ran out of my contract, PEC Zwolle reported. I immediately got a good feeling about the club.”

From KKD to Eredivisie

“The selection is a good mix of young and old. On the field, the transition from the KKD to the Eredivisie was quite difficult in the beginning. I worked hard on that and am now 100% match fit. Trainer Johnny Jansen helped me with this. He is satisfied with my football abilities, but would like to see a little more fire in my eyes. Tonight we meet Vitesse, a team with many individual qualities, which you really cannot easily beat. It won’t be easy, but as a team we will do everything we can to get the three points.”

The post first appeared on peczwolle.nl

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