At the start of the May holidays, the talented striker’s phone rang. “I was asked if I wanted to do an internship at FC Den Bosch. I knew that the club had been following me for a while, I had heard that it was sometimes sidelined. It was already the case in young people. I didn’t think long “I wanted to be 100% sure. I would participate four times. The following two Mondays and two Tuesdays. For example, not on Fridays, because Gemert’s games shouldn’t suffer at all.”
He admits he was a little nervous when he showed up at the amateur complex training ground next to the stadium on May 2. “But that quickly disappeared. I was very well received at the club, whereas I didn’t know anyone before. I showed up in the locker room and then I was able to follow on the pitch. The adaptation was made quite easily. A boy next to me did it from FC Eindhoven and one from NAC Breda,” continued Illidge, who trained in his Gemert clothes. “After the last session, I had a good feeling. While I was at work a week later, I received a call from FC Den Bosch. They were satisfied and invited me to an introductory meeting “I had a visit with my parents at the stadium and we heard the club’s plans. It all seemed positive. Then we made an appointment to finalize everything.”
On Wednesday, he sat down with First Divisionist youth academy coordinator Wally Pennings around the table. “We have agreed that I will join the Under-21s next season. If I do well, I hope to be able to move up to the first team next season. Then I also hope to sign a full contract. I will fight hard to this. I secretly hope I hope to be part of the first team next season. I haven’t received a shirt yet. They are still looking at the bibs, which must correspond to the first team. Suddenly, I’ll start with a high back number. I have a number of numbers that I like.
At VV Gemert, he extended his contract in the spring until mid-2024. “I immediately informed the club about my internship. Then I deliberately kept silent so that I could concentrate on VV Gemert. I wanted to finish the season here well. And at the same time avoid being blamed for not committing fully. I am grateful to the club for the time I was able to spend. The opportunity they gave me and the cooperation they have given me now. support me in my transition at FC Den Bosch. Everyone was equally enthusiastic within the group of players.”
He must report to the Brabant capital on June 12. “I can only train once. A day later we leave for the United States with the national team of Sint Maarten to participate in the Gold Cup.” On June 17, French Guiana will be the first opponent. “Winning the first game should be possible. The second round will be a challenge.” Curaçao will wait three days later for a duel which, like the first round, will be played at the Inter Miami FC stadium. “Playing against Curaçao was every boy’s dream. I saw the draw live with my cousin and some friends in our garden. Curaçao,” he repeats with appreciation. “Additional motivation to win the first game.”
There is no summer vacation for Illidge. “It’s a shame. Fortunately, I get very nice things in return. I will combine football with training. I have already been accepted at Summa Bouwkunde in Eindhoven, but I also did an internship for Summa Sport. That’s my preference. FC Den Bosch is following a course and soon I will be able to enjoy a top sports program.” A good time awaits the nineteen-year-old striker. “I’m glad my dream came true.”
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