In 2011 with the help of Club President John Dow we set up an international initiative with one of Wellington United's founding countries - the Netherlands. We set a target to bring top female players to New Zealand to help develop and grow our players. Through fantastic club stalwarts and supporters Guillermo Schiltenwolf, Ken Allen, Anthony Mumby, Sandy Cumpstone, and Henry Tait as well as continued support from John Dow, we have been able to continue this initiative.
Through this venture we have had the honour of hosting some excellent Dutch players at Wellington United:
2011 - Mariska Kogelman (PEC Zwolle)
2012 - Artemis Brueren (FC Twente)
2013 - Priscilla de Vos (Telstar VVNH)
2014 - Marianne van Brummelen (PEC Zwolle)
2015 - Jorie Schepers and Jolijn Heuvels (PEC Zwolle)
2017 - Marije van Dam (PEC Zwolle)
2018 - Marije van Dam and Suzanne Giesen (PEC Zwolle)
In 2015 we were very excited to be able send two of our Diamond players to the Netherlands for the very first time. They were able to train and play with PEC Zwolle for just under two months (and of course catch up with Ryan Thomas)! This was a fantastic experience for them both and we look forward further strengthening our relationship with PEC Zwolle in the years to come :)
2015 was an historic year for Wellington United in regards to our Dutch initiative! It marked the 5th consecutive year that we are hosted quality dutch players at our club and it also marked the first year that we sent two of our own players to the Netherlands!
PEC Zwolle hosted two of our players for two months in the Netherlands. Michaela Robertson and Jayme-Lee Hunter were selected for this honour. They got to train and play alongside some very talented players in a very professional set up, an experience that will not soon forget.
Stemming from this trip, PEC Zwolle have agreed to be our sisterclub, with a view to graft an agreement which will see each club exchange players from year to year. This promises to be very exciting, watch this space!