Donny speaks, a former player who grew up in Ajax and parent of the 18-year-old defender of the Lady: “In Turin he has found a family and is learning a lot, he is here to learn from the Italian school: Allegri talks to him a lot on and off the pitch”
3 October – MILAN
The secret of all things is family. When you have your back covered by people who know how to understand you, support you and encourage you in the right way, emerging in any field is a little easier. And this is also the case with Dean Huijsen, a young Juventus class of 2005 who we have started to get to know in recent months between Next Gen and appearances in the First Team call-ups. Dad Donald – Donny for his friends – is the secret of Dean’s significant growth: today he is fifty years old, but in the 90s he was a promising Ajax of phenomena, between Rijkaard and Seedorf and Kluivert. Who is stronger between father and son? “Easy question: I’m stronger!” Donny tells us laughing.
What kind of guy is Dean? Is he really as shy as he seems?
“He’s simply a very calm boy, he’s never done anything crazy. Don’t think he’s shy, he just thinks before acting and not the other way around: he’s very mature.”
How did you approach football as a child? What memories do you have of him as a child?
“Since he was little he only lived football, he never left the house without a ball. We played soccer-tennis so many times, I never let him win and he was always so angry. And now he won’t let me win anymore… (laughs, ed.)”.
When did you realize he could be a great player?
“When he was 12 he was already so good that I thought ‘Ok, he can have a great future…’. He was always so devoted to football and I don’t think I have any photos of him without the ball (laughs, ed.).”
Dean is ambidextrous: is it a natural gift or the result of a lot of work?
“He has always played on the right, but for 3/4 years he has also been moved to the left. I think all players need to have both feet. But since we started so young that we don’t really know what he is, he gives him so many more options on the field.”
What is Juventus for him?
“Dean is very happy at Juventus and we as a family are also happy here and living in Italy. Juve is a fantastic club, very big, very familiar and very warm. So we like it here and Dean learns a lot.”
How much has he improved since he was in Italy?
“We grew up in Spain, but I always talk to him about the Dutch way (Ajax, ed.) of playing football and now he’s learning to defend and play the Italian way. We think it’s very good for Dean to know more playing styles. Before arriving at Juventus there were many Spanish clubs and some top clubs from abroad following him, Dean just wanted to go to Italy to learn how to defend better and learn a new language. He speaks 4 languages fluently. Spanish Italian English and Dutch”.
What was the first thing Dean said to you after the American tour?
“He was very happy for the opportunity, he had the opportunity to train and also played very well against Milan, according to the Coach.”
What role is Allegri playing in its growth?
“Allegri talks a lot on and off the pitch, teaching him the final steps to become a first team player. Now you have to get used to the difference between youth and professional football, but this is a path that you learn day by day. We are very happy with the coach and we hope that Dean can make his official debut soon.”
And what can you tell us about your relationship with Yildiz? We always see them together.
“I really like that they are always together and it is very nice for Dean that he is also in the first team and vice versa. We always joke that they are husband and wife (laughs, ed.). Kenan is also a super nice guy, he wants to become a better player so they help each other a lot to improve.”
Last June the renewal with Juventus arrived…
“There were also some big clubs who were following the situation closely, but in reality they had no chance. The only club we want to be is Juve and we don’t think we can be in a better club now than here.”
What is Dean’s secret dream?
“The dream is to become a starter at Juventus and maybe one day become captain and win many prizes. We have no dream without Juventus at the moment.”
As a father, would you be satisfied with your career if…?
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“If the dream described above came true and maybe even won some prizes with the national team. But above all I would be happy if he retained the joy and pleasure he still has in playing football, because that is the secret of everything.”
October 3 – 09:10
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