In what has been a hot and cold season for Hakoah Sydney City East FC in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition, young Kiwi striker Andre De Jong has been a shining light as the competition begins to enter the business rounds of the season.
With a squad headlined by former Scottish international Gavin Rae as the player/manager, the club is hoping to make a dash towards a finals series finish.
In saying that, there has been many a silver-lining that can be taken out of this years’ campaign with their qualification into the last 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup sitting alongside some very notable individual performances.
None has been more notable than the fruition of 20-year-old talisman Andre De Jong, son of former All White great striker Fred De Jong.
A case of like father like son perhaps?
With five goals so far this season, De Jong sits alone as the sides leading goal-scorer, one more than teammate Anthony Frangie.
A fantastic achievement for a young man who is trusted to deliver for his club week in, week out.
Many of his performances have been one of the telling factors in each of Hakoah Sydney City East FC’s victory’s this season.
With over 25 appearances for both the New Zealand Under 17 and Under 20’s sides including two FIFA World Cup campaigns, De Jong, although young, comes with an exceptional amount of experience which can only benefit his sides aspirations come game day.
“I’ve been very fortunate to represent my country at such a high level. I have taken so much away from my experiences with the national team and it’s something I hope can continue to help my teammates on the weekend.
“We have an awesome culture here at the club. Although it hasn’t beared much fruit I feel we have what it takes to be a finals football side. We have proven already this year that on our day we can beat any side regardless of where they are sitting on the ladder.”
After joining Hakoah Sydney City East FC prior to the 2016 season via ex-head coach Mark Robinson, De Jong has started to become accustomed to life within the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition, praising both its standard and competitiveness.
“It’s a very tough league to play in. Technically almost every player is sound which has allowed for me to grow as a footballer. It makes scoring goals that much more meaningful.
“Personally, I want to continue scoring goals and helping the team on a weekly basis. I have aspirations of kicking on and playing at the top level but for now it is my performances with Hakoah Sydney City East FC that will make all the difference.
“As a whole, I feel consistency is what will define us this year. We have been training with intensity every week so I feel we can turn it around but consistency is most definitely the key.
“We have the potential to be there come finals time. It’s just up to us. It would also be great to push on in the Westfield FFA Cup and make it to the round of 16. I feel it would be a fantastic achievement for the club as a whole.”
-By Joseph Esposito