The 33-year-old Van Egden is having a strong season in NEC. The captain has played 25 matches in the starting line-up so far, enough to raise the option in the expiring contract. The two sides reached an agreement on this in 2018 when the central defender returned to the Old Nest. “The club has known for nearly ten years now what to do with me and what not to do. In return, I know the potential here. He has always been there. Hopefully we can return to the Premier League.”
At the end of January against Young FC Utrecht, Van Egden received a red card which led to three matches being suspended. The NEC has fallen into all of those parties without its figurehead in defense. He says something about the value Van Eden has for the team. “It was his fault,” he looked back briefly at that card. “Looking back on my past, I thought the punishment was a bit overrated, but I also understand it sounded like a throbbing motion. Then you just have to sit on the pimple.”
Then, with Van Eden’s return to the team, coach Roger Major’s side scored an impressive five-game winning streak. The playoffs are locked. But last week against FC Vollendam, the Brabant player suddenly injured his ankle.
Back in the playoffs
Van Eijden appears to be recovering well from a torn ankle bracelet. “I think I’ll need four to six weeks. My only job now is to get back in good shape and strong. I’m always calm, and injuries sometimes are a part of it.”
Van Egden expects to return during the qualifiers to be promoted again in May. “I think I can make it happen, and hopefully I’ll fit a little faster. The goal is to be in really good shape with NEC by then.”
Van Egden has now spent nearly nine seasons at NEC in two terms. His career continued to surpass PSV Eindhoven, William II, and A to Z. Van Egden also played European football in the latter club. In 2018 he returned to De Gofffert after seven seasons. Difficult choice but safety and sentiment were crucial for an experienced defender.
For the first time, de Brabander now reveals that he can also go to Australia during that time. In addition, there was interest from several Premier League clubs for Van Egden. “I was able to go to Sydney FC,” he says. “That was of course very cool. Beautiful country, good weather, great adventure. But it’s also a 24 hour trip. Financially, it wasn’t very attractive and you have to leave a lot behind.”
Van Egden decided to choose certainty and follow his feelings. “I got this at NEC. Of course you trade. Are you going for the sports side? Or more for finance or for adventure? If I look at my choices in the past, I often choose to make sure of a longer contract and be close to home,” de Brabander explains.
Five Premier League clubs
“At that time I was really able to go to a large number of Premier League clubs. Thinking five or six. But everything under AZ does not matter to me compared to NEC. I don’t appreciate it much and I think it’s not getting much. Added value. I choose.” NEC consciously. Although there is no leak directly above, ”Van Eden points to the fact that Nijmegen has not yet succeeded in promoting. “It’s up to us to take that step again.”