Naomi Hilhorst: PEC Zwolle, FC Twente and future ambitions

Credit: PEC Zwolle

You signed in the summer of 2020 for PEC Zwolle. How are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe a club such as PEC Zwolle?

I did indeed make the transfer from FC Twente to PEC Zwolle and I did that purely in order to get regular minutes on the pitch and play a lot of games and I thought that was the most important thing. PEC Zwolle are a club that wants to play good football and they also want to develop talented footballers. I am really happy that I made such a transfer because I managed to play a lot of games so far and things are going well.

You also played two seasons for FC Twente. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any highlights or special memories?

Yes, I had some great years at FC Twente. I came through the youth setup at under 14 and under 16 level and from the age of ten I was playing youth football at the club. That suddenly stopped due to FC Twente having financial difficulties and then I went to a Football Academy in Enschede and then I was asked to train with the club and during my first year I was just training with the club and I was not really under contract and then the following year I managed to sign a contract with the club and I have some nice memories and we also became Champions of the Eredivisie and we also won the Eredivisie Cup to and it was great as such a young player to be involved in such achievements. It was a great experience.

You have accrued a good amount of experience in your career, could you say who are among the best players you have played alongside so far in your career?

I have been fortunate to play with many good players and in many good teams. At FC Twente we had a lot of skillful and technically gifted players for example Ashleigh Weerden who now players for Montpellier HSC in France and also during my time at FC Twente we also had a lot of players who had a lot of potential and it was great to be part of such an environment.

I can imagine in your position as a striker that you have played against some difficult opponents so far in your career, could you say which opponents have stood out for you in terms of talent and ability?

In the short time that I have played in the Eredivisie I have come up against some good opponents such as Ajax defender Stefanie van der Gragt who has a lot of experience at club level with Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona and the Dutch national team and when I played against her you could see that she has a lot of experience and she knew how she could keep me quiet. Although I must say that it even though Stefanie stands out there is no particular opponent that I have faced in my career that I really struggled against.

Finally Naomi looking ahead in your career is there anything in particular that you would ideally like to achieve in your career as a professional footballer?

I want to continue to improve and develop and get better every year and see progression in my game. PEC Zwolle are a great club to play for in the Eredivisie in order to develop myself as a professional footballer but you always want more. After PEC Zwolle I would like to eventually play football abroad at some point in my career preferably in England or Spain. In terms of a dream club I would love to play for FC Barcelona one day in the future.

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