From goalkeeper to prison guard: ‘I have my building’

Leonard Nienhuis was a goalkeeper of Cambuur for many years, but now works as a security guard in a prison. The Groninger walks around in the Veenhuizen Penitentiary Facility to open and close cell doors.
Nienhuis is happy that he is under the pans and that he is suitable for work. โ€œYou do something for society,โ€ he tells the Algemeen Dagblad. โ€œAnd I also have specific features of a security guard. I havent fallen out scared and have my build along. If I open the cell door, someone says.โ€
The prisoners that the former Cambuur goalie deals with are now no longer making him nervous. โ€œIt
s exciting at first, sure. Although I knew how to deal with the people soon. Respect; thats what its about. If you treat a prisoner with respect, you get that respect back. Its a bit different from goalkeying, but at least its so satisfying.โ€
Yet Nienhuis looks back on his career as a professional with a good feeling. He called it quits in 2019. โ€œThe derbys with Cambuur against SC Heerenveen, celebrating the promotion with 20,000 supporters, being able to keep PSV at 0-0 during that clubs 100th anniversary in 2013; it was a time to remember.โ€