Immanuel Pherai does not do career planning. At a young age the youth international took a step to Borussia Dortmund, where the big stars took care of the midfielder. With their approval he now plays for PEC Zwolle.
I’m certainly not disappointed, says Pherai when he compares the level with that of the training sessions at the top German club. The expectations of me are high. And that’s also possible if a player from Dortmund comes
The born Amsterdammer (19) was on the pitch until this week with men like Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Axel Witsel. Trainer Lucien Favre even gave him the necessary playing time in the preparation, in which Pherai also scored his goals.
Nevertheless, Zwolle will be the place where he has to show his skills. Or better said: is allowed to show.
Because German International Giant trusts that Pherai can do what he is good at in the premier league. And Witsel, good for 107 caps on behalf of Belgium, emphasized the value of playing minutes in a competition at the highest level. Where many young players give in to the temptation of big money.
Pherai even received a compliment from Witsel for his decision. I have talked to him a lot about it.
I’m a hard worker, Pherai introduces himself. I always do my stinking best, cover the whole field. On top of that I have a reasonable pass and a reasonably good shot. In Dortmund I learned a lot from the big players, I hope to show that here
The choice for PEC Zwolle is a choice for football. The people I spoke to here all had the same plan with me. A clear plan, with a role for me that appealed to me. That is why I was quickly convinced
Pherai is back home in the Netherlands. And that too feels good, of course, after a few years in a boarding school.
When I told them about this, people always wondered how I could keep it up. I have to say that life there was pretty good, together with sixteen to twenty other youth players from the club
But a good thing too, because Pherai did give up a bit for it. He was part of the acclaimed youth training at AZ, of which he keeps nothing but good memories.
I was able to develop very well there, maybe as a football player I took the biggest steps, Pherai thinks back to that period. AZ‘s youth training is one of the best in the Netherlands, you can see that now
Pherai played football together with a lot of boys who are facing him on Saturday. Teun Koopmeiners, Owen Wijndal and especially Myron Boadu.
I played with Myron for the longest time. At practice it was always a nice fight between him and me, in the matches he and I formed a strong duo. We kept in touch after my departure, he already sent me a message about Saturday’s match
Where Boadu even made it to the big national team, Pherai hopes to be back in the spotlight at Zwolle again in the national youth selections. That Myron is doing so well doesn‘t surprise me. I have chosen a completely different route myself. I haven’t mapped out anything, I‘ve let that go
Despite his very good preparation with Dortmund, Favre said that Pherai had to rely mainly on playing minutes in the promising team and the Youth League. And then the premier league is better for my personal development
However, PEC had a difficult year, only just above the relegation zone before the coronastop.
In the opening game against Feyenoord, however, it already became clear that coach John Stegeman’s team has more qualities than the position of the broken season would suggest. And so does Pherai.
Why shouldn’t we play in the left row?, he asks out loud. I also have my ambitions with the club.
Once upon a time, Pherai ended up at amateur club AFC in a youth team with Ruben Kluivert (now FC Utrecht), Brian Brobbey (Ajax) and Maxim Gullit (AZ), who is still one of his best friends today. And they all go their own way to make their football dream come true.
Dortmund still has plans with Pherai, stresses the mercenary. I had to sign in before I could be hired out.
Not only in Zwolle they are curious about his first steps in a real competition after all the praise for the talent. From a distance, the big boys are also watching.