A Dutch Master Class
Date: Tuesday 7th June 2005We all know that the Dutch have produced some staggeringly good footballers over the years. Obviously there was Johan Cruyff. So good he invented a trick (the Cruyff Turn funnily enough) and the finest example of total football. He had the ability to play anywhere on the field, and look cool as f***. So cool was Cruyff that he had one of the Adidas stripes taken off his Holland shirt... individuality par excellence. And absolutely nothing to do with the princely sum of money in his bank from Puma. We've also had Dennis Bergkamp. Sublime, silky, vision like no other player. The ability to make impossible passes that no other player even dreams about. Magical goals and studs raked down yer calf for good measure. We can't forget the likes of Stam, Gullit, Davids... and Marco Van Basten, surely the greatest striker who ever lived? Remember THAT goal he scored in Euro '88? Breathtaking. Yet one player is always missed out from the greatest Dutch footballer lists. A player who has been unfairly overlooked throughout his footballing life. That player is Fabian De Frietas. Fabian started his career for a team of French ex pats in Surinam called 'Et Lieu, C'est Lieu' which was largely made up of sailors (with the team based by the Port of Suriname. Fabione scored on his debut with Et Lieu C'est Lieu (say it quickly folks) and quickly became a favourite with the seamen. Then 'Fabi' was signed professionally at Den Haag, and scored a perfect brace on his debut (one with his head, and the other with both feet). Fabi played frequently for Den Haag's first team, and at 17, became the first player in the Dutch top flight to be sent of for a proffesional foul, tripping up old cheaty villian, Ronald Koeman with his incredible 'girth', or 'De Girfsthe' as the Dutch say. Amid speculation of an affair with Den Haag's tea lady, Fabione quickly moved to Ajax of Vitesse, not the famous Amsterdamnation, where he became the first player in Ajax (of Vitesse)'s history to both score on his debut, and with the manager's wife (both in the box from close range reports suggest). Again, he was destined for bigger things, and old 'biggje cojk' made his intention for English football known. It was only a matter of time before our beloved Bolton Wanderers saw the potential in De Friet' Train. That summer saw Fab take the number 14 shirt (like Cruyff) as part of a £160 pound deal which involved a trainee and some heroin. The rest as they say, is history. Fab14 wrote his name into Bolton folklore by scoring his only important goals at the club in the 4-3 play off final victory over Reading. His prowess wasn't confined to the pitch. Apparently he made his mark on every single girl on every single pie stand at Burnden Park, and was also named 'sexiest player' (also from the girls on the pie stands). After a bout with the devil of drink (Fab14 was addicted to Horlicks, hence his dozy demeanour) he was dispatched to West Bromwich Albion, where he no doubt had more fun with pastie girls, and under 18 disco's. Then he dropped off the football radar, only cropping up in one article where he'd been sent off in the Dutch second division for punching someone on the pitch 'three or four times'. That aside, Fabian is still in our hearts, and not a day goes by when all Wanderers' fans think of him and his big happy face. God bless you Fab. Come back and sort out our striker problem.