Former ZSV'er Joep Classen, who won in the USA, has returned to the Netherlands for a while

Former ZSV’er Joep Classen, who won in the USA, has returned to the Netherlands for a while

He began his adventure in America with the OC Eagles in Oklahoma City in the summer of 2021. Job Clausen played in ZSV1 until he went to ‘The States’ and was a youth coach. This week he will return to the Netherlands for a few weeks of winter break and he will also watch the Kranenmardel derby between his old club and SV Deurne next Saturday.

Jobe is now two football seasons and a year and a half into college at Oklahoma Christian University: “I’m fine. The past few months have been busy with football and studies, but luckily we now have a long winter break in which I can go back home and see family and friends. I chose to stay here over the summer, so it’s been a while since I’ve seen everyone.

‘Stampot or Frigateal Specialty’
During Klassen’s time in America, he is actively involved with the ‘home front’. Almost every day he communicates with someone from the Netherlands, because he misses things too: “First, of course, our father, mother and sister Steffi. I also miss having fun with friends and Dutch food, stew or frigatel specials. Having fun in the canteen at ZSV and training the ZSV youth, I always really enjoyed.

Country
Klassen lives in Oklahoma City, in the state of Oklahoma, north of Texas in the United States. He loves it there, he explains: “The state of Oklahoma has a reputation for not really doing much, with a lot of rural areas and wide open areas. Fortunately, my school is in the city and there is a lot to do here. Oklahoma City and its surrounding suburbs have a population of just over 1 million.

study
Job lives in an apartment on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and studies business administration. The training he underwent in the Netherlands for this was also given in English, so he really had no problem transitioning. Lately Job shared a flat with Ruben from Groningen, who was on the football team. “Unfortunately due to circumstances he had to return to the Netherlands. There are also two other Dutch people at school, one of whom is on the baseball team and the other in track and field,” says Jobe.

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Nice click
Jobe ended up with the OC Eagles in Oklahoma from Gemert through the Kings Talent Agency. “They help Dutch boys and girls who want to play and study in America. After talking to various schools across the United States, the choice fell to OC because of a good relationship with coach Mitchell Sowerby. Since he was also new to the school, he planned to build something. I loved it, and in the meantime I’ve been pretty successful with this season’s shows as evidence. The goal for next year is clear: to win the ‘national championship'”, explains Klassen.

high speed
Although it is only the end of November, two seasons have already passed. It has everything to do with the pace of sports played in America. “The season goes by incredibly fast here. We played 24 games in three months. The games here are divided into ‘fall’ and ‘spring’ games. This means some games are in the fall and others are in the spring,” says Jobe.

A lot of travel
He explains that this section confirms that a lot is being asked of you in a short period of time: “It takes a lot to get used to in the beginning. Every Saturday and Wednesday during the season you will play a physically demanding match. Then the training consists mainly of recovery and occasionally some tactical stuff, because it is impossible to train hard. Travels a lot with many overseas sports far and wide. So he is very busy.

friendships
Despite the hectic pace, Jobe remains positive about the future at the OC Eagles: “Now that I’ve been here a little longer, you know more people and you have time to build something. You get to meet more and more people, not just friendships within the team, but also other people on campus. I’m a local now. I’m a coach at a soccer club and that makes connections. There I train twice a week and we have a tournament on the weekend. After a tough season for the team in my freshman year, this season we made it to the finals of the tournament and broke some school records. Like a playoff to decide the champion that goes on to the championship.

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High scorer
Individually, it was a good year for Clausen, in which he was captain and leading scorer and was named to the all-conference team and tournament team. “They give different awards here because they like it in America. There’s something for every achievement,” laughs Jobe.

Fit players
On the OC Eagles team where Jobe plays, most of the players come from all over the world. According to him, the international nature of the team makes it a special movement: “There is a lot of talent from all over the world. I think tactically the level is maybe a little lower than the Netherlands, but the pace is incredibly high. Teams are allowed to change in the second half, so fit players who can go full throttle are constantly brought in.

‘Seeing a lot of country’
During summer break, Klassen worked with a Brazilian boy at a soccer camp that traveled through the US. “It was great because I could work and see a lot of the country at the same time. I’ve been to Phoenix, Arizona, New Mexico, and Flagstaff, Santa Fe, and finished up in Denver, Colorado. Camp was from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and then We got a lot of time to explore the area so we got to see a lot of cool places. America is so big and you can see different forms or scenes of nature in this country,” Job enthuses.

Rocky Mountains
Until January 8, he will be back in the Netherlands for a short time during the winter break: “I don’t have any big plans, mainly to spend time with friends and family. I want to spend as much time with them as possible in the six weeks I have.” He then returns to Oklahoma and starts quietly with the OC Eagles. “So in the spring we’re not in official season, then during the week it’s training sessions, on the field and in the weight room. Then we have more time to do fun things. Skiing in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado during the summer is on the schedule,” Klassen explains.

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Perfect closure
He will actually graduate next year in April or May, but has decided to stay for another season: “Then I will graduate in the fall of 2023. Perfect for me, because I can take one more season in which we can go far. Come on, it’s perfect for a very cold time. will be the end.

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