Menno Willems

Menno Willems

Menno Willems (born 10 March 1977 in Amsterdam) is a former Dutch professional footballer, who can play in defence or in midfield. He spent all ten years of his professional game playing in his native home land of the Netherlands and England.

Originally Willems was scouted by Dutch giants Ajax and he signed to the Amsterdam based giants when he was a youngster and took the step up to the first team in 1996. After one season of limited chances or football action, Willems left Ajax bound for fellow Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem where he would remain until 1999.

He then spent a season playing with FC Den Bosch before returning to Vitesse a year later. In November 2001 , Menno signed a three month loan deal with English club Grimsby Town as Mariners boss Lennie Lawrence brought in a wave of foreign talent following the dismissal of Alan Buckley. Willems along with David Nielsen , Knut Anders Fostervold and Zhang Enhua linked up with the club on loan.

After the end of his three month loan deal Grimsby paid Vitesse £150,000 for Menno, and made him one of the most highly paid players at the club. He played out the final few months of the 2000/2001 season and was the only foreign loan star too sign a permanent deal. In the new season, slight injury problems coupled with performances of other players saw Willems fall out of favour at the club under new manager Paul Groves . In May 2002, Willems left the club on a free transfer.

He soon returned to Holland, playing for HFC Haarlem for two seasons, before playing out the next two seasons with Sparta Rotterdam and Go Ahead Eagles .

Menno Willems called time on his professional football career at the end of the 2005/2006 season.

References

  • Based on the Dutch Wikipedia entry, accessed on 2008-02-04

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