Fofana and Sambo grew in the lee of Young PSV

Fofana and Sambo grew in the lee of Young PSV
3 min

Fodé Fofana (18) and Shurandy Sambo (19) experienced an eventful season with Young PSV. They look back on the year in which the team was twice hit by corona; they both made debuts and eventually competed for the fourth period.

Hectic year
A rising back, that's how Sambo describes himself. The numbers prove him right in that regard, as the Brabander native was a six-time goal scorer and handed out three assists. "It was a hectic year with great moments, but also definitely some low points," he said. Sambo got corona at the time when a number of teammates were allowed to debut with the A-selection. Eventually that debut came last Sunday against FC Utrecht, but "it did something to me."

Best Young team
Young PSV had a tough time in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie for a long time. In the final stages, performance turned completely around after Peter Uneken called Sambo and his teammates to order. "We were seven points behind Jong Ajax. We decided from then on to do everything we could to close that gap and we succeeded." With a fourteenth place, Young PSV had the best final ranking of all the young teams in the Keuken kampioen Divisie.

In the end, the promising winger even fought for the fourth period title for a long time, until the team was hit hard, for the second time, by a Covid-19 outbreak. For Fofana, who was one of the infected players, that meant the end of the season. Ironic, the striker thinks, because in November he broke through as an Under-18 player with Young PSV precisely because there were many infected players then as well. On his debut against FC Den Bosch, he scored twice: "Absolutely my highlight of the season."

Connection on the field
After his debut, the striker was especially keen to keep asserting himself. In nineteen matches Fofana was eight times on target. One of those was an overhead kick against Jong FC Utrecht, for which he thanks declarer Sambo. "On the field, we have a connection. This is not the only assist he has given me. We really are a team. I do regret not getting into double digits, but after my injury and corona injury, I can't complain." In 2019, Fofana suffered a serious knee injury. Something that changed him completely. "Actually, I have become a completely different player and a different person. I treat my body more consciously."

Next season
Denzel Dumfries may make a move abroad this summer. Should it actually come to that, Sambo sees a chance to fill his shoes. "That's in my head, though. I hope to be his successor. Next season I want to join the A-selection." If not, Sambo still wants to make minutes for Young PSV, which will then be managed by Ruud van Nistelrooy. Fofana is looking forward to working with his former coach. "He shaped me as a striker, but of course I also hope to make my debut with the first team. I want to shine there too."