Ten years of PSV Academy and several position changes brought Tim van den Heuvel (18) to the midfield of Young PSV. There, the all-rounder is now getting used to the physically demanding Keuken Kampioen Divisie, where his defensive qualities come in handy.
Despite his youthfulness, Tim has been walking around PSV Academy for a while. "I went through all the youth teams, but it took a while before I ended up in midfield," he said. The Weathersmith played successively as left back, left outside, striker and right outside. "It wasn't until the O15 that I played in midfield for the first time. That's where I prefer to play as number six or eight. Those are the positions that best suit my all-round qualities."
Biggest challenge of professional football
Tim hesitates when asked what he finds most difficult about professional football. "At the beginning, it was the physical aspect, because you are used to opponents of your own age. Almost overnight you play against mature and physically stronger players. Yet I would also like to mention the mental aspect, because it is incredibly important that you are constant. Everyone at Young PSV can play good football, but you have to show it every day to make it to the A-selection. That is mentally demanding and the biggest challenge of professional football."
Tim has already been allowed to join the main squad several times, something that tastes like more. "I thought the training camp in Austria was very special. It was a special, learning experience and I hope many more will follow. I watched Joey Veerman the most. I like the way he handles the ball," he said of the Volendam native from the A-selection. In Alpine country, Tim made his unofficial debut for PSV 1 against Italian Sassuolo. "When I saw players like Berardi, who until then I knew mainly from EA FC, I did have a goosebump moment," he says.