From Ajax to adventure in New Zealand

Dutch footballer and former Ajax graduate Roly Bonevacia was looking for an adventure when searching for a new club and believes he has found it with the Wellington Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League.

When Bonevacia, a former Holland U-17 international, was given a free transfer by Dutch first division club Roda JC he had offers in Europe to consider, but has opted for the Hyundai A-League and the Wellington Phoenix.

“I was looking for a new adventure and a good club,” Bonevacia, 22, said.

“When my agent told me about Wellington I did some research and was amazed by the beauty of New Zealand.

“Then I had a conversation with Mr Merrick and he convinced me that this would be the right choice for me.

“He told me that he likes to play ground play and I believe that is my quality.

“I have also been doing research about the A-League on the internet but I feel there is still a lot to learn.”

Bonevacia joined the Ajax Academy as a 10-year-old and spent nine years there learning his trade.

“Playing among Holland’s best young players was a great experience,” he says.

“They have taught me a lot about the game and have helped me grow as a footballer.”

Then Ajax manager Martin Jol signed Bonevacia on a professional contract and gave him first team debut.

“That was a dream coming true; everything looked good for me,” he said.

“I felt like I did a good job during the game but unfortunately Mr Jol, who liked my style of playing football, left soon after.

“With a new trainer you have to start again from scratch and prove you are the best player for that position.”

Jol’s departure saw Bonevacia sent out on loan to NEC Brada before joining Roda JC.

Now he is starting a new adventure and can’t wait to get started.

He is hoping to arrive in Wellington with his wife Milou and one-year-old daughter Ivy-Mae in the second or third week of August depending on when his visa comes through.

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