Why Dutch move is right for Rojas

Marco Rojas is going Dutch, leaving the Hyundai A-League to join Dutch top-flight side SC Heerenveen. And this is the best move for the ‘Kiwi Messi’, for two reasons.

The time is right. And the league is right.


This is the second time Rojas has jetted out to Europe in search of lusher footballing pastures.

As a 21-year-old, he left Melbourne Victory for German side Stuttgart after a stand-out 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season.

No-one blamed him for going – you don’t turn down a four-year Bundesliga contract.

Most people thought he was good enough, too – after all, he had the Johnny Warren Medal draped around his neck.

Rojas confidence sky high

But the move didn’t work out and Rojas came back to Victory a year ago, picking up where he left off in a sublime 2016/17 campaign.

Many even thought he might win that Johnny Warren Medal again and more overseas offers inevitably came.

But here’s the thing; Rojas v2017 is a very different person from the wide-eyed youngster who left Victory four years ago.

In many ways, the difficulties he experienced during his time at Stuttgart (and then on loan in Switzerland) have helped shape him into a more well-rounded player and person.

Up until then, there weren’t too many challenges for a player who was clearly one of the best in the Hyundai A-League.

Victory's Marco Rojas prepares to get a shot away in the clash with Newcastle Jets.

It all seemed to come so easy as he waltzed past would-be defenders to score or set up goals.

He was the first name on the team-sheet each week and wasn’t often injured.

That all changed in cut-and-thrust of Germany where there were more downs than ups, more adversity than celebration.

But he’ll be all the better for it.


The Eredivisie seems like a natural home for Rojas, too.

The Dutch pride themselves on a possession-based, passing brand of football.

Melbourne Victory's dynamic attacking duo Besart Berisha and Marco Rojas.

Heck, they invented “Total Football” in the Johan Cruyff years.

Rojas will thrive in that type of environment where skilful, tricky players are cheered and revered.

He’s still only 25, so his prime footballing years should still be ahead of him.

The journey from New Zealand to the Netherlands has been a circuitous one.

But I get the feeling we’re now about to see the very best of Marco Rojas.