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Rochdale 0 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 5th November 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Played for both - Dale v Ipswich
Played for both - Dale v Ipswich
Tuesday, 5th Nov 2019 09:00 by Chaff

Our new “Played for Both” feature continues with a former Daley and a former Tractor Boy.

Pim Balkestein

First of all, we did warn you that we probably peaked with the Rickie Lambert article. What we didn’t warn you is that they weren’t all gonna be good players. Among the successes, there will be plenty of rubbish as well. Which leads me nicely onto our next featured player, Dutchman, Pim Balkestein.

Steve Eyre (FRMSE) was in charge of Rochdale at the time and he’d signed every player in England who had ever played for Manchester City’s under 11’s and a few other signings, most of whom proved to be garbage but he thought we were still light in defence, and in particularly a left sided defender. This despite the fact we had signed Marc Twaddle for this exact role. It became clear very early on that Eyre didn’t rate Twaddle which led to questions about why he had been signed in the bloody first place. Anyway, in came Pim Balkestein on loan from Brentford. A left sided defender supposedly comfortable in the centre of defence or at left back.

I was actually quite excited by the signing as he’d played 29 games for Ipswich in the Championship and 39 times in total for Brentford. Whether he struggled to make an impact because the squad was so poor, or because Eyre was still doing egg and spoon races in training, I don’t know but it just didn’t work out. For most of his spell, he was playing next to Marcus Holness, who without Dawson or Stanton next to him, was never the same player he was which can’t have helped. Maybe he just wasn’t very good.

Balkestein’s debut came as a substitute in the dreaded Oldham away game where Neal Trotman got himself stupidly sent off with the most ridiculous challenge I’d ever seen. To the point where he was finished as a Dale player for me at that point.

He went on to make 13 appearances for Rochdale, mostly at centre half and he was mostly not very good although he did do quite well against QPR in the League Cup win over them at Loftus Road.

The Dutchman had started his career with SC Heerenveen before leaving Holland to sign for Ipswich Town following a successful trial. Jim Magilton seemed impressed enough to offer Balkestein a two year deal and sign him for a £180,000 fee.

After breaking into the first team and making 29 appearances, he went out on loan to Brentford in November 2009 before turning that into a permanent deal in August 2010. He’d obviously done enough for then manager, Andy Scott to want to make him a permanent signing during his 14 games on loan but after falling out of favour with new manager Uwe Rosler, he was quickly outed from the side and offloaded on loan to us at the beginning of the 2011/12 season.

After his loan spell ended with us, he joined AFC Wimbledon on loan and like Brentford, they too turned his loan into a permanent deal. He went onto play 24 times, scoring twice for the Dons before being released and heading back home to the Netherlands to ply his trade.

Spells at VVV-Venlo, SV Elversberg (German side apparently) and most recently De Treffers followed but he doesn’t seem to be in football anymore, or at least Soccerbase doesn’t have him down as playing this season.

A quick look online would suggest the 32 year old is now a Senior business developer back home in the Netherlands. Good luck to him!

Photo: Action Images

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