Aussie rookie Genreau given licence to thrill

Emerging playmaker Denis Genreau was considered surplus to requirements at Melbourne City but he is odds on to kick-off the new Eredivisie season as a starter for PEC Zwolle.

Hannover 96 v PEC Zwolle - Pre Season Friendly Match

Denis Genreau (R) of PEC Zwolle battles for the ball Source: Bongarts

The French-born 19-year-old has banged in five pre-season goals since being reunited with his former City mentor John van’t Schip in the Netherlands.

And the Dutch coach believes he has the ingredients to make a significant impression in the coming season, which begins at home to Heerenveen on Sunday week (AEST).

“Denis has adapted very well to our club and the way we want to play,” said van’t Schip who has secured the youngster on a season-long loan.

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“From the start he’s being playing in the line-up and he’s being playing well.

“It’s still early days but we’re happy with his performance is and the steps that he is making.

“It’s not just the goals ... he’s understanding his role as a number 10 for us and he has some good qualities and we happy he’s making those improvements.

“But the league has to start and he still has a long way to go.”

With regular playmaker, Dane Younes Namli, working his way back to fitness after a long-term injury, the opportunity is there for Genreau to make his mark.

And continued on that quest with a double as PEC overcame Spanish side Levante 3-1 at the weekend.

“There’s a good chance for him to start (in the first league game) because the player who normally holds that role is still not game fit,” emphasised van’t Schip.

“We now have good competition in that position and for Namli to get back into the team he has to match what Denis has been doing.

“So there’s a big chance Denis will play a lot of minutes - maybe not full games.

“At this moment he just has to keep performing well and he should get match time in the Eredivisie.

“We’re happy to have him here and to help him develop. The other players have embraced him and it’s a win-win at the moment.”

Van’t Schip hadn’t seen Genreau for 12 months prior to his arrival and wasn’t sure how he’d react, especially after only being in the fringes at City last season.

“You’re always about whether he’ll reach the level because a lot can happen in a year and you wonder if maybe he’s lost a bit of confidence,” he said.

“But from the start he showed he’s able to reach the level we expect and we’re more than happy at the moment.”

Van’t Schip would not be drawn on whether he would seek to make the switch permanent, insisting such a discussion was premature.


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Published 30 July 2018 at 12:03pm
By Dave Lewis