From Van Wijk to Wildschut - Norwich City’s Dutch connection

Dennis van Wijk at the 30th anniversary event to celebrate the Milk Cup victory. Photo: Richard Fran

Dennis van Wijk at the 30th anniversary event to celebrate the Milk Cup victory. Photo: Richard Francis - Credit: Archant

You wait all this time for a Dutchman, then two come along at once.


- Credit: Archant

Mitchell Dijks and Yanic Wildschut are Dutchmen numbers nine and 10 – to be Norwich City players.

The chain was created way back in 1982, when Dennis Van Wijk – coincidentally a left-back – joined Norwich from the famed youth system at Ajax Amsterdam.

Van Wijk, now 54, had been unable to crack the first team at Ajax, but he certainly found success at Carrow Road where he spent four profitable years.

A veteran of 155 appearances, and scorer of four goals, Van Wijk has a League Cup winner's medal from the 1985 final against Sunderland, as well as a gong for the Second Division championship win the following season.

But while there were many good times, the '85 final could have been a very different story – Van Wijk handled in the penalty area, but Clive Walker couldn't beat Chris Woods from 12 yards.

Van Wijk does hold a place in Norwich City's history books – no other outfield foreign player has made more appearances in the yellow and green – of City's imports over the years, only South African goalkeeper Sandy Kennon has more appearances.

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Not all Dutchmen have made the same impact. Bryan Hamilton (in)famously brought in left winger Raymond De Waard and Fernando Derveld in March, 2000 - by December new boss Nigel Worthington had transfer-listed them both.

Worthington was hoping to get a tune out of full-back Jurgen Colin when he signed him from NAC Breda, but his form was indifferent and he moved to Ajax in July 2007.

Leroy Fer cut a frustrating figure at times. It was never quite clear whether he was a world-beater, a show pony or Bambi on ice. When City were relegated in 2014, he moved on to QPR, City banking a tidy profit.

In the same era we had the much-vaunted then club record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who never lived up to his big bad Wolf nickname.

The other two? Jos Hooiveld, who had a short loan spell from Southampton at the end of 2014 and Maceo Rigters, who played two games on loan from Blackburn in March, 2008.