He provided the highlight in the top match between ‘his’ Pinoké and Oranje-Rood on Saturday. Danilo Trieling’s beautiful volley gave the Amsterdam team the second goal of the evening during the 2-1 win. A goal that will stay with the nineteen-year-old top talent, who came over from Nijmegen in the summer, for a long time.
It was one to frame. That goal, at the start of the third quarter. Pinoké had taken the lead just before. The feeling was already good for the champion and it became even better in the 35th minute. Trieling controlled a high ball. Neat and stylish, just inside the circle. He deliberately let the ball bounce once. And then, above the ground, the fast and hard swipe.
Plok. There it was. His first goal at the highest level.
Trieling is congratulated afterwards by his teammates, when manager Jetze Oosthoek calls him for his first interview as a big league player. ‘Hey Smurf! The press wants to speak to you.’ The small attacker comes forward smiling. In the meantime, he still poses a little awkwardly for a photographer. ‘Yes, Smurf… That’s what they call me sometimes. I stand out because of my height. At Nijmegen they called me ‘little one’. I can laugh about that. I think it’s nice.’
The moment his goal is discussed, teammate Morris de Vilder walks past. “It was beautiful, wasn’t it?”, says the experienced midfielder. Trieling brings the moment back for a moment. ‘I thought: what the heck, I’ll just shoot it straight away.’ After thinking for a moment, he realizes that it was the most important goal in his young career so far. ‘Everyone was happy for me. I also felt a lot of release. It’s special, a first goal for a new club. I won’t soon forget this one.’
The talent of shy Daantje
It was a goal that did not come completely out of the blue for Trieling. The fast striker adapts to his new club almost without any problems. There he already knew a few players from the Dutch Juniors, where Pinoké coach Jesse Mahieu is also ultimately responsible. He is full of praise for Trieling’s drive and quick shot. ‘He can go a long way with that. Daantje has the talent to want to get better and work hard. That is also a quality. He’s still a bit shy, and his eyes are wide open.’
Trieling: ‘Joining the group was very easy. Fortunately I can make minutes, I’m happy with that’, he sounds very modest. ‘Maybe there are a few more now, because Miles Bukkens is injured. My intention was to gain a lot of experience in the first year. To learn from big boys such as Van Aubel and Dockier. Players I knew from TV. Examples are for me.’
Such a big boy just happens to pass by with a broad smile. Florent Van Aubel, who won everything there is to win with Belgium, looks approvingly at the attention his much younger teammate receives. “Everything goes faster at this level,” says Trieling. ‘And it’s also a bit smarter. You shouldn’t run in a straight line away from a defender here. Move back and forth a bit more.’
This doubles weekend he faced defenders such as Justen Blok (Rotterdam) and Joep de Mol (Orange-Red). World top players, who are also physically strong. And that is not the strongest point of the petite Trieling. “But I also go to the gym sometimes,” he says, laughing. ‘Oh, I’ve been the smallest all my life. It’s not a struggle. Fortunately, I also have a lot of speed, so it usually doesn’t even come down to a physical duel. I might avoid that a bit. But if it does work out that way, no problem. I can hold my own.’
It could also have been that Trieling had worn the Oranje-Rood shirt on Saturday. Because the people of Eindhoven also had contact with the Gelderland talent last season. ‘But I wanted to go to the city of Amsterdam. I’ve always had a soft spot for that. My sister also lives there, fifteen minutes away from me. And I always thought Pinoké was a nice club in terms of atmosphere. Simple, fun and open. A place where everyone can be themselves.’
‘You are going to play for the national champions’
It was a step he could have made before. ‘When I was still of A-age, I was also approached by big league clubs. But then I thought it was still too early. I also wanted to experience a senior year at Nijmegen. It went great last year, we made the play-offs. I also learned a lot then.’
Those play-offs are certainly a special story. While Trieling fought with Nijmegen for promotion – which was not achieved – Pinoké played for the national title. The attacker had already signed at that time and was following his new club closely. ‘I had to play hockey myself when they became champions. That was all on the same dates. I think even at the same times. I was disappointed because we didn’t make it to Nijmegen.’
Words from his girlfriend, a spectator at those play-offs, cheered him up. ‘She said: you are going to play for the national champions . Oh, that’s cool, I thought. Sounds good. Maybe it will add some extra pressure. Everyone still talks about those days. Remember that 4-0 at Bloemendaal? Do you remember the party? Then I mainly listen.’
‘Because I want to experience that too.’