vol. 13 Mike HavenaarProfessional Footballer
Our guest in part 13 of OWNDAYS MEETS is Mike Havenaar, a professional footballer who leads an active international career. Mike plays the forward and is the key in heading his team up front on the pitch. We speak to him about the path he has taken so far and of his plans for the future.
Born in 1987 in Hiroshima to Dutch parents. Plays the forward position.
Under the influence of his father, Dido Havenaar, a former J-league footballer, Mike was exposed to the sport since young and had aspired to grown up being a professional football player.
In 2006, Mike was promoted to the top team of Yokomaya F. Marinos and made his professional debut in the J. League.
In 2012, Mike signed on to Dutch football club Vitesse of the Eredivisse, playing as a forward.
- Career -
2006~2009 Yokohama F. Marinos
2008 Avispa Fukuoka (loan)
2009 Sagan Tosu (loan)
2010~2011 Ventforet Kofu
2012~2014 Vitesse (Netherlands)
2014 Córdoba CF (Spain)
2015 HJK Helsinki (Finland)
2015~ ADO Den Haag (Netherlands)
What led you into playing football?
One major factor was of course my dad being a footballer himself. I recall playing with the football in my earliest memory. During school breaks, I’d go watch my dad play in practice sessions and competitions. Eventually, I fell in love with the sport and decided that I wanted to be a football player when I grew up.
What do you find charming about football?
It’s a wonderful feeling being able to stand in the pitch of a huge stadium and having your supporters cheer for you. When I was a kid, I was already watching international football and the J League. It was my dream to become a professional football player.
How kind of sentiments do you have while standing on the pitch?
When I’m on the pitch, I can hear the cheers from my supporters. This spurs me to give my best in every match so I won’t disappoint my supporters and the team.
There are of course booing when we are at away games, but it will stop if we could deliver results on the pitch. That’s why, all I have in mind is how to and from whom to take down the points.
As a forward, what goes through your mind when you are in control of the ball?
The moment I get hold of the ball, I don’t want to pass it to my teammates even when my teammates around me are asking me to pass over the ball. It’s the ego of scoring the goal myself. My mind is nothing but scoring the goal.
I don’t think I can lead the team to victory if I’m not this stoic. I’ll do whatever I can to score the final goal if I have the ball in the penalty area.
How do you overcome the difficulties you face as a footballer?
I didn’t get good results after moving to the Spanish team in 2014. It was a pity that I had to move on elsewhere after 6 months. Joining the Spanish team was a dream I had since young and it was great being part of the team. However, it was also a shame that I had to call it quit half way through.
I had no choice but to pull the stop to my stint there. Nonetheless, I always try to maintain a positive mind-set even if things are not going well. Right now, I’m just thinking of what I can do and to do it wholeheartedly. I think that’s the best approach.
What is the real thrill in professional football?
It’s the moment when I score a goal ― that deciding moment when my supporters all stand up and I’m surrounded by their loud cheer. I don’t think anything else could get me the same thrill as this.
I also receive praises when I score the goal and lead the team to victory. Scoring the goal is indeed the best moment in professional football.
Guest Select John Dillinger
I usually wear sunglasses to shield my eyes from the sun. I have good eyesight but I still put on glasses as a form of accessory to stay in tune with fashion trend. I own about 20 pairs of glasses.
I wear mainly the classic style these days. This pair which I have today consists of both black and gold accents which I like very much. It has a touch of luxury and matches any outfits.
- C1 Black