Jeroen Heubach (1974)

Jeroen 'Heubach Hooligan' (September 24, 1974) played as a defender, with trips to MVV Maastricht and N.E.C. Nijmegen, almost 300 matches for the Tukkers of FC Twente.

Unyielding left back and cult hero of FC Twente. A boy from the region, clubman through and through, always at the forefront of the fight! He experienced a lot, but the highlight was winning the cup in the year 2001. He also played 'European' with the club from Enschede and ended his career, including a trip to MVV, after 334 games (seven goals) at NEC in Nijmegen.

"FC Twente treated me disrespectfully," said Heubach when he was pushed aside by his (!) Club in 2015. Characteristic: the heart on the tongue, a man of the people who even got a tattoo. Popular with 'the hard core' because of his intransigence and sprints along the sidelines. Jeroen Heubach once ran to the box with Twente supporters after a used penalty and showed the bent elbow and the clenched fist. And the mob sang "Heubach, Hooligan"! His nickname was born.

But first, back to the beginning of Heubach's career; the construction worker son played at the local Catholic club VOSTA. What the brilliant abbreviation is for: Forward Up Sporty Proud Everything. The first team of this club now plays in the Fifth Division on Sunday. Jeroen became a youth player of FC Twente at the age of sixteen. Heubach also quickly entered various national youth teams in which he played together with Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Patrick Kluivert and Clarence Seedorf.

In the first years, De Tukker was still a midfielder with a nice technique, a good pass and ditto running ability. Until national coach Dick Advocaat presented him as a left back during a tournament in the Canary Islands. He was never moved to another place again.

Enschedeër Heubach played his first match for the Tukkers on December 11, 1994, at home against MVV. He came in for Wilfried Elzinga at the start of the second half. With players such as Hoogma, Bosvelt, Bruggink, Oude Kamphuis and Ter Avest, Twente had a good team that even finished third under trainer Hans Meyer. After three seasons, Heubach had therefore only played seventeen games in which he did not score. That is why he left, transfer-free, to MVV to get more playing time.

The club from 'Maastrig' had just been promoted to the premier league and Heubach matured there as a person and as a football player. He conquered a starting spot, played 56 games and even managed to find the enemy net once. His old trainer Meyer had not escaped notice and brought the left back to Enschede in 2000. However, Meyer saw himself 'put to the road' after only two months and again Heubach ended up on the 'second plan' again. In this case it was André Karnebeek who bothered him.

Then Heubach's intransigence took hold. He trained the snot before the eyes, fought for what he was worth and played in the starting line-up from the 2002/2003 season. Until 2008 he was the base player of the team, after which he lost the competition to Edson Braafheid and had to make do with a few raids.

The 2007/2008 season was a very good one for Heubach and his teammates. The preliminary rounds of the Champions League were achieved by a good second place in the Eredivisie. On May 18, 2008 Heubach was therefore legendarily sung by teammate Rob Wielaert during the ceremony on the Oude Markt in Enschede with "Ronaldinho, Heubach is coming"!

In the 2009-2010 season, the left back did not play at all for FC Twente until the winter break in the competition. On December 23, 2009, Heubach, in the KNVB Cup match against Helmond Sport, last came within the line during an official match for FC Twente. Heubach played a total of fourteen seasons with FC Twente and came to 273 league matches and six goals for the club.

In the winter break of the 2009/10 season, Jeroen left on a rental basis to N.E.C., as a result of which he missed the championship with FC Twente. At N.E.C. Heubach, also plagued by a few injuries, only got to nine games. Jeroen Heubach put an end to his professional career in 2010, after almost sixteen years of active service. The 35-year-old left back played his last match against Ajax with NEC. He then became part of the FC Twente A1 coaching staff and maintained contacts with the supporters and sponsor sections on behalf of the club.

The club icon of FC Twente was fired in 2015 after 22 years of loyal service at the club. This after the club ran out of money, much to the disappointment of Heubach. From 2010 to July 2015, Heubach was employed by FC Twente as assistant coach of the A1 and B1 of the Football Academy. He also maintained contacts with supporters and sponsor sections on behalf of the club, but he was nevertheless expelled.

Nowadays he coaches troubled youngsters at 'Certain Basis' in Enschede. He helps those young people to structure their lives and build an independent existence.

(Photo: ANP – Louis Van Der Vuurst)

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