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Woud exclusive: Sunderland to Almere; big keeper differences for English & Dutch football

Almere City goalkeeper Michael Woud believes that there are big differences between Dutch and English football, with sides in the Netherlands focusing on a more “positioned-based" approach.

Despite being only 21, Woud has already played for Sunderland and Willem II, from where he is now on loan at Eerste Divisie side Almere City.

Growing up in New Zealand, the goalkeeper moved to England in 2015 and spent three years in the North East, before making his way to the European mainland in 2018.

Since arriving at Willem II his opportunities have been limited and he joined Eerste Divisie title-chasers Almere City over the summer in search of more game time.

Fifteen league games into the season and they sit second in the table having lost just once, with Woud an ever-present.

Speaking exclusively to Tribal Football, the New Zealand international said that he moved to the Netherlands in order to gain first team opportunities.

“At the time Willem was a club with a lot of ambition and that played a lot of young players," he said.

“I wanted to be in a first team environment and I thought that would be difficult if I stayed at Sunderland. I had good conversations with the goalkeeping coach and the sporting director, so I had a good feeling and I was just looking for the opportunity to play football.

“Dutch football is quite different, more positioned-based. I have learned things from every goalkeeping coach I have worked with, but I think that Willem was a good club for me to learn and train, but after two years it came to a point where I wanted to play games.

“I still have a contract at Willem, and while you don't know what the future hold, I am in a good place with Almere. We will see what happens at the end of the season. I am taking things day by day. Willem have good goalkeepers but I am just taking it every game at a time and then the future will work itself out. This season I am trying to help Almere win."

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William Dodds

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