Interview With Plymouth Goalkeeper Robbert te Loeke

Interview With Plymouth Goalkeeper Robbert te Loeke

James Rowe spoke to Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Robbert te Loeke about his time at Werder Bremen in Germany, playing in the Netherlands for Cambuur Leeuwarden and FC Dordrecht, and of course his current club Plymouth Argyle.


You signed for Plymouth Argyle in 2017. Are you enjoying your time at the club so far and what is it like for to play in Football League One?

From day one I felt at home here at Plymouth Argyle. It was my wish and my intention to play football in England.

Here at Plymouth I have nice teammates and the club is a real people’s club, which I like.

The only thing that overshadows my time here so far is that I have been injured since last September, and it’s proving longer than expected to make a fully fit return to the squad.


What can you tell me about your current manager Derek Adams?

He is a man that knows what he wants, and that is to play good football.

We achieve that by training really hard as a squad, day in day out, giving our maximum.

He also stays true to himself with his knowledge and experience, and he tries to pass that on to his players.

We started the season badly and he did not change much, and recently we have managed to get ner the top six in League One, which would give us a chance of promotion via the play-offs.


You spent part of your career at German team Werder Bremen. How do you look back on your time in Germany?

I started out at FC Utrecht, and at the age of 18 you must join a first team squad and that was not possible for me there.

My agent had a contact in Germany and he knew the goalkeeping coach at Werder Bremen, and after a successful trial I signed for two years

If you go from one country to another the club has to pay an expense allowance because of the time you spent in the youth team of another club, and Werder Bremen did not want to pay it.

So they let me go after six months to avoid paying the allowance, but in the end they had to pay it anyway.

It was not the nicest period of my career back then.


You spent 4 seasons at Cambuur Leeuwarden (2008- 2012). How do you look back on your time at the club?

I believe that my time at Cambuur Leeuwarden was the best period of my career so far.

I got to know a lot of people on and off the pitch. My four years at the club were very special.

We had a very good team who were always knocking on the door of gaining promotion to the Eredivisie, which unfortunately did not happen, but I have many fond memories of my time there.


You went on to spend three seasons at FC Dordrecht (2013 – 2016). How do you look back on your time at the club?

I arrived at the club as second choice goalkeeper. In front of me was current SC Heerenveen goalkeeper Warner Hahn, and he was in great form together with a team which played regularly with the same starting lineup.

It was therefore important to me to keep training hard every day. We won promotion to the Eredivisie and it was my first honour.

In my second season at the club we played in the Eredivisie, but we had a squad that was young and inexperienced and we were relegated, which was a shame.

After relegation I managed to play a whole season the the Jupiler League, which was good for my career in terms of gaining experience as a number one goalkeeper.


Could you say who is the best player that you have ever played with?

That’s a good question! I would think back to time at Werder Bremen, who were two or three seasons before I arrived champions of Germany, and they had a great team.

I played with the likes of Brazilian midfielder Diego, who went on to play for Wolfsburg and Atletico Madrid. He was a tremendous player.

Also German central defender Per Mertesacker who currently plays for Arsenal, even during my time at the club he was one of the youngest and better players of the team I played in.

To give an example, when it was an international week we only had about five players that came into training, and that shows that in our squad we had around twenty international players, which was special.


Who is the most difficult opponent that you have faced so far in your career?

When I was playing for FC Dordrecht we played against Jong Ajax, and they have players in their squad that are such great talents, such as Frenkie de Jong and Abdelhak Nouri.

You could see their pure quality even in those games, and it shone through.


Finally Robbert who are the managers that have helped you during your career?

As a goalkeeper your are dealing on a day to day basis with your goalkeeping coach, but I must say that through the years that my goalkeeping coach at FC Utrecht, Maarten Arts, helped me a lot, and he also helped current Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Michel Vorm, too.

Arts scouted me in the youth teams and brought me to FC Utrecht, and gave the the base for my professional career by training with me day in day out for three seasons, and he was important for my development.

Also Rody Hoegee at FC Dordrecht gave my a lot of confidence as a goalkeeper. Last season at Achilles’29 my goalkeeping coach Twan Centen died last summer.

Centen gave me so much confidence during my time at Achilles ’29, that I could perform well every week at the club, and I am grateful to him for that, and it was also a pleasure to work with him.