Stekelenburg to get his chance
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Maarten Stekelenburg will be handed the chance to stake a claim for Ajax's number one jersey.
Bogdan Lobont is the current first choice at the Amsterdam ArenA, but rising star Stekelenburg is rated highly by Ajax's coaching staff.
Ajax coach Ronald Koeman is ready to start Stekelenburg on Sunday against Willem II, which he hopes will improve the keeper's chances of making Dick Advocaat's Netherlands squad for Euro 2004.
It is also a clear indication that Koeman is looking for Stekelenburg to challenge Romanian ace Lobont.
"Maarten will get the chance to fight for the jersey with Lobont," said Koeman. "That's how we will start in the summer.
"He (Stekelenburg) is getting better all the time and has the talent to be part of the Dutch team now and in the future."
Advocaat has yet to announce who will be the third choice behind Edwin van der Sar and Ronald Waterreus, but the signs are suggesting he would prefer to opt for the youth of Stekelenburg over the experience of Real Sociedad's Sander Westerveld.
Nicola Mitea, meanwhile, will go under the knife in the near future in a bid to cure his groin problem.
The Romanian has flourished at Ajax and is keen to have surgery now in a bid to be fit for the start of the new season.