I am Kjell Knops and i am 29 years old. I play for Port Vale FC in Burslem Stoke-on-Trent. I was born in Wijlre in the Netherlands.
In the season 2010/2011 you played for EVV an amateur football club. After that season you moved to the First Division for a period of five years at MVV. Was the step up to the first Division difficult?
The step was not really that difficult, but off course the level in the first division was obviously higher than in the Top klasse at that time.
In total you have played 152 matches for MVV. How have you experienced that time?
I had a great time at MVV Maastricht. In the five years that i played for MVV i have always been a regular player. And in the 4th season i was even captain of the team. MVV is a big club with great potential to grow again in a major league club. The fans support the club in good and bad times, so that’s great.
You are a central back, but you scored your first goal for the club in a 3–2 win over Telstar. What kind of feeling had you at that time?
The goal that i scored against Telstar was my first professional goal and it felt fantastic. I can remember that my coach at that time Rene Trost, told me to shoot once from distance. So I tried to do it against Telstar and I scored.
After five years, you left the Netherlands and travelled to England to join Port Vale. Who played in the League One. Did you notice a lot of difference between the Dutch league and the English league ?
Yes there is a big difference between the first division in Holland and the league one in England. I think the level is much higher. In the league one they play at a higher pace and it is much more Physical. The clubs in league one can also spend much more money.
You’re playing now for an half year by Port Vale. How do you like the Football League One so far?
Till now it really pleases me to play football in England. I played so far almost all matches. We play against big teams like Sheffield united, MK Dons and Charlton Athletic which is a nice experience for me.
What is the most important moment in your football career?
The most important moment in my football career till now is probably when i made my debut at Roda JC in the Eredivisie. That’s where my career started.
What is your biggest low point in your football career
Till now my biggest low point is probably when my contract ended at Roda JC. After playing at Roda JC for 16 years, i started to play in the Top klasse in Holland and my dream to become a professional football player was far away.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever experienced at a football match?
I actually have not seen a lot of weird things during a match.
You’re 29 years and you still have a contract until 2018. Do you have an idea what you want to do after your football career?
Hopefully i will play professional football for another number of years. But during my football career i have followed the study Facility Management. Hopefully it will help me to find a job after my career.