Nando Pijnaker (Grasshopper Club Zürich | Switzerland)
— elementwelve (@ElemenTwelve) January 28, 2020
Same agent as Mata, Woud, McGarry and a couple other promising Kiwis. Really putting in the work to get em to Europe, kudos to Bruno Meirelles
that's great. Hopefully he establishes himself in the team and they get promoted to the first division soon!
VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life
GC Zurich U21
GC Zurich U21
So Pijnaker has been signed to the U21 side not first team.
Grasshopper first team have struggled since returning from the winter break. A draw and 2 losses.
11 pts behind Lausanne Sport in top spot (automatic promotion), best bet for them now looks like trying to retain 2nd spot, and into promotion playoff.
Lost on Friday 4-1 and had a defender sent off, so maybe that could open a door for Pijnaker.
Nando named as new to first team squad with six others
Lausanne Sport (52 pts) are 15 pts clear in top spot and automatic promotion.
Vauz, Grasshopper (both 37 pts) and Kriens (36 pts) all look to be vying for 2nd, and the promotion playoff spot.
Neither Pijnaker nor Mata in match day squad.
Grasshopper with a 5-0 win.
From this week's Flying Kiwis.
"Translation: Nando Pijnaker’s been added to the Grasshoppers first team squad.
Which puts him in good company with his buddy Max Mata because while both of them had been working their way up from the U21 squad, with Mata also spending some time out on loan while Nando only signed at the start of the year... both of them also appear to be in the first team picture now moving forwards. At least according to reports anyway, haven’t found confirmed evidence of Mata’s first team permanence yet. Pijnaker’s been added to the list on their website but Mata’s still on the U21 page. Having said that he’s there wearing the #15 jersey on their Wikipedia page so you never know with these things.
Part of this development will be due to getting a new coach involved. Zoltan Kadar is now in charge there as GCZ try to push their way back up into the top flight with a strong close to the season. And an even bigger part of it is that the schedule is going to be brutal from here on out. Pijnaker has been added this week along with five of their other top prospects from the U21s in order to expand their squad to help them cope with having to play 13 games pretty much in a month and a half. They basically play every 3-4 days.
Grasshoppers are a bit of a sad case. They were once a powerful club in Switzerland, specifically back in the day when they had Wynton Rufer on the books, but they’ve fallen on hard times more recently and were relegated last time around. So now they’re in the second tier with the biggest stadium capacity in the division and trying to bounce back up. The Swiss Challenge League has been on the drop since late February with every team having played 23/36 matches and good news because it came back this very weekend.
GC Zürich were 15 points off top placed Lausanne as the pandemic came around, looking unlikely to catch them for that lone automatic promotion spot. But they’re only goal difference behind Vaduz for second and as long as they don’t mess around with the regulations because of all the weirdness that second place will earn a promotion playoff so there’s a heap to play for over these last thirteen games. Or, twelve now because they rocked back into the swing of things with a convincing 5-0 win over FA Aarau in Zoltan’s first match in charge. Neither of the two NZers were included in the matchday squad (although GC does have a striker on the bench called Ze Turbo, which is amazing) but that’s to be expected. Plenty more games where that one came from."
Grasshopper (2nd) with a 1-1 draw at Winterthur.
They go 1 point ahead of promotion rivals Vaduz (3rd) who play runaway league leaders Lausanne Sport (1st) later today.
Neither Pijnaker nor Mata in match day squad. As in Flying Kiwis above the Swiss 2nd tier, is now very condensed with games every 3-4 days. So both Kiwi boys could get a chance at some point.
Neither Pijnaker nor Mata in match day squad, in a 4-1 win over Wil (7th).
Grasshopper 2 points ahead of Vaduz in 3rd.
In a big result Grasshopper come back from 2-0 nil down at Vaduz, to win 3-2. Two late goals from 84 mins.
Vaduz & Kriens are their main rivals for the promotion playoff spot (2nd place).
Grasshopper now go 5 points ahead of Vaduz, and close the gap on 1st placed Lausanne Sport (who have game in hand) to 5 points also.
Neither Kiwi in the match day squad.
8 rounds still to go, over next 4 weeks.
Neither Kiwi in the match day squad, as Grasshopper (2nd) beat Stade Lausanne-Ouchy (7th) 4-0.
Was 1-0 until Stade Lausanne had a player sent off at 63 mins.
1st placed Lausanne Sport (5 pts ahead) and 3rd placed Vaduz (5 pts behind), also both won.