In 2008, coach Mario Been helped NEC from the drop zone to the UEFA Cup, even reaching the Round of 16, their best ever European result. Since Been left the club to take over at Feyenoord, NEC have again plummeted down the table. Their difficult financial situation has made strengthening the team hard and a comfortable mid-table finish must be the height of their ambitions. The most important boost the club can receive is the return of striker Bjorn Vleminckx to form after an impressive season was ended by injury in the last campaign. NEC could well benefit from the blossoming of 19-year-old forward Rick ten Voorde; the youngster has already been labelled "the little Van Basten".
Key arrivals: Remy Amieux (FC Eindhoven); Leroy George (FC Utrecht); Niki Zimling (Udinese – loan); Pavel Cmovc (Slavia Prague); Thomas Chatelle (Anderlecht – loan)
Key departures: Dominique Kiuvu (CFR Cluj); Rutger Worm (Melbourne Heart); Youssef El Akchaoui (Heerenveen)