EXCLUSIVE: A Dutch former MLS striker is one of a number of talents being eyed by A-League clubs at former NSL champion club South Melbourne.
Defender Brian Bran and highly rated Iqi Jawadi are two at the VPL outfit that continue to attract attention but a little known Dutchman is also catching the eye.
Winger Nick Soolsma, 25, arrived two months ago at the Lakeside club from Holland.
New South coach Chris Taylor clearly rates the former VV Young Boys forward.
“Soolsma certainly has the pedigree and ability to play in the A-League,” he told au.fourfourtwo.com.
“I know in the last few games we’ve had A-League scouts coming down and watching. And obviously Heart and Victory keep a very close monitor of what’s going on.
“Sometimes it’s about being given the opportunity and the right circumstances to come your way.
"But Nick’s certainly got quality. A good wide player very much in the offensive role and is one of the quality players in the league right now.”
In 2011, Soolsma was signed by former Lazio and Holland international Aron Winter at Toronto.
He made an immediate impact in the CONCACAF Champions League with a starring performance against LA Galaxy helping to knock David Beckham’s side out of the tournament.
But when Winter was axed after a poor run of results in 2012, new coach Paul Mariner was appointed and the winger was soon on the outer.
Soolsma then blotted his copybook being one of three Toronto players arrested for public intoxication. He was released by the club in July 2012 and returned to Holland where he inked a deal with Excelsior.
Soolsma is best known in Holland for his spell with VV Young Boys in 2009 where he was one of the club’s top scorers.
Despite the attention some players are getting, Taylor is hopeful of building a squad that can mount a strong FFA Cup run next year.
“We want to get the best players in the state and more so the players who could step up to the next level so we can create a pathway for them," he added.
“It’s the ultimate aim for everyone to go up against that top level in the A-League and give our boys a chance to pit themselves against some of the game’s household names."
He said the FFA Cup would be the ideal way for South Melbourne to further their claims for A-League inclusion in years to come - though he conceded this is still a long way off.
“In terms of history, South Melbourne is one of the flagship clubs in the country and the club is trying very, very hard to get its foot back in the door at the next level.
“The FFA Cup would be a great challenge for the club and would put them in the right sort of light again.”
Taylor predicted an FFA Cup match at South's Lakeside stadium would attract a crowd of up to 12,000.
“And if it was to be Victory it’d be a complete sell-out,” he added.
Sixth-placed South Melbourne are back in action this weekend against league leaders Northcote City at Lakeside.