News from the club

End of an era: Jelte Maan quits...

Maaseik, Belgium, April 18, 2021. 

End of an era: Jelte Maan quits...

A month after his 35th birthday, Jelte Maan – born March 19th 1986 in Lochem (NL) – puts an end to his brilliant volleyball career...

Jelte came on the radar of NOLIKO Maaseik thanks to his performances in the Dutch competition, at Apeldoorn. In 2008 Vital Heynen lured him into Maaseik. In our jubilee book 'Maaseik, 60 jaar topvolleybal' Jelte tells about his almost failed entrance at Maaseik: how he – optimum focus on a very important away game – refuelled his diesel club car with gasoline … A false start for a stunning success story.

Some remarkable figures: during his 13 seasons with Maaseik he played 562 matches: 408 wins, that's 72.5% or cum laude! During the Maan era, NOLIKO / GREENYARD Maaseik won five league titles, four cups, five super cups and two European bronze medals. Jelte experienced 13 European campaigns with Maaseik, 95 matches in total (97 if you include Chaumont's two recent corona forfaits). If you also add his four European campaigns with Apeldoorn, he ends up with a total of 111 European matches!

In between, Jelte collected some 200 selections for the Dutch national team. Don't even try to count his number of 'star of the game' distinctions. Especially his individual MVP trophy after that crazy 3-2 win against ZENIT Kazan (December 2019) will stay on his mind until the end of days! He became Player of the Year in 2012, when Maaseik won all prizes in Belgium and surprised Europe, again. Our Fanclub then awarded him their prize too. We have no figures about his yellow cards: as a captain of his team he was always at the forefront of the fight, indeed. He demanded the utmost from himself, from his fellow players AND from the referees. They sometimes saw him rushing like a roaring bull when he disagreed with them about their judgment.

Jelte had to fight back several times after a serious injury: we remember an ankle and that slipped disc, and even last summer it was feared that it might not work out, but 2020-2021 turned out to be by no means the infamous 'season too much'. And yet it stops here and now... From now on Jelte will fully focus on his business. All volleyball fans in Belgium, not only in Maaseik and surroundings, will of course remember Jelte Maan for his fighting spirit and energy in the arena when the stakes were high.

It's a pity that such a great career now ends so unexpectedly without a final prize, without the fans, without a public tribute. Despite the kick Jelte Maan always felt from the adrenaline on the pitch and the atmosphere in the stands, he preferred to retire without much ado, just say goodbye quietly to the inner circle. But as a club we cannot and will never let him disappear like that, unnoticed: just wait and see! 13 years, solid as a rock: for that reason alone, a place in our all-time dream team cannot escape him. Anyway: thank you very, very much for everything, Jelte! Best wishes, and we will definitely see each other again!


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Volleybalclub GREENYARD Maaseik

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