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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 15:42 GMT
Hersi keen on Ethiopia
Nicolas White
Football Correspondent

Youssouf Hersi
Hersi has played for Holland's under-21 side
Youssouf Hersi insists he would jump at the chance to represent Ethiopia after conceding he has little hope of breaking into the Holland side.

The 22-year-old was born in Ethiopia but grew up in the Netherlands after his parents fled the African state during the civil war almost two decades ago.

The Vitesse Arnhem striker has represented Holland at under-21 level but he admits trying to dislodge the likes of Newcastle's Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy of Manchester United in the Dutch top team is a virtually impossible task.

He will now consider taking advantage of a Fifa ruling which allows players to switch allegiances if they have not represented a country a senior level.

There are some big stars in the Holland side and it's very difficult for me to get into the team
Youssouf Hersi
"If the chance came for me to play for Ethiopia I would take it," he told BBC Sport.

"There are some big stars in the Holland side and it's very difficult for me to get into the team.

"Most of the players in the Ethiopia side play for teams based in the country."

Hersi arrived in Holland as a five-year-old and has not been back to his homeland since.

But he insists he will return one day either as a player for the national side or to accompany his parents on their annual holiday to Ethiopia.

"I've not had time to go back because I've been too busy with my career but, of course, I'd like to go back one day."

"My parents go back every year and they show me videos of the country. They talk about the country all the time."

Hersi joined Arnhem on a two-and-a-half year deal during the January transfer window after an unhappy spell at fellow Eredivisie side Heereveen, who he joined from Ajax last summer.

He now hopes the move will help him get his career back on track.

He said: "I was on loan at NEC Nijmegen last season and did well. Heereveen made a bid for me and I decided to join them.

"But it was a mistake because the manager never played me. The manager here plays me on the right side but he also gives me freedom to move around.

"I'm happy at Arnhem. I want to stay here until I'm 25 and then move to another league in Europe."


SEE ALSO
Ethiopia win Cecafa Cup
26 Dec 04 |  African
Ethiopia without a coach
26 Dec 04 |  African



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