A strong start for Slamstox in 2022! We have added two new employees to Team Slamstox: Kees Heemskerk and Marle van Dessel. Kees joins our team as college soccer recruiter, while Marle van Dessel will be active as field hockey specialist. Both Kees and Marle have played college sports in the US for four years. They both have gained a lot of valuable experience in their sports and professional careers. Time to get to know them better!

Kees Heemskerk: from college soccer to the Dutch Eredivisie!

When Kees was 12 years old, he started playing for the Ajax Youth Academy as a goalkeeper. He only had one dream: become a pro football player. At the age of 18, Kees decided that the best way to turn pro was the college soccer pathway in America. He started doing some research and quickly touched base with several universities. Soon after that, Kees got offered a full scholarship at College of Charleston, in beautiful and sunny South Carolina. Kees finished his high school degree, stepped on the plane, and lived his American Dream to combine soccer with his Psychology major. It soon became obvious that it was an extremely successful move by the Dutchman.

Kees became the starting GK for the Cougars and was awarded the title of “All-American” in his freshman year. With his team, Kees made it to the conference championships every year, and participated in the NCAA National Championships. Based on his athletic success, Kees got an invite for the MLS Draft in 2014. The MLS Draft is a selection of the best college soccer players, invited for a training camp to fight for the pro contracts.

Kees eventually got an invite to play for a Norwegian pro team, but quickly decided to move back to the Netherlands and continue his career. Back in Holland, he played for FC Den Bosch and RKC Waalwijk, and made it to the Dutch Eredivisie with RKC. This makes Kees the only player to play four years of college soccer before making it to the Dutch Eredivisie as a pro player. Dreams do come true, people!

After his pro career, Kees decided to start working on his career after sports. He worked for a Dutch staffing agency for a year, but wanted to make a move back into the sports world. When the job opening at Slamstox came by, Kees didn’t hesitate:

“After my soccer career, I hesitated for a long time about what I wanted to do in life. When I saw the Slamstox job post, I knew it: this is me! I’ve had four incredible years in the US and I’d love to help other players achieve their goals.”

Kees Heemskerk

Kees will mostly work with our soccer student-athletes and guide them through their process. Are you interested in learning more about Kees’ experiences, or would you just like to meet him? Feel free to send him an email through kees@slamstox.com.

Marle van Dessel: a true college field hockey specialist!

Marle started playing field hockey at a young age at a local club in Oisterwijk called HOCO. After graduating from high school in 2007, she decided to take on an adventure together with her twin sister Flore. They both got invited to play field hockey and study at Virginia Commonwealth University, better known as VCU. An opportunity both Marle and Flore couldn’t let go, and four beautiful years would follow.

Marle quickly became one of the most important “foundation players” for the VCU team and led her team to the Conference championships tournament in 2011. The coaches were so happy with the twins, that later they also offered their younger sister Rymme a scholarship to come play field hockey for VCU. This made the “Van Dessel Family” one of the first Dutch generations to play college field hockey in the US. The start of a dangerous movement…!

After graduating with a degree in Mass Communications, Marle stayed at VCU for a little longer. She became the “grad assistant”, which is an assistant coach who studies for a master’s degree at the same time. Marle completed her master’s degree in sports management and was able to help the VCU team even more. However, this wasn’t the end for Marle’s America adventure. She later on joined the athletic department at Georgia Southern University as a communications specialist and learned a lot about the internal affairs of college sports.

When Marle came back to the Netherlands in 2013, she kept playing field hockey and joined Were Di Dames 1 in the Dutch promotional division. She currently plays for Were Di with other Slamstox Field Hockey Specialists Marique and Maud. Marle has also worked for a variety of different companies active in sports, management, and events. The step towards Slamstox was a logical next step in her career:

“College field hockey in the US made me the person I am today. I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to help other players live the experience I have had as well!”

Marle van Dessel

Marle has a tremendous network in the field hockey world, both in the Netherlands and in the US. She will mostly focus on helping field hockey players throughout their process. Are you interested in learning more about Marle’s experiences, or would you just like to meet her? Feel free to send her an email through marle@slamstox.com.

Welcome to the squad, Marle & Kees!