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As a child Youssouf Hersi had a dream. The dream of becoming a professional football player. A dream that wasn’t about roses. He was born on 20 August 1982 in Dire Dawa, a city in eastern Ethiopia. As a toddler he came to the Netherlands, where he grew up in Dedemsvaart and his football talent was soon recognized by SCD’83. Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV wanted to bring him in. Hersi chose Ajax.


In 1999 he signed his first contract and a year later he made his debut against FC Utrecht. His advance was rewarded in De Klassieker against Feyenoord with a first 11. Because of the great competition in Amsterdam, he was let to NAC Breda and NEC. In Nijmegen he was part of the success formation under trainer Johan Neeskens, who after twenty years qualified for European football again.

Agent and a Brother

Via sc Heerenveen, he ended up at Vitesse, where he was named Player of the Year. After two seasons FC Twente, he left for Greece to play football in the witch cauldron of AEK Athens. After a year at De Graafschap, another wonderful Down Under adventure followed at Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory. He left Australia with a championship on his resume. Dyed in wool in professional football, Hersi is now working hard in a different role. In that of player coach.