barnsleyfc.co.uk recently caught up with former fans favourite Dean Gorré and we found out just why the Dutchman’s loyalties were split during our recent EFL Cup tie!
Ask any Barnsley fan to name some of the most technically gifted players to wear the Red shirt, and very few would fail to mention Dean Gorré who, in his three years at Oakwell, built a reputation as one of the most talented and skilful players to ever represent the Club.
After spending his early career with Dutch giants Ajax and Feyenoord – winning a league title and cup at each club - the midfielder arrived in England with Huddersfield Town in 1999, before joining the Reds in 2001. Making 70 appearances and scoring 9 goals for Barnsley in a three year spell; ‘Deano’ has some good memories from his time at Oakwell despite what was a turbulent time for the Club.
“We had different managers and different times, but that’s football. When I look back, I can still say I had a fantastic time in Barnsley and some good games. I keep the good memories!”
The Reds suffered relegation to the third tier at the end of the 2001/02 season, but Gorré’s magic in midfield was a constant shining light throughout a tricky period for the Club. Despite having options to move on to pastures new at the end of that season, he felt that Oakwell was the right place for him to be as the Club looked to bounce back.
“I came towards the end of my career and I am not the kind of person to change teams all the time so I wanted to stay with Barnsley. When you go into the end period of your career, you need to look at what the best option is for yourself and, despite the relegation, at that time I thought that was Barnsley! My objective was to get Barnsley out of League One, but unfortunately that didn’t quite happen.”
As a firm fan favourite, it was clear that the Barnsley faithful played a key role in Gorré’s decision to remain with the Club and he is thankful for the way the fans supported him throughout his time in South Yorkshire.
“They are the reason you play! I got a lot of respect from them, because I think they loved the way I played, otherwise they wouldn’t have been so positive! To be honest I had a great relationship with the fans and I enjoyed playing for the Club, so it’s great to know that they were always positive towards me.”
Another key factor in extending his time at Barnsley was the relationships he built with other members of the squad from that era, in particular another fans favourite Bruce Dyer!
“I didn’t live in Barnsley when I played there; I lived in Cheshire because that’s where my family were based. A lot of my time was spent with Bruce Dyer in Barnsley, I had a room in his house and his wife Janine cooked me some lovely meals! Every time I come back to Barnsley now I go and see him.
“The other one was Kevin Betsy, I used to stay with him or with Bruce. They were the main people I had strong relationship with. During my first year though it was Mike Sheron, because we used to share the driving. We drove every day up and down the hills together to get to Barnsley; we spent a lot of time in the car together.”
Since retiring from professional football, the 45-year old has gone on to enjoy a successful coaching career, most recently as the manager of the Suriname National Team. The opportunity to develop the game in his native country was one he couldn’t refuse, and Gorré explained just how the opportunity in South America came about.
“Well because I was born in Suriname they asked me a few times, and if you know Suriname, it is a country that has most of their players based in Holland. They wanted me to create a new set-up and add some Dutch flare to it. We were hoping that we could get dual nationalities so that the Dutch players could play in Suriname, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened yet. But I’m sure that one day it will, then Suriname will be on the map as a good footballing nation. Everyone from there with big talent at the minute plays for Holland. But it has been a fantastic experience with them!”
Gorré continued to explain how his coaching career has allowed him to work with some of the best up and coming Premier League players, as well as a legend in world football.
“I have got all my badges; I went to Southampton as Assistant Manager and worked with players like Lallana, Schneiderlin and Jack Cork. After that I went to Ajax to work with Johan Cruyff in the resurrection of Ajax, and I feel that we managed to change the mentality there.
“After that I went to Scotland with the national team, they wanted to change their style of play to building up from the back and they wanted to add some Dutch style! After that I went back home - the travelling was too much and I wanted to watch my son Kenji who was still at Manchester United, but then I sent him to Swansea! I looked after him in the father / agent role, and here we are!”
Dean's son Kenji Gorré has followed in his Dad’s footsteps by becoming a professional footballer and is determined to build a successful career in the game. After recently securing a loan move to League One newcomers Northampton Town, the 21-year-old featured against the Reds in our recent EFL Round One tie at Oakwell. It’s a move that Dean feels will be a great development opportunity for the young winger.
“He had a good pre-season with the first team at Swansea and was involved in every game, he even scored. The only thing is he needs to play games at his age of 21. Northampton’s manager really showed me they wanted him and made a lot of effort to get him in, so the best thing for him was to go on loan. He’s signed a six month loan to January.”
Despite his loyalties being split tonight, ‘Deano’ enjoyed seeing his son run out at Oakwell, the place where he watched his Dad play years ago.
“My son first came to Oakwell with me at the age of five, and now as a 21-year-old man he played in the same place I played for three years!“
When asked whether Kenji possesses a similar playing style to his Dad, Dean was keen to point out the youngsters more direct approach.
“He’s nothing like me! He’s got more pace than I had and he’s more direct. I was more of a technical footballer, who gets other people into play, but he’s more direct and he’ll go for goal. We have similarities but not a lot; he’s built differently and taller than I am. He’s more for long runs; I was more for little touches.”
After the Cobblers secured promotion to League One in emphatic style last season, Gorré was also keen to praise our EFL Cup opponents and feels that the Sixfields Stadium is a great place for Kenji to develop.
“They have done exceptionally well, but they are very humble though. They aren’t going to shout, but I’m sure they want to go up again and do a Burton Albion! They have big ambitions for the future and I think it is good to be in that environment as a young player.”
Despite being kept busy with his other footballing commitments, ‘Deano’ always keeps an eye on his former Club and was delighted to see the Reds secure promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship last season.
“I always kept in contact with people like Bobby Hassell; he gives me updates on how things are going. What happened last season was amazing, the position Barnsley were in and went straight to the top, it was fantastic and I followed every minute in the second half of the season, it was so great to see. It was good football as well, it’s not often you see it and I really enjoyed watching.”
Pick up a copy of BE RED, Barnsley FC’s Official Matchday Programme, this Saturday for more exclusive interviews and features!