|Full name||Dirk Schaertsen|
|Born||18 September 1974|
|Youth squad: 1991-1995|
|Senior squad: 1995-2012|
Dirk Schaertsen, CD (born 18 September 1974) is a Brunanter former football player and defender for Chester FC from 2002-2012, and the Brunant national football team from 1995 to 2012. He was one of the best Brunanter defenders and is one of the national team's most-capped players. He played as a center-back, but was able to play in the left and right and as a wingback.
In 1989 Schaertsen went to have a trial with Grijzestad University S.C. but they rejected him for being "too thin" for his position. After a couple of years of playing for his school and in regional matches, he was approached by Grijzestad Strijders, who quickly signed him on in 1991 (after he had joined the Brunant U-20 team).
In November 1993 he had his first start with the club, in a Johan II Cup match. He would be played as a substitute for his few appearances in 1993-94, and the next season he was given three starts (and seven subs). By then, he was getting lots of interest from bigger clubs and both he and the club decided it was time to leave.
In 1996, Schaertsen joined Ajax in The Netherlands for €1,850,000. He initialy did not get many starts since Frank de Boer and Danny Blind both occupied the position he played, and it was only until 1998 when he made his first professional starts (he played in friendlies since 1997). In 2000 Co Adriaanse appointed manager at Ajak, and Schaertsen often came into conflict with the coach over his management styles. Finally in 2001 Schaertsen was kept from playing matches and in the summer it was agreed he would leave the club.
Schaertsen, then at the prime of his career, signed a lucrative deal with newly-founded Chester FC, of the 2. Liga. Transfering for a rather high €2,000,000, he would receive a record salary of €500,000, at the time one of the highest in all Brunant.
In his first season (2001-02), he formed the backbone of Chester's defense. Alongside such players like Pieter Graf (DM) and Joseph Hewton (DF), this Chester side was one of the strongest in the league and achieved promotion to the 1st league in 2002-03, finishing in first place.
In Chester's 1. Liga spell, Schaertsen became a feared opponent for forwards and wingers alike, as he was like a tank which blocked most attacks. In 2003-04 Schaertsen's team finished in an excellent fifth place. In 2004-05, Schaertsen performed even better, denying teams like St. Marks Koningstad and FC Drenthe many scoring chances. Chester shockingly came in second place, in no small part due to his defensive efforts. That year, he was the only defender to be nominated for the AFC's Player of the year award, coming fourth in the voting (losing out to Felix Brunner). The following season, Schaertsen was heavily fouled in a game against Helmond Raiders and would be out for much of the season; without him the team largely fell apart and were relegated to the 2. Liga.
Despite his return to the club that summer (and more excellent defensive work), many of his veteran teammates retired and the team hovered just below the promotion spots for several seasons. In the 2010-11 season, Chester mounted a late comeback attempt, and with a rise in form for Schaertsen, were able to come in second place and secure promotion. In their 2011-12 season, Chester only managed to finish 12th, six points above relegation. By then, Schaertsen's age was beginning to take its toll and he only made 14 appearances in that lackluster season.
Schaertsen joined the Brunant national U-20 team in 1991, at the age of 17. In April 1995, he made his first senior appearance in a friendly against Belize. "The Tank" Schaertsen would soon be feared by attackers everywhere; though not the strongest he was an excellent marksman. In 1996, he joined the final squad heading to the World Football Championship. When he was in the back four the whole team seemed to work better, but as he came as a substitute (and only started one match) he was unable to showcase all his talents.
In 2000, Schaertsen would finally prove himself to be the best in his position. An undisputed starter under coach Roberto Bracciale, he made an excellent performance in the cup. In his first match, he denied the Czech Republic most of their chances and their star forward Vladimír Šmicer was denied a shot on goal (the game ended 0-0). The next game was a 4-0 win over Lebanon, and "The Tank" broke down all but one attack and scored the third goal. His next group match and the semifinal that followed saw him put on fine form to break down most attacks, and together with keeper Amadeus Kunter were instrumental in the team's five (of six) clean sheets, including a win in the final (Brunant's 3rd championship).
In 2002, Schaertsen was made Brunant's captain.
For the 2004 tournament, Schaertsen was again named captain of the national team. He did well in the group matches to ensure an easy progression. But in the quarter-final, he was controversially left out; only when Brunant was losing 2-0 was he brought on and the game ended 3-0.
In the 2008 Micronations (again as captain), Schaertsen played in two group games and the quarter-final against Bosnia and Hercegovina; in it he made an awkward pass which contributed to BiH's second goal and would often be blamed from Brunant's loss (in penalties).
Despite a subpar performance in the tournament, Schaertsen continued to be called up for friendlies. At 34 years old he was passing his prime but as a hardened veteran still played well. In 2011 he scored his second goal in a friendly versus Iceland.
For the 2010 tournament, Schaertsen featured in two group matches as well as their quarter-final win over Slovakia. Schaertsen performed well but was out of form and would not feature in the semifinal or final.
In 2012, he was called up to the Micronation in Brunant. Despite being behind David Capels, Dennis Lindon and Terry Jamieson in the pecking order, he started in the second group game and was a sub in the other two. He missed the quarter-finals as Brunant was knocked out by Singapore. After this he announced his retirement from international football.
Schaertsen's final game was on 18 May 2012. Since his first game with the national team, he has had 59 caps, the third most for the national team since 1909. He is the only player to have appeared in seven consecutive WFC tournaments.
In 2012 Schaertsen retired from football and was appointed coach at Chester, where he will take over following the winter break. Since taking over, Schaertsen could not prevent Chester's relegation. He was sacked in the summer. He has since taken up the managing position at Kemburg City F.C. in Kemburg.
Schaertsen holds both Brunanter and Dutch citizenship, as his mother was from Eindhoven. Schaertsen married actress Nadia Salman in 2006 and they have one son, Leuvis.
In 2000, Schaertsen was presented the Order of the Dragon for his performance during the 2000 Micronations.
In 2003, Schaertsen became a spokesman for Maxi supermarkets, in a deal worth €60,000/year for three years.
|2000 Brunant squad|
|1 Kunter • 4 Temple (c) • 5 Schaertsen • 3 Nord • 2 Lopes • 8 Mathisen • 7 Wittstein • 10 Zenadi • 11 Jordans • 9 Brunner • 70 Harlow • 10 Bates • 13 Cordoba • 19 Benley • 41 Versten • 23 Campdegall • 24 Stefan Kamphuis • Coach: Bracciale|