BACK in Holland, the Twentse Derby may not be quite up there in terms of derby ranking with De Klassieker – the meeting between Ajax and bitter rivals Feyenoord.
But for Sheffield Wednesday’s Dutch midfielder Joey Pelupessy, matches between his former sides Heracles Almelo and FC Twente will always possess a spiky edge and symbolism – certainly in the Eastern Netherlands – and provides useful experience for today’s derby, too.
After signing a week after the Steel City derby at Bramall Lane, Pelupessy must settle for something resembling the next best thing as his first taste of derby fayre in England, a short trip to Oakwell in a game which assumes key importance in the context of both side’s seasons.
Pelupessy said: “I played for Heracles against FC Twente, which is another of my former clubs. I like these games and the fans are crazy and there are a lot of tackles and things like that. It is almost a little bit more than the normal games.
“There are always a lot of fans going to these games. Heracles and FC Twente is like going to Barnsley, just 20 minutes or so. It is a big game and it was one of my favourite games in Holland.
“These are games you want to play in as a football player and I look forward to this one now.”
Both sides head into the game with plenty to prove after another bitter week in a harsh winter.
A classic may not be on the cards, but a positive result would be a thing of beauty to either side.
Pelupessy added: “Of course, it is so important – for the fans, club and everything. If you lose this game, then you are more disappointed than normal. You get a great feeling if you win.
“It is a derby, but also important if you look at the table with a six-point difference. If we can win, we make a little step forwards. It is important to make the distance bigger.”