|Full name||Pim Balkestein|
|Date of birth||29 April 1987|
|Place of birth||Gouda, Netherlands|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Current club||Free agent|
|2009||→ Brentford (loan)||8||(0)|
|2010||→ Brentford (loan)||6||(1)|
|2011||→ Rochdale (loan)||13||(0)|
|2012||→ AFC Wimbledon (loan)||6||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:02, 15 May 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Balkestein was born in the Dutch city of Gouda on 29 April 1987. He is the son of former Sparta Rotterdam and Feyenoord player Luuk Balkestein. He came through the academy ranks at SC Heerenveen, making the step up from the under-19 squad to the first team for the 2006–07 season. However, the defender would never made a first team appearance for the club. At the end of the 2007–08 season, Balkestein joined Football League Championship side Ipswich Town on trial, impressing manager Jim Magilton enough to be offered a permanent deal following his strong performance in a friendly for Ipswich Town Reserves against Tottenham Hotspur Reserves.
On 16 June 2008, Balkestein signed a two-year contract with Ipswich Town with the option of a further year extension. As a result of the transfer, a fee of £180,000 was paid to his former club SC Heerenveen as compensation. Balkestein made his professional and Football League debut for Ipswich Town on 9 August 2008 in a 2–1 defeat by Preston North End. The 21-year-old defender would go on to make 20 league appearances in total for Ipswich Town during the 2008–09 season. Balkestein also featured for the Blues in the First Round of the 2008-09 Football League Cup in a 4–1 win over Leyton Orient on 12 August 2008 as well as in the Third Round fixture against Wigan Athletic on 24 September 2008 which ended as a 4–1 defeat. The defender also played for Ipswich Town in their 3–1 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Fourth Round of the 2008-09 FA Cup on 24 January 2009. On 21 April 2009, Balkestein was named Ipswich Town's "Most Improved Player of the Year", as voted for by the club's coaching staff. At the beginning of the 2009–10 season, Balkestein made 6 league appearances for Ipswich Town before it was announced that he would join Football League One side Brentford on an initial one-month loan deal on 20 November 2009. The defender made his debut for Brentford on 21 November 2009 in a 1–1 draw with Walsall. On 21 December 2009, Brentford manager Andy Scott extended Balkestein's loan by a further month. The extension was short-lived however, as on 30 December 2009, Balkestein was recalled by his parent club in order to replace injured defender David Wright. Balkestein's last game for Ipswich Town came on 30 January 2010 against the same opposition as his first, Preston North End, in what would end as a 2–0 defeat. On 25 March 2010, Pim Balkestein returned to Brentford on loan until the end of the 2009–10 with a view to a permanent move. On 30 March 2010, Balkestein scored his first Football League goal for Brentford in a 3–2 win over Oldham Athletic.
Having made 14 appearances on loan at Brentford during the 2009–10 season, Balkestein joined the Bees on a permanent basis from Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee on 6 August 2010, signing a three-year deal. The defender made 20 league appearances in total for Brentford during the 2010–11 season. Balkestein scored his second and last goal for the Bees in a 3–2 defeat by Walsall on 12 April 2011. Following the sacking of Andy Scott as Brentford manager on 3 February 2011, however, Balkestein quickly found himself out of favour and deemed surplus to requirements by successor to the post Uwe Rösler. As a result of this, Balkestein was loaned out for almost the entirety of the 2011–12 season. His first loan spell was to Football League One rivals Rochdale beginning on 19 August 2011 and running until 18 January 2012. Balkestein's debut for Rochdale came in a 2–0 defeat by Oldham Athletic on 20 August 2011. The defender would go on to make just 13 league appearances in total for Rochdale in the 2011–12 season, however, after being blighted by a reoccurring groin injury which forced him to return to his parent club to undergo minor surgery in November 2011. The 24-year-old returned to training at Rochdale on 5 December 2011. However, he would not go on to make another appearance for the Dale and subsequently returned to Brentford in January 2012, where he was told by manager Uwe Rösler that he had no future with the club. Balkestein subsequently joined Football League Two side AFC Wimbledon on a one-month loan deal on 9 March 2012. Balkestein made his debut for AFC Wimbledon in a 2–1 over Dagenham & Redbridge on 10 March 2012. The defender would go on to make 6 league appearances in total for the Dons, however, his loan spell would ultimately be cut short after an X-Ray found that he had broken his toe in a 4–0 win over Burton Albion on 24 March 2012.
On 17 July 2012, Balkestein returned to AFC Wimbledon on a permanent deal after being released from Brentford. Balkestein scored his first goal for AFC Wimbledon on 21 August 2012 in a 6–2 defeat by Burton Albion. The 25-year-old defender scored his second for the club on 12 March 2013 in a 3–1 win over Southend United. Balkestein was released by AFC Wimbledon on 14 May 2013.
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