HERO’S WELCOME FOR PIERRE AT TRAINING

Pierre van Hooijdonk trained with his new team-mates for the first time since rejoining the club Thursday and got an enthusiastic reception from a large crowd of fans. The cold weather did not stop some four hundred supporters from taking in the session and giving their hero a very warm welcome. In the end, the player had to be shepherded to the training pitch by stewards so as not to delay the start of the day’s training too much.

Some fans handed him flowers and the whole crowd chimed in with his signature tune ‘Put you hands up for Pierre’, which was a big hit in Holland in 2002 when Van Hooijdonk’s free kicks were helping pilot Feyenoord to Uefa Cup success.

Dirk Kuyt will have enjoyed the lack of attention just this once. The striker is usually inundated with requests for autographs and photos on his way to and from the training pitch, but with Van Hooijdonk’s arrival Kuyt was able to slip by relatively unnoticed.



The attention lavished on Pierre brought a smile to the faces of Erwin Koeman and seasoned professionals like Patrick Paauwe, Patrick Lodewijks and Kuyt himself, while foreign players like John Owoeri and Sherif Ekramy couldn’t hide their amazement at the 36-year-old’s impact.


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