It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
International Ron Vlaar will join Feyenoord 1 January. The AZ defender passed a medical in Rotterdam Wednesday afternoon before putting his signature to a contract that will keep him at De Kuip for the next three and a half years. The 20 year old has made his name in the Eredivisie and on the international scene over the past year, and is now felt to be one of the hottest defensive talents in Holland.
The move ends a period of ambiguity about the future of the youngster, who found himself on the sidelines at AZ under Louis van Gaal after a good start. He was seen in England earlier in the week where he, his father and his agent spoke with Tottenham Hotspur. The English side were interested in the defender, but Vlaar ultimately opted for Feyenoord. ‘And I am very pleased with that. It was also my preference to play for a big Dutch club. So when Feyenoord called I didn’t really have to think for too long,’ says Vlaar, who has already spoke to his new coach Erwin Koeman by phone. ‘He explained a few things about how things are in Rotterdam and his way of working. That was very instructive. We talked indirectly about my position in the squad. I thought that was great, because I realise I have to show what I can do from day one in Rotterdam.’
Vlaar has already fielded calls from a number of new team-mates over the past few days. ‘Dirk Kuyt rang me and told me about Feyenoord. Patrick Lodewijks left me a voicemail later in the week. I really appreciated that. It gave me the feeling that I am welcome in Rotterdam and that was very nice. After a period in which I was faced with other things than football it is now nice to know where I’m going. I can hardly wait until the first training session.’