ANTHONY LURLING ON HIS WAY TO FEYENOORD

Feyenoord have all but completed the signing of SC Heerenveen striker Anthony Lurling. Agreement was reached between the two parties Wednesday and the frontman underwent a medical Thursday in Rotterdam. Pending the results, the 25-year-old, who has been capped by the Dutch national team, will sign a four-year contract, keeping him in Rotterdam till the summer of 2006. 'It's a dream come true to me,' Lurling enthused. 'This is the club I wanted.'

‘When my agent heard that Feyenoord were interested in me I told him immediately that he had to set it up. This is the club I wanted. There were other openings in Germany and England, but those clubs were nothing compared to Feyenoord. This club suits me; the style of play and the way the crowd gets behind the team. I just have to remember our last league game here, when we were 2-1 in front with a man extra. We still lost because that incredible Legion got behind them … I think that’s really amazing, because I’m a real crowd-pleaser too.’ THE KUIP Lurling has a long relationship with the Rotterdam club. ‘I’m a bona fide Bosschenaar so I’m a born Den Bosch supporter of course, but since my 16th, 17th I’ve been coming to the Kuip regularly. That was due to people like Cor Adriaanse and Jan Gösgens coming to work at the club. I was able to get a ticket very often and then I liked to come to the Kuip. I’ve seen some great games in a seething Kuip and a relationship with a club like that grows naturally out of that. I sometimes used to imagine: if you played here … so I didn’t have any doubts when the opportunity arose.’ While we don’t yet know how valuable Lurling will be to Feyenoord, one thing is clear, against Feyenoord the striker has always done well. ‘Yes, actually, since my youth. Feyenoord brings something out of me, much more than the other top clubs PSV and Ajax do. Play extra well, you never know where that might lead, I always thought. I wanted to really show what I could do and I managed to do just that, I would hope. The past few years I’ve always scored against them, now I hope to make goals for Feyenoord.’ AMBITION First Lurling will have to win himself a place in the team. The newcomer is looking forward to the challenge. ‘Although I prefer to play on the left wing, I can play in many positions. I do have an ambition to play just off the strikers, in Tomasson’s position, but I’ve played on the right and even left halfback in the past. But I’ll talk with trainer Van Marwijk first to hear what he wants to do.’ Bearing in mind Lurling’s warm feelings for Feyenoord and a history of interest from the Rotterdammers, was it not a surprise that the transfer was so long in coming? ‘No, I wanted to be ready for it, so I consciously didn’t do it a couple of years back when I left Den Bosch. I wanted to improve first. At the time my agent said, if you’re good enough the right moment will come. That moment has arrived, even though last season wasn’t exactly my best. Now I cannot wait to get started. I would forego that six week vacation if I was able to pull on that red and white shirt right now.’

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