Return has long been Vermeer‘s main goal

Kenneth Vermeer left the pitch at De Kuip around quarter to five on Monday afternoon with a big smile on his face. The keeper had just completed his first ninety minutes in a competitive match after months on the sidelines due to injury. And he’d kept a clean sheet in Feyenoord reserves’ 2-0 win against SC Cambuur in a league fixture.

‘It feels good to have played a match again,’ Vermeer said to the media after the final whistle. ‘I feel good and fit and didn’t have any problems.’

Vermeer spent many months in rehab after injuring his Achilles tendon on 5 July. He eventually returned to the club in early January. ‘I have been looking forward to getting back for a long time now. It really feels like the end of a long period of rehab. I have already been able to do a lot more in training these past few weeks, but you do it for that moment when you get back between the sticks. It felt good and familiar and certainly not strange.’

Vermeer continues to focus on the short term. ‘I’m looking at it from day to day, calmly biding my time and trying to train as well as possible every day. At the moment what I’m most happy about is having been able to play a match.’

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