It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Stefan de Vrij returned to training on Friday morning. While the rest of the squad took a day off, the defender joined Ruben Schaken at Varkenoord for an individual training session under the guidance of physical trainer Arno Philips – who was part of the Dutch backroom staff at the recent World Cup – and rehab trainer Marcel Cas.
De Vrij has been on a well-earned holiday for the past ten days after helping Oranje win the third-place playoff in Brazil on 12 July. ‘I did need a holiday,’ admitted De Vrij after his first session of preseason. ‘We Oranje players were away for almost two months. It was a fantastic experience and it was all worth it, but I was glad to be able to empty my mind completely during my holiday.’
Voted one of the best defenders at the tournament, De Vrij hasn’t really had much time to reflect on the World Cup. ‘One moment I feel pride, the next the disappointment emerges again about the semi-final and I realise that we were very close to the final. That said, it’s as if I have not yet fully realised the impact the tournament has had.’
The question is whether that will come in due course, bearing in mind the defender can get straight down to business again at Feyenoord, as he hooks up with the squad at the end of preseason. ‘It’s no trouble at all to focus on football again. I feel fully fit, but of course I’ve done nothing for ten days. We’ll see how my physical condition is in the coming days.’