Sport Motherwell's Kevin van Veen on 'Budget Bergkamp' nickname and having Hibs defenders 'in his pocket'

01:22  03 august  2021
01:22  03 august  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Kevin van Veen and Ryan Porteous have been having a titanic tussle today and the latest joust has the Hibs defender crunched by the Motherwell forward near the halfway line. Hibs make another change and Jake Doyle-Hayes is on for Jamie Murphy. The former St Mirren man is involved straight away, making a good interception as Kevin van Veen leaves a couple of defenders trailing in his wake.

All of Kevin Van Veens goals for Scunthorpe United.

Kevin van Veen announced himself to the Motherwell support on Sunday with an outstanding individual display in the defeat to Hibs.

And the man nicknamed the ‘Budget Bergkamp’ at former club Scunthorpe United was delighted to put on a show for the Sky Sports cameras – as well as the 4,000 or so Steelmen supporters watching their first Premiership game in Fir Park since March 2020.

You’d have to go back to the days of James McFadden to find a Motherwell player who could elicit the kind of reactions van Veen’s tricks and powerful running produced in the Lanarkshire sunshine.

And having grown up watching fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp pull the strings at Arsenal in his pomp, the tag bestowed upon van Veen is certainly not one he will complain about.

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Van Veen ended his second spell at Scunthorpe, now in League Two, this summer having scored 18 goals in 67 games. " Kevin 's a player I know very well and I'm delighted to bring him up to Motherwell ," said Alexander. He had a short loan stint at Cambuur in the Dutch Eredivisie and a year with Northampton Town before returning to Glanford Park in January 2019. Van Veen is Motherwell ' s fourth new signing this summer, joining fellow forwards Connor Shields, Kaiyne Woolery, and Justin Amaluzor.

Motherwell head coach Donald Jennow is hoping his side can take the positives from the victories over Stirling and Forfar into the match. A dominant performance at Ravenscraig earlier in the season saw the Hibees emerge 4-0 winners and Jennow is urging his side to maintain their focus. A record number of Motherwell fans showed their faith last campaign, as we enjoyed our highest-ever number of season ticket sales. We count on your backing. You buying a season ticket helps us plan and budget for the campaign.

The ‘Budget Bergkamp’ is a big name to live up to, but fans inside Fir Park certainly got value for money watching the 30-year-old strut his stuff, netting the opening goal and bagging the man of the match award despite a 3-2 defeat.

He gave the Hibs defenders a torrid time and gaffer Graham Alexander hailed him as “unplayable”.

The summer signing knows how good he was as well: “Sometimes I felt I had the centre-backs in my pocket a bit and I was playing around with them.

“But I hope I can do that a lot more and cause more trouble for defenders.

“They don’t know who I am, really, and I was quite happy with the performance.

"I thought we deserved a lot more from the game than zero points."

But van Veen knows it’s up to him to produce it on a regular basis to help Motherwell fight at the right end of the table this season.

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Kevin van Veen ’ s Scottish Premiership debut for Motherwell drew high praise from the Sportscene pundits last night. The Dutch striker was a standout for the Steelmen in their 3-2 defeat to Hibs and opened the scoring at Fir Park to grab his first goal for the club. Former Scotland internationals Steven Naismith and Chris Iwelumo reviewed the game on last night’ s highlights show and both were impressed by ‘Well’ s summer signing. Looking back at van Veen ’ s headed goal from a Jake Carroll cross, Iwelumo said: “He was outstanding. He was a presence, the ball stuck, he was an aerial threat

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On his nickname, he said: “It’s a good name to have obviously, but you learn you have to keep two feet on the ground to show it every single week.

“You can’t just be a 'Budget Bergkamp' for one week and the other week you don’t show up.

“Now it’s for me to maintain my performances, stay injury free and work hard for my team-mates every single week.

“I’m 30 now, so I was watching [Thierry] Henry and Bergkamp at Arsenal all the time back in the day.

“Bergkamp is one of those players I would always look up to.

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“I’m nowhere near the quality they had but if I have one per cent of their quality I’m sure I’ll be fine.

“I would like to think I’m different from other players – I want to be different. I don’t want to pass it sideways, I want to be entertaining the fans, get them off their seats from time to time and be creative.

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Dennis Bergkamp throwing a ball © Reuters

“Hopefully I can do that a lot more and be important for my team-mates.

“Hard work comes first and hopefully my hard work shines through.

“I know the gaffer from my time at Scunthorpe. He’s very demanding. He’s very clear on what he wants.

“He knows what to expect from me and he just wants hard work, get back in your shape and press from there.

“All the lads are understanding what he wants.

“This is the style of play we are going to play this season and everybody is going to work hard for each other.

“The quality is going to show and if it shines through we will win games.”

Over the summer, van Veen’s arrival was the most-anticipated ahead of the new season.

Plenty of clubs had the man from Eindhoven on their radar, having netted 15 goals in the 2019/20 season for Scunthorpe in English League Two.

Last term was hampered by injury and van Veen revealed he turned down moves in England and the Far East to be reunited with Alexander at Fir Park.

He said: “I had a lot of opportunities this summer, a lot of opportunities in England, some quite far away and tropical as well, but when the gaffer rang me and the connection we were having - I think Motherwell is a very good club in the Scottish leagues - I was very interested to come over.

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“All other opportunities I put to one side to see if I liked it and if Motherwell liked me.

“Straight away I got the contract signed and I don’t have any regrets.

“I felt quite comfortable and I’m getting fitter and fitter.

“Last year I missed the whole season with injuries and I’ve been training really hard for pre-season and I’ve really enjoyed my time. I can’t wait for the next game.

“I can’t wait to do it all over again and maybe score more than one.

“Places like Azerbaijan and Thailand didn’t interest me at all. I’m still a bit ambitious. I still want to play for big crowds and do well and represent myself.

"This game was on television and that’s something I want to do, have people watch me.

“If I go far away nobody will see me, so it’s definitely the right position for me and I’m very happy.”

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