CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers is not one to hold a grudge – which is good news for new keeper Dorus de Vries.
The 35-year-old Dutchman rejected a new contract at Swansea in 2011 when the Irishman was boss of the Welsh outfit. Instead, the shotstopper moved to Wolves.
However, the two have been finally reunited at Parkhead and De Vries has promised he will fight Craig Gordon all the way for the No.1 jersey.
The former Dunfermline goalie is still recovering from an ankle injury and won’t make the squad for tomorrow night’s crucial Champions League play-off against Hapoel Be’er Sheva at Parkhead.
De Vries, who cost £400,000 and agreed a two-year deal, said: “This move means more, coming at this stage of my career.
“The one thing I never had was the chance to play for a club which would, at least, have the possibility of Champions League or Europa League football.
“For the majority of my career, I’ve played in the Championship – nine years – with the exception of one season in the Premier League and one in League One.
“I’m just really fortunate to have this opportunity. I’m happy and I’m blessed to be here.
“When Brendan was at Liverpool, I was close to signing for them. He tried to sign me, but, unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
“So, this is probably my last opportunity to join a really big club and be competing in the big tournaments.
“I believe Brendan is the man who can take Celtic back into the Champions League. He’s a great man-manager.
“His training sessions have always been enjoyable, but always focused on the opposition. He is so well-organised and everyone knows what to expect.
“When I see him and goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods (with whom de Vries worked at Dunfermline), they are positive people and I like to be surrounded by that.
“The gaffer has a certain fibre you embrace and connect with, so it’s great to be involved with him again.
“When you have managers coming back for you, it is nice. Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Mick McCarthy, these managers have tried to sign me again later in their careers.
“That must say something about my character. The good thing is that I know the goalkeeper coach and gaffer, so they know what I can bring into the club as a human being and as a professional.”
The new Bhoy is aiming for a top team place and added: “You always come to fight. You can’t just lie there and give up.
“But I respect Craig Gordon, Logan Bailly and Leonardo Fasan. It is a strong goalkeeper department and I’m looking forward to being part of that.
“I’m here to compete and to become a better goalkeeper by embracing the experience. All the goalkeepers will push each other.
“Now my life has turned upside down by joining one of the biggest clubs in the world, with a massive fanbase. It is great to be here.”
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