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‘I’M READY NOW TO WIN MY MEDALS,’ DE VRIES

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CELTIC stand-in keeper Dorus De Vries has won four medals since joining the Hoops from Nottingham Forest in August 2016.

However, the 37-year-old Dutchman still believes he hasn’t actually earned the awards.

De Vries, who has taken over from the injured Craig Gordon, explained: “Everybody wants to play, everybody wants to lift trophies. Who wants to be sitting on the bench?

“You want to be lifting a trophy, but lifting a trophy while playing, of course. That is what you always fight for every single day on the training pitch.

“I have still got great memories, despite not being actively involved last season and enjoying the games playing-wise.

“I received a championship medal for last season, but, in all honestly, if we do it again this year, then it will feel different, feel better.

“You want your club to be successful whether you play or not but, if you are in the team, then you really feel as though you’ve made a contribution.

“Don’t get me wrong, being the type of guy I am, when I was out of the side last year then I made sure that everyone else around me was focused and ready.

“That’s the role you have when you’re not starting games and I made sure that I was prepared for every single game in case I was called upon, but I always try to help the guys around me.

“I’m a team player. But, of course, when you’re taking part in the games, you feel as though you’re helping even more.”

Signed 18 months ago, he made just four-and-a-half appearances before injury struck him down and plonked him back onto the sidelines.

This term, it was just a solitary outing against Dundee before Gordon’s knee injury which could see him out for three months.

De Vries added: “First and foremost, it’s a pity that Craig had to get that long-term injury, but, for myself, it’s good to be back between the sticks.

“It’s been a while and this is a great opportunity to get game time and build some momentum, to keep things going.

“That’s what you always want as a player, but especially as a goalkeeper. Outfield players will always have their moments, even as a substitute you can get 10-20 minutes here and there as well as the odd start.

“You don’t tend to change your goalkeepers, it’s a specialised position.

“You try to keep your head up, but I’m a winner and I want to win every single day and do my utmost. I want to be the best I possibly can be and stay as professional as possible.

“I’m paid a good salary so I need to be there and be ready every single day. That’s what training is for and I’m fortunate in terms of the people around me, not just the players but also the coaching staff.

“I also love training. I love being out in the fresh air and keeping myself as fit as possible, plus you know that there’s always the possibility that you might have to come on during a game due to a red card or an injury or start one because of a suspension.

“It’s hard to get up to match-sharpness straight away. Obviously, I haven’t played in too many games since I arrived here and it’s always different in games than it is at training.

“But the more minutes you get, your natural game comes through.

“As a goalkeeper, you carry a great responsibility. You want to be there for your team.

“My job doesn’t change. I still hate conceding goals and I don’t want to let anyone down.”

 
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