|Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 15:00 BST|
|Protection: Reside on BBC Radio Scotland and dwell textual content protection on BBC Sport web site & app|
Solid your eye throughout Scottish soccer’s unofficial cult hero guidelines and Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen – or ‘Finances Bergkamp’ – is quickly ticking his approach down the sheet.
Eccentric enjoying model? Test. Fan favorite? Test. Standout nickname? Test.
Issue within the Dutchman’s life as a part-time plasterer, plus a failed £4m transfer to the Chinese language Tremendous League, and we’re beginning to run out of unmarked bins.
Right here, the 30-year-old tells BBC Scotland a couple of profession that has gone from a heart-breaking launch at boyhood membership PSV Eindhoven to a whirlwind begin at Fir Park.
PSV heartbreak & part-time plastering
Van Veen’s footballing life began at Eredivisie membership PSV, the place not solely was the previous Scunthorpe United man enjoying at his dream membership but additionally below the steerage of his idol Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The previous Manchester United and Actual Madrid striker, who has properly over 400 profession targets to his title, proved to be fairly the mentor to the youth facet’s forwards.
“I actually seemed as much as Ruud,” Van Veen says. “He was so right down to earth and it was a privilege to work with him. I discovered a lot. All of us did as a result of we scored so many targets when he labored with us.
“The most effective bit of recommendation he gave me was to at all times be on the transfer. He would additionally at all times inform us that the ball does not must go within the high bin on a regular basis, simply put it within the web.”
Issues have been trying promising for Van Veen, who was beginning forward of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum at Netherlands under-15 stage.
However a scarcity of peak on the time resulted in PSV releasing him in his late teenagers – a second so crushing he determined to throw the towel in on making it as an expert participant, swapping his boots for instruments.
“My complete youth life was spent at PSV,” he recollects. “So, once they ultimately instructed me to go away, my dream was damaged in two. I made a decision to simply play newbie with mates.
“My dad instructed me I wanted a job, so I began plastering. I’d practice twice every week at night time and work full-time – ranging from 06:00 and generally ending at 19:00.”
Van Veen flourished at newbie stage as scouts continuously watched on from the sidelines within the hope they may lure the Dutchman again to the skilled recreation.
Below regular circumstances, that may be an easy job, however earlier heartbreak at PSV and a ardour for plastering made it a difficult choice.
“I did not wish to go skilled,” he says. “I had so many enquiries, however I mentioned no as a result of I simply needed to play for enjoyable and do a standard job. Even after I ultimately turned skilled, I could not let plastering go.
“However yearly I used to be making a step up, scoring 20 targets a season, and earlier than I knew it I might signal for golf equipment in England, Azerbaijan and the Bundesliga. I held out so lengthy in my choice and ended up signing for Scunthorpe.”
‘£4m… for me?’
After a profitable spell within the Dutch decrease leagues, in 2015 Van Veen made the transfer to Scunthorpe, the place he performed below present Fir Park supervisor Graham Alexander.
It was at Glanford Park he picked up the ‘Finances Bergkamp’ nickname for his eye-catching shows.
A robust first half to the 2016-17 marketing campaign caught the eye of a Dutch director at a Chinese language Tremendous League membership. A mooted price of £4m was knocked again, with Scunthorpe reportedly holding out for twice as a lot as they pushed for promotion to the Championship.
“I needed to punch the wall,” Van Veen says. “£4m… for me? I’d drive myself wherever for that! It was unbelievable cash. Scunthorpe thought there was extra to get, however I feel the Chinese language membership have been offended by that.
“I would not say there may be unhealthy blood between the Scunthorpe chairman and myself, however I do suppose, ‘what if?’ What if it did work out and so they bought it over the road?”
‘The followers would not let me go!’
Van Veen ended his six-year keep south of the border on the finish of final season, transferring north to reunite with Alexander – a call he has “zero regrets” about.
In simply three months he has endeared himself to the Fir Park fanbase, who have been eager to welcome their new striker off the group bus like a king after final month’s 1-1 draw away to Rangers.
“Everybody had left the automotive park and I used to be nonetheless there for a minimum of one other quarter-hour,”he laughs. “They would not let me go! I had my music blasting in my ear, however I do not thoughts any of that. I am going to at all times find time for them.
“It is as much as me now to maintain giving them one thing to be enthusiastic about and get them off their seats. We have had begin.
“However, as a group, we have to maintain pushing as onerous as we are able to. If we try this, I actually fancy us to have an excellent season.”