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De Vries has No.1 goal after reuniting with Brendan Rodgers at Parkhead

By Andy Newport

Published 16/08/2016

Confident: Dorus de Vries is ready to challenge at Celtic
Confident: Dorus de Vries is ready to challenge at Celtic

New Celtic goalkeeper Dorus de Vries insists he has the belief that will allow him to pinch current Hoops No.1 Craig Gordon's place.

The Dutchman has been reunited with his former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers after signing a two-year deal with the Parkhead outfit. But the 35-year-old, who joins from Nottingham Forest, says he has not made the move to Scotland with the intention of only sitting on the bench.

He now plans to put Scotland international Gordon under pressure after declaring he has the self-confidence required to line-up between the sticks for the Scottish champions.

De Vries said: "I've been told just to show what I have done in the past and compete, because the goalkeepers here are good in their own right. I need to earn this jersey. It's as simple as that. I need to train really hard then it is up to the manager."

Asked if he felt he was better than the Hoops' current No.1, he replied: "That's a tough question but you have to have self-belief, because there is a lot of responsibility when you stand between those sticks. Craig has it and so do I. It will be an interesting battle and it's something I'm looking forward to."

An ankle injury sustained on his final Forest appearance against Burton last week will count De Vries out of tomorrow's Champions League qualifier with Hapel Be'er Shova but he is keen to play his part on the European stage.

He said: "There is a lot to play for. When you are involved in a club like this it's great to be able to compete with the best in Europe.

"But my first goal is just to get fit. Hopefully I will be training on Thursday and take it from there.

"I'll watch Wednesday's game from the stands and embrace the whole sensation."

In 2012, De Vries' then employers Wolves refused to sanction a move to Rodgers' Liverpool. But when the chance to link up with the Ulsterman came up again, he had to act.

"That was a difficult period when the Liverpool move broke down," he explained. "When I received the call from the gaffer telling me he wanted to take me to Anfield, I was open to it.

"But at the time Wolves were just stubborn. They were reluctant to sell me for a fair fee. Because that move never happened I've got my life here. Sometime in life it's funny how things happen. So there's no regrets."

Belfast Telegraph

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