Belfast Telegraph

Van Overbeek: I'm loving life at Glentoran and will look to be even better

Glentoran v Larne, Danske Bank Premiership, The Oval, Tonight, 7.45pm

Glentoran's Elvio Van Overbeek has made a promising start to life at the Oval.
Glentoran's Elvio Van Overbeek has made a promising start to life at the Oval.

By Alex Mills

Elvio van Overbeek is confident that he is adapting to life in the Irish League.

The Angola-born 25-year-old has already won over the often hard-to-please Glentoran fans since his move in August, but reckons they've yet to see the best of him.

Van Overbeek produced another impressive performance in the famous green, red and black shirt in the midweek Co Antrim Shield win over Larne. He scored a sensational second-half goal and laid on the winner for Darren Murray - all after coming on as a substitute.

Amazingly, it will be the east Belfast team's first semi-final appearance in five years.

Manager Mick McDermott will be demanding the same again when he takes his team to Inver Park tonight to face the same opponents in a crucial Danske Bank Premiership clash which will be beamed out live by the BBC.

"The fans like the way I play. I try to do my best in every game," said the former PSV player.

"I just try to improve with every game. If the fans see that you're giving 100 per cent, they like that.

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"I was happy to help the team into the semi-finals - it's good for the team, the club and the supporters.

"Thankfully I was able to play my part by scoring the goal and having a hand in the winner. I thought I had got a second, but the goalkeeper (Conor Mitchell) produced a great save to keep out my shot.

"I believe the club have not had a lot of success in recent years, so it's great for everyone that we are in a semi-final.

"We are making progress. We have a lot of quality in the team and we must show in every game that we are capable of competing with the top teams."

Van Overbeek is expecting another hard-fought night in east Antrim.

"Larne are a good side so it will be another difficult night," he said. "We've beaten them twice in quick succession, but they were both tough games. I suppose both clubs could have done without the extra 20 minutes on Tuesday night.

"I would expect this one to be the same. We've had a tough schedule, this will be our third game in six days. It's all about recovery but we'll be ready for the game."

Van Overbeek stresses he is now getting used to the hustle and bustle of the local game.

He added: "For me it was difficult at the start because it is different from what I had been used to. In Holland we play on the ground and there aren't a lot of long balls.

"But we are improving all the time. Everyone is learning to keep the ball and to play to a system.

"It's about changing the mentality of keeping the ball on the ground. We are getting better.

"And it's a lot more physical than what I was used to. We now have a new gym installed at the ground, so it will give me the chance to build up my muscles.

"It means we can train more and focus on the physical side of our game. Yes, I've found most games to be quite physical.

"But it's a great move for me. I've settled in well and everyone has made me welcome.

"I'm delighted to be playing on a regular basis, it gives me the chance to grow into the club and do my best to help the team. I live quite near to the city centre with my wife, so life is good at the minute."

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