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Champions League Qualifying Second Round

Van Dijk admits Celtic delight

New Celtic signing Virgil van Dijk is hoping he can make a good impression on the club's supporters and his team-mates in Germany in pre-season.

Last Updated: 02/07/13 at 21:48 Post Comment

Virgil Van Dijk: Preparing for action with Celtic in pre-season

Virgil Van Dijk: Preparing for action with Celtic in pre-season

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The Dutch defender is ready to take on tough daily double sessions of training in a bid to regain full fitness, and hopes to feature in the four friendlies which will take place while on German soil.

Celtic's Champions League second qualifying round ties against Northern Ireland champions Cliftonville later his month are looming large.

The 21-year-old, who moved to Parkhead last month from FC Groningen on a four-year contract for £2.6m, is looking forward to getting his Celtic career started.

He said: "I'm not top-fit right now but I'm getting there. I think these two weeks will be different from the first week I had in Scotland."

Van Dijk endured a stuttering start to his final season in Holland at Groningen and hopes it will be a smooth transmition to his new club this time.

"Last year was very bad for me because I had an injury towards the end of the previous season," he added. "I had just come back, so pre-season was very tough.

"I had something wrong with my stomach, abdominal pains - it happened on April 1 - a crazy day. I was in hospital for 10 days, so it was hard to recover from it in the summer. Everything is good now though."

The Dutchman is enjoying to the challenge of settling into his new surroundings and revealed: "It is very hard to move to another club, especially so far away from home.

"It's not too far away, I can still fly home in an hour, but the language is new, the people, everything.

"Two weeks is a long time but this trip will help me learn about my team-mates. I will see how they play and find out what they are like off the field as well which will be good."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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