De Vries Showing No Fear

Saturday, 3 October 2009, 8:22
2 mins read

De Vries went down under challenge from Martin Rowlands when the two sides met at the Liberty last season leaving the Swans to the rest of the game with Alan Tate in goal.

Tate went on to keep a clean sheet but it was a matter of weeks before De Vries was back between the sticks and keeping goal for the Swans as he showed little effects of the challenge that could have been far worse.

And on the week where he was praised for his distrubution from the back by Sean O’Driscoll, De Vries looked back on that moment with Rowlands and told the Western Mail “It’s happened to many goalkeepers

“I was lucky not be concussed but you do see it because as a goalkeeper you can’t be afraid and after horrible injuries like Cech’s it can be a mental thing.

“And I’ll be honest and say it did concern me. But I was lucky to have the Inaki Bergara, the goalkeeping coach at the time, to pull me through.

“I was straight into surgery and actually back on the training field two days later. But the important thing was that Inaki didn’t waste any time with me, talking me through things and making sure it didn’t affect me.

“Basically he told me I’d suffered the worst thing that can happen to a goalkeeper on the field – and that I had come through it.

“You have to be really strong in those situations and in the end it proved good for my development that I came through it.

“And when it came to that next one-v-one I had no fear – it wasn’t even in my mind. There was nothing different for me.”

And on O’Driscoll’s comments, the goalkeeper added

“It’s brilliant to hear that kind of thing,” said de Vries, who admitted he was an outfield player until his mid-teens and only took up life between the sticks when he reluctantly went along to a goalkeeping contest and won the national finals.

“I’ve always been proud of that side of my game. That’s why Roberto Martinez first brought me in because I have that to my game.

“I work on my distribution every day because I can help set up counter-attacks with the right pass. And I am comfortable with that because I used to play as a centre-half – it means I’ve only gone back one line in the formation so I’m OK with through balls or even headers!

“It’s a Dutch thing, total football where the idea is that the goalkeeper is almost a sweeper.

“Johan Cruyff was big on it where the goalkeeper was the 11th outfield player and it was just as much about keeping possession as anything else.

“Five clean sheets is a good record but it’s not the most satisfying thing I get from games.

“Sometimes you can make one or two good saves but you’re not really involved. A clean sheet is about the back four or five, the whole team because everyone has to play their part.”

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