Arry is back! De Zeeuw catches up ahead of Joseph’s Goal match.
- Legendary defender set to captain Dutch Masters in charity match.
- Arjan De Zeeuw catches up at the DW Stadium and praises Latics’ promotion efforts.
- De Zeeuw set to feature alongside fellow Latics legends in Joseph’s Goal charity match.
De Zeeuw, who amassed over 200 appearances during two spells at the club, brings with him former Latics player Denny Landzaat and Jorg Smeets, alongside former Blackburn Rovers defender Andre Ooijer, former Rangers forward Michael Mols, former Liverpool duo Sander Westerveld and Jan Kromkamp as well as a man with European Championship experience in Orlando Engelaar.
Causing concern for De Zeeuw on the Legends team will be the likes of Michael Brown, Graham Kavanagh, Andy Liddell, Stuart Barlow, Emmerson Boyce and Emile Heskey, a man he said he’s excited to come up against once more.
“When I saw the line-up for the Latics legends I was just hoping we had some decent players on our side because it’s a very strong team we’re coming up against.
“Luckily we’ve got one or two players in our team who are still very fit and haven’t long retired like Orlando Engelaar. We’ve also got some really talented ex-professionals like Andre Ooijer, Jan Kromkamp and Sander Westerveld, as well as our very own Denny Landzaat, so I think we’ll give them a good game.
“On the other side Emile Heskey hasn’t even finished playing yet, so he’s still fit and can run which isn’t good for me when I come up against him.
“It used to be quite a collision on the training pitch when we played together so I’m sure it’s going to be like that, but a little bit less hard than I remember.”
Stood in the East Stand with the sun dazzling off the freshly watered DW Stadium pitch, De Zeeuw took a moment to describe his excitement at being back in Wigan.
“It’s been great to be back, walking through town and hearing people shout ‘ey up Arry’, it’s like I’ve not been away, it’s really nice.
“I’m really excited to be back and to be taking part in the match for a very good cause.
“It was an offshoot of the police match I played in back home, and Mark Hayes from Ashton Town got in touch to see if we wanted to take part against a legends team.”
Latics Legends sealed a comfortable 10-0 victory in last year’s event against a team made up of actors from Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, something De Zeeuw says he and his team mates are determined not to repeat.
“I’m certainly not going to be happy if we lose 10-0 like the Legends’ last opponents. I know my team mates won’t be happy with that because we all hate losing.
“It’s going to be tough for us, but we’ve got decent players. We’ll try and use the atmosphere as well because the supporters are still going to be in promotion mode. It’s going to be a great game.”
Reflecting on Latics’ promotion, De Zeeuw continued:
“It’s been difficult to follow the club live and on TV since the relegations because the interest in Holland isn’t there.
“I’ve followed the club on the internet, and I saw the relegations and hoped it wasn’t Mr Whelan’s nightmare of going all the way up and then coming back down, so it’s good to see this season everyone has picked themselves up again and from what I’ve heard this is a good team now.
“There are a lot of young players and English based players which is nice to see, so I’m hoping they can steamroll straight back up.
“I’ve seen a lot of other clubs struggle to come back from relegation, but it’s good to see this club on the way back up again.
“With the spirit this club possesses I expected everyone to bounce back, and I’m just delighted it’s happened sooner rather than later.”
Tickets for the Joseph's Goal, Legends vs. Masters match are still available to purchase on the night of the match for the 7.30pm kick off, with adults at £10 and under 16s at £5.
The postcode for Ashton Town is WN4 8SL. For more information please contact @JosephsGoal