Goal machine Kevin van Veen remains keen to reach milestone

By Sports Desk May 23, 2023

Kevin van Veen has his sights firmly set on reaching the 30-goal mark and securing seventh place for Motherwell in the cinch Premiership.

The Dutchman took his season tally to 27 by scoring the winner against Ross County on Saturday, finding the net in a ninth consecutive game, a post-war record for Motherwell.

The striker has more milestones in his grasp.

Van Veen will equal a club record set by local hero Hugh Ferguson more than 100 years ago if he scores in his 10th match in row when Motherwell face Livingston on Wednesday night.

The 31-year-old is still in the running for the Premiership top goalscorer, sitting on 23, two behind Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi along with Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland.

The former Scunthorpe striker is also looking to become the first Motherwell player since Dixie Deans to score 30 goals or more in a season, the future Celtic player doing so in 1968-69 when the Steelmen were in the Second Division. The last Motherwell player to do it in a top-flight campaign was Joe McBride five years earlier.

Van Veen has always believed he could challenge that landmark.

“I think it was 19 or 20, and I said to the same media in this room ‘I am going to score another 10 more’,” he said. “Everyone thought ‘this guy is off his head’.

“Now I am three away from what I set and we have two games to go. I am still stuck to my word. I have not reached it yet but I do believe in myself and in the team to get six points from these two games.

“The way we are feeling, 30 is within my reach and six points are in our reach. I am very confident I can hit my personal levels in what I said I was going to do, and the team as well, to get to the top of the bottom six. It is all there for us to take.”

With all the goals Van Veen has been scoring, his celebrations have become more varied. He marked his recent goal against Kilmarnock by pretending to go to sleep and told the wider world his girlfriend was pregnant by putting the ball under his shirt and sucking his thumb against St Johnstone.

“When I score I just do something weird or impulsive,” he said. “It’s not like I have a book with all my celebrations.

“I just do something weird. I am just a weird guy sometimes.

“Like the one (when) I fell asleep against Kilmarnock, I don’t know why I did that. It just came up. I thought, I have got tired of scoring all these goals, I will have a nap. No, that’s a joke. I don’t have any celebrations planned.”

Related items

  • Hearts and Hibernian given SFA notice of complaint after incident at Tynecastle Hearts and Hibernian given SFA notice of complaint after incident at Tynecastle

    Hearts and Hibernian have been served with a notice of complaint by the Scottish Football Association after disorder among their players and staff at the end of last weekend’s fiery Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle.

    At full-time, following a clash that ended 1-1, two skirmishes erupted on the pitch, one directly in front of the two technical areas and another just moments afterwards in the centre circle.

    Hearts goalkeeping coach Paul Gallacher and substitute shot-stopper Ross Stewart as well as Hibs manager Lee Johnson and unused substitute Rocky Bushiri were all shown red cards for their part in the post-match chaos.

    And on Friday it emerged that the two clubs have been charged, alleged to have breached disciplinary rule 204, which states that: “All clubs and recognised football bodies shall procure that its officials, team staff, employees and players conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at all times during and/or after a match.

    “In particular, clubs and recognised football bodies are responsible for ensuring that its officials, team staff, employees and players refrain from any one or a combination of the following: (a) becoming involved in a confrontation; b) conduct that is likely to lead to or to exacerbate or prolong a hostile or argumentative situation with players and/or team staff from the opposing team and/or match officials; (c) conduct that may otherwise incite disorder.”

    The hearing for both clubs is due to take place on June 29.

  • Tony Docherty delighted to bring experienced defender Joe Shaughnessy to Dundee Tony Docherty delighted to bring experienced defender Joe Shaughnessy to Dundee

    Tony Docherty has secured his first signing as Dundee manager after Joe Shaughnessy pledged to join the cinch Championship title winners.

    The former Aberdeen, Southend and St Johnstone defender will join Dundee when his St Mirren contract expires next week.

    Docherty told his club’s website: “I worked with Joe as a young player at Aberdeen and he is the type of person I want at this football club.

    “I know what I’m getting with Joe. He has a great work ethic and attitude. He has great experience of the league having captained both St Mirren and St Johnstone.

    “There was a lot of competition from other clubs to get him, so I’m delighted he has chosen to sign for us.”

    The Irish defender had an offer to stay in Paisley but opted to move on.

    The 30-year-old said: “I am really excited to get started at Dundee and work with the manager again. I’ve had positive chats with him over the last few days and I can’t wait to get in for the first day of pre-season and get started.”

    Lee Ashcroft and Harrison Sharp earlier signed two-year contracts to stay on at Dens Park.

    “I have loved my three years at the club so far and am looking forward to hopefully a successful season in the top division after winning the league last year,” 29-year-old former Kilmarnock and Dunfermline defender Ashcroft said.

    Goalkeeper Sharp made 14 appearances last season, seven of them in the league.

    The 22-year-old said: “I thoroughly enjoyed last season and some of the memories that we made as a squad are memories that will last forever, and now I can’t wait to be back playing in the league where we belong.”

    The pair follow goalkeeper Adam Legzdins, long-serving full-back Cammy Kerr and homegrown midfielder Lyall Cameron in agreeing to stay since promotion was secured early last month.

    The Dark Blues announced earlier this week that Alex Jakubiak, Jordan Marshall, Paul McMullan, Luke Strachan, Paul McGowan and Cillian Sheridan had not been offered new contracts.

  • Jonatan Giraldez: Barcelona’s experience will be vital in Champions League final Jonatan Giraldez: Barcelona’s experience will be vital in Champions League final

    Barcelona boss Jonatan Giraldez believes experience will be key in the Women’s Champions League final against Wolfsburg.

    The teams face off in Eindhoven on Saturday with Barca going for a second title and Wolfsburg a third.

    Barca have won one – in 2021 – and lost two – in 2019 and last year – of the finals they have played.

    Wolfsburg have been beaten finalists three times, most recently in 2020, and won the competition in 2013 and 2014.

    Giraldez said: “Experience is one of the most important things and that goes for all areas of life. The more experience you have the better you will do.

    “That doesn’t just go for Barcelona but also national teams. The more finals you have played in the better you know how to approach the week leading up to it, the match itself, mentally.

    “All of that is important in football and sometimes you need time to gain that experience.”

    Barca travelled to Eindhoven on Friday with a fully-fit squad after Lucy Bronze and Fridolina Rolfo were passed fit.

    Giraldez added: “We need to minimise their strengths. We will be wary of their quick attacks and set-pieces. We want to dominate the game and not let them show their strengths.”

    Wolfsburg finished second to Bayern Munich in the Frauen-Bundesliga this season and boss Tommy Stroot believes they can capture the title in Holland.

    He said: “It is a realistic objective, I have made so many positive experiences. This final is very special for me and it’s always been an objective.

    “It’s always the same thing for us, to decode the structure, to see what kind of frequencies they use. That is our daily work and my players know that as well.

    “It’s a final but it’s no different to the semi-final against Arsenal. We try to watch even more games and decode even more things just to be prepared for every scenario possible.

    “Our players are ready. It’s something special, not many teams have that privilege in a final. We have all the options to react on anything.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.