New signing Siem de Jong hopes to be stronger than he was last season, when he missed a lot of playing time at Ajax, and at one point in the season he had a collapsed lung.
Siem de Jong – in training
After playing 47 times in the previous season for Ajax with 16 goals, last session he played only 28 games with 9 goals, and he’s hoping his injury worries are behind him.
It will be a good challenge for our new Head of Fitness Dave Billows, and we are hoping Siem can participate in one of the games over the weekend in Germany.
The last time we saw de Jong was for 30 minutes of Newcastle’s second game of the New Zealand trip, against Wellington Phoenix, before he departed with a toe injury.
This is what Siem has said in the Shields Gazette today:
“It was quite scary.” “It happened at the beginning of the season, and after the collapsed lung I had to be in bed for a couple of weeks.”
“Looking back afterwards, we didn’t focus enough on my entire body and focused too much on the lung.” “The lung was good after three weeks, and the rest of the body just wasn’t strong enough to play games, and that’s what we forgot a little.”
“During the season I had some other small injuries which was part of not being strong enough.” “But I think I trained the last half of the year really hard at Ajax, and now I need a good pre-season to build up strength.”
“That’s what I missed a little bit last year, so it’s an important time for me to hopefully be stronger than I was.”
Siem had a number of hamstring problems last season, and that’s a concern because Newcastle players seem to pick up a lot of hamstring problems – for whatever reason.
And former manager Graeme Souness back in 2005 blamed the training pitches at Benton for that malady among Newcastle players.
But at just £6M from Ajax, Siem seems an excellent buy for Newcastle, and his goal-scoring abilities and his leadership should make a big difference to the team next season.
Let’s hope we can keep him fit.
Note: There will be a meeting with Peter Beardsley at the Green in Wardley, Gateshead on Friday 22nd August from 7:00 pm. Tickets are now available priced at approx £25, and that includes a meal, a glass of wine and a talk with Peter – if you’d like a ticket for this event please call the Green at 0191 4950171.
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