New signing Kevin van Veen says he ‘can’t wait to get started’ with the Cobblers following his transfer from Sky Bet League One rivals Scunthorpe United.
The 26-year-old front man signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at Sixfields on Tuesday, swapping life at the promotion-chasing Iron for a Cobblers side still battling against relegation.
Jimmy saw things he can improve, and he can definitely make me a better striker, but I had a really good feeling to play for Jimmy and Northampton, so I signed hereCobblers striker Kevin van Veen
The Eindhoven-born player says the fact Town are managed by Dutch striking legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played a major role in his decision to make the move from Glanford Park, with the Town boss persuading him there is a bright future for him at Sixfields.
“I have been thinking about things for a while, and at that moment I wasn’t playing for Scunthorpe,” said van Veen.
“Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was a striker himself, I am a striker, and he contacted me and showed a lot of faith in me, and believed in me.
“He saw things he can improve, and he can definitely make me a better striker, but I had a really good feeling to play for Jimmy and Northampton, so I signed here.
“If you see some of the goals Jimmy Floyd scored, he was a very good striker, everybody knows that, and I think I can learn a lot from him.”
The timing of van Veen’s move will have raised eyebrows back in Scunthorpe, as he was on a real streak of goalscoring form for Graham Alexander’s team, having scored six goals in the past 11 games.
But prior to that purple patch, van Veen was very much out of the first team picture, and althoigh he admits it is with something of a heavy heart he leaves the Iron, he admits the opportunity to sign for the Cobblers was one he couldn’t turn down.
“It was a very, very hard decision, I am not going to lie, because I have been playing the past 10 games, and I have been scoring, so that only makes it harder,” said van Veen.
“Before that I had three-and-a-half, four months continuously on the bench and that used to hurt, because if I look in the mirror I know I have a lot of ability.
“I wanted to play but wasn’t really getting a chance, and then I got my chance and grabbed it with both hands.
“Then this opportunity came along and I am just really happy to be here, and can’t wait to get started.”
Van Veen’s contract at Glanford Park was set to expire in the summer, and he says that his belief that a new deal wouldn’t be forthcoming also helped sway his opinion that it would be best to move on.
He is now tied to the Cobblers until the summer of 2020, and he admits that a footballer is always searching for that extra bit of stability a longer term contract provides.
“The length of contract a major part in my personal view as well, because as a footballer you never know,” said van Veen, who spent three-and-a-half seasons with Scunthorpe, after signing from Dutch second division team FC Oss.
“It is good to have a two-and-a-half-year contract, and it’s not as if I am going to relax now, it just gives you some stability.
“I only had six months left on my contract at Scunthorpe and it didn’t look like I would get a new one, so that makes things easier to sign here, and I am happy to be here anyway and can’t wait to get going.”
Van Veen is set to train with his new Town team-mates for the first time tomorrow, ahead of making his possible debut in Saturday’s big Sixfields date with Rochdale.
But there will be at least one familiar face to him when he walks into the Moulton College changing rooms.
“I know Matt Crooks from his time on loan at Scunthorpe, and he is very good friends with somebody who is still playing Scunthorpe, and he is a great guy,” said van Veen, who as well as being a footballer can also turn his hand to being a plasterer, the trade he undertook when a part-time player in Holland.
“I have known him for a little, while he is a funny guy, and I look forward to playing with him as well because he is a good player.”