Boerrigter: I want to play
New Celt is 'too good for Ajax bench'
DERK BOERRIGTER admits his move to Celtic from Ajax was fuelled by the belief that he was "too good" to sit on the bench for the Dutch champions.
The 26-year-old forward signed a four-year deal for a fee believed to be £3million and sat in the Parkhead stand on Wednesday night as the Hoops beat Elfsborg 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie.
Speaking with some confidence at the club's Lennoxtown training complex yesterday, the former RKC Waalwijk player revealed his disgruntlement at falling out of favour at Ajax and insisted he is looking for a regular place in the Hoops' starting 11.
"I really wanted to leave Ajax and there was a lot of interest from other clubs, but when Celtic came, I didn't have to think long," he said.
"Celtic is a very big club in Europe. In Holland we know them well.
"When I went to Ajax, I played very well and even made it to the national team. But because of a back injury, I was out for a couple of months and when I got fit again, it was hard for me to get back to my old level.
"Eventually the coach put me on the bench and at that point I thought, 'I am too good to sit on the bench, I want to play'.
"I want to play every game. I don't like to sit on the bench. I spoke to him about my situation, I wasn't happy about it. So for that reason, it was better for me to leave.
"It is a new opportunity for me to play and to play well and I hope the coach of the international team will visit me and see what I am capable of."
Asked what type of player the Celtic fans will see this season and beyond, Boerrigter was not for hiding his light under a bushel. He said: "I am a left winger. I am very fast, a good dribbler with a good shot and I can give good crosses.
"I am here to win championships and perform very well in the Champions League. I won three titles in a row in Holland, the first with RKC Waalwijk in the second division and then twice in a row with Ajax, so I hope I can make it four in a row."
If Boerrigter appeared to confirm the popular image of the confident Dutch footballer, he was also happy to reinforce another stereotype when revealing what he knew about Scottish football.
"It is very physical, very fast, they go forward as quick as possible," he said. "It is totally different from Dutch football, but I like it.
"I think it will (suit my style). When I played for Ajax, there was a lot of possession, but here it is about getting the ball and getting it as quick as possible to the strikers and they will try to score."
Boerrigter is hoping to play against Elfsborg in the return game in Sweden next Wednesday night, while hoping he will have recovered from an ankle knock to make his debut against Ross County when Celtic begin the defence of their Scottish Premier League title on Saturday.
He said: "About a week ago I got a kick on my ankle, but I have almost fully recovered and I trained on the pitch today with the squad and it went well.
"I can't wait to play. In the first half last night, they didn't create many chances, but the second half was much better and they scored a great goal.
"I expected more people to come, but it was still a good atmosphere. It is totally different from Ajax.
"At Ajax you have a small group in the corner of the stadium and they make noise the whole game, but the rest of the crowd, they are grumpy if things go wrong.
"They expect you to win three or four-nil and if you are three-nil up in the first half and don't score in the second half, they start booing when you play the ball back."