Witteveen lives dream with Hearts

21 July 2009 10:03
David Witteveen says that moving from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg to Hearts is a step up in his career.The 24-year-old striker spent last season on loan to regional side St Andra, but now he is on the verge of playing in the Europa League. [LNB]"It is a big step up for me," Witteveen told BBC Scotland after his return from Hearts' pre-season camp in Germany. [LNB]"It's the first time for me that I have played in Europe. It's a dream for every player and it's a dream for me." [LNB]Witteveen had options to remain in his homeland but was keen to sample Scottish football and taste Europe for the first time. [LNB]And his first competitive match for Hearts could be a Europa League qualifying play-off on 20 August. [LNB]"It was an easy decision because Hearts have a great tradition, a good team, a good coach, so I'm very happy to be here," he said. [LNB] I said to the coach we needed more strikers Hearts striker Christian Nade "I had options in Austria, but Scotland was the first choice for me. [LNB]"Hearts are a very famous club in Europe and everybody knows about them. [LNB]"In Austria, everybody knows the Scottish league and everybody watches it on TV. I always saw the club playing." [LNB]Witteveen was not setting himself any goalscoring targets, suggesting that teamwork was just as important. [LNB]"I'm a striker, a physical player," he said. "I'm not a technical player, but I will give my best for the team." [LNB]Witteveen will provide much-needed competition for Christian Nade, who was employed as a lone striker for much of last season, while Hearts are believed to also be chasing West Brom striker Craig Beattie and SV Mattersburg forward Ilcho Naumoski. [LNB]Nade is happy to see another forward arrive after playing through injury towards the end of last season. [LNB]"I said to the coach we needed more strikers," Nade said. "David is a very good striker, very strong and he will adapt well to Scottish football."[LNB] [LNB][LNB]emp_load.getEmpEmbeddedParams("emp_8161920");Witteveen - 'SPL a big step-up for me'[LNB]Nade is unlikely to start the season following a hernia operation, although he is looking to play some part in the friendlies against Southampton and Plymouth later this month. [LNB]"I'm very happy to be back training with the team and touch the ball again," he added. [LNB]"I can probably play in England, so I'm very happy. [LNB]"It's still a hard slog because I'm not 100% - I can't sprint yet - but it's still okay and I think, in one or two months' time, I will be 100%."

Source: BBC_Sport