Dutch striker aims high

TOWERING striker Jan de Rijke is confident he can continue where he left off in the Dutch League last season after his first training session with Hong Kong newcomers Voicelink at Happy Valley yesterday.

While admitting he was taken aback by the stifling mid-afternoon heat, the six-feet six-inch centre forward cannot wait for the Hong Kong season to start.

''I scored a hat-trick for Middleburg in our last game of the season against De Valk and I'm hungry to score more goals for Voicelink,'' declared the 29-year-old Dutchman.

''I was struggling a bit today because of the heat and humidity. I just need a little more time to get acclimatised and I don't foresee any problem.'' De Rijke, however, stressed he would need good support from his teammates, especially the wingers, if he was to score regularly.

He said: ''I score mostly with my head and I need my teammates to send me the ball from the flanks. But I'm confident we can strike up a winning partnership.'' De Rijke and countrymen Steven Gonesh, Ronny Proos and Ad de Jong only arrived on Tuesday but they did not display any signs of jet-lag.

Gonesh, who had four years' experience in the Dutch First Division with Groningen, was the most impressive but coach Wong Yiu-shun was cautious.

''It would be unfair to make any remarks about the players now as this is only our first training session,'' said Wong.

''I'm sure none of them, including the local boys, are anywhere near their peak yet.'' Voicelink are still waiting for the arrival of another two expatriate players, an American and a Yugoslav.