Nottingham Forest’s Dutch goal keeper, Dorus de Vries, tells us about his teammates' fashion sense, his interest in cycling and his goalkeeping heroes as Forest show their support for Men United ahead of the visit of Hull City on Saturday 3 October 2015.
In a week that saw Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United 15/16 lifestyle clothing range unveiled exclusively online and in the NFFC megastore, Forest number one De Vries took time out to try our Men United range (including t-shirts, socks, golf and cycling wear as well as the famous Men United scarf) for himself.
“I’ve seen the range, you can see straight away what it’s all about - trying to raise awareness about an important issue. It’s great to see Forest supporting such an important cause by showcasing in the megastore,” said the former Swansea, Wolves and Dunferminline Athletic keeper.
De Vries was checking out a range which will be available to buy in store during October and online throughout the season via NFFC’s website.
And De Vries thinks some of his teammates would do well to pop by the club shop and upgrade their current look.
While Kelvin Wilson is always looking sharp he says, “he’s always wearing some nice gear at the training ground” he can’t say the same about Matty Fryatt and Robert Tesche who have been wearing the “same jogging pants and t-shirts every week”.
Lads, maybe it’s time you tried out the Men United range?
Growing up in Beverwijk 30 minutes from Amsterdam, De Vries was a keen cyclist and still tries to get out on two wheels when he’s back. And Men United supporters cycling to Amsterdam a week before Euro 2016 (sorry Dorus, we won’t mention the Dutch national team!) look forward to according to De Vries assessment.
“I did lots of cycling when I was young, and I still try and do some when I’m home. Cycling in Holland is flat, very safe and very enjoyable. It’s set up for cycling with nice routes and pretty much everywhere you want to go you can cycle which is great.”
And a friendly welcome awaits the cyclists who will have chosen either London or Barnsley as their starting location before cycling 145 miles to help beat prostate cancer next June.
“We’re an open minded, multicultural bunch. People are welcomed with open arms. It doesn’t matter how you get there: you’ll get a nice, warm welcome and a safe cycling experience. It will be great.”
“I love Amsterdam too, it’s near to where I grew up and whenever I go home I always try and catch up with people there. It’s got the lot – it’s another world with nice restaurants, museums, major attractions and exploring the city via the canals you can see a different side to a very interesting city.”
After a successful pre-season, the 34 year old Dutchman is now established as first choice at Forest after the departure of Karl Darlow to Newcastle United in the summer.
He’s worked hard to get there, coming relatively late to goalkeeping at the age of 15 and citing Edwin Van Der Sar, Oliver Kahn and Gianluigi Buffon as his favourites growing up. “I’ve worked hard towards this moment as number 1, and I’m proud to be at a great club.”
As well as the heroes he grew up watching, De Vries was to keen to mention the goalkeepers at the top of their game that he admires right now.
“Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich I rate very highly – he’s brave, he owns his area, and has the confidence outside the box too. So he ticks all the boxes for me.
“But I also admire Petr Czech and Gianluigi Buffon, who are still at the top of their game. Tibaut Courthois has achieved so much at such a young age, as has David De Gea and Joe Hart. But Neuer is my favourite.”
The number 1 is an important number for any team. For Men United, the movement for everyone who believes men are worth fighting for, it also takes on special significance. But not in a good way. One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. One in four, if you're Black.
And De Vries appreciates how important it is to make sure football fans are aware of this.
“It’s important that we do our bit to raise awareness for a really important cause. I think people are becoming more aware of their bodies and how to react to them. We certainly are as footballers. And if you think there’s a problem with your health, you should go to the doctor's to sort it out.”
Dorus de Vries was speaking to us in our capacity as the Official Charity of The Football League ahead of our Men United match day collection on Saturday 3 October at the City Ground, and in support of Football to Amsterdam 2016, a two day bike to Dorus’ homeland on 3-5 June 2016.
To find out more visit Football to Amsterdam 2016.