Dutch defender Bas Van den Brink has arrived in Queensland to meet up with new club Gold Coast United. The 26-year-old renews his acquaintance with his former team-mate at Holland's FC Omniworld, United midfield dynamo, Zenon Caravella.
The big blonde defender revealed that not only did he gain an insight into the Australian game from Caravella, the nephew of Brisbane Roar Coach Frank Farina, but also from Roar striker and fellow Dutchman, Sergio van Dijk.
"Before I decided to come here I had some contact with Sergio van Dijk at Brisbane Roar and he told me a lot about how the game is played here," said Van den Brink.
"All that information from Zenon and Sergio, plus what we could see on the internet, helped us to make the decision to come to Australia.
"I followed the league on the internet last year so I knew who was where on the league table, who the top teams and top players are. It's a good competition and I'm very much looking forward to the season. "
189cm Van den Brink enjoyed spells with FC Emmen and top Dutch outfit FC Utrecht prior to his time at FC Omniworld and Gold Coast United Head Coach, Miron Bleiberg, says his newest recruit has all the attributes to be a top defender in the Hyundai A-League.
"Bas has an uncompromising style and I believe he can cope with any striker in the Hyundai A-League," Bleiberg said.
"He is extremely intelligent, both on and off the football field. He is strong, he is a leader and most importantly, he can pass the ball well from defence.
"We have seen in his first training session another dimension to his game that I was not aware of - he has a very powerful shot also!"
Aside from a pre-season tour of New Caledonia and Asia, Van den Brink's first true test will come when United line up against Barclays English Premier League side Fulham at Skilled Park on July 8th, a match he believes will provide a good benchmark for the Hyundai A-League newcomers.
"We follow the English Premier League very closely in Holland so when I heard we were going to be playing them I was very excited. Fulham have done very well this season so it's going to be a very tough game for us.
"But if we're really focussed and concentrate fully for the whole game then there's no reason why we can't get a good result and put in a good performance against them. They're only human after all," he said.