The Dutch striker will join his team on the trip to the state’s north today in search of a second consecutive win in the Hyundai A-League at Dairy Farmers Stadium tomorrow night.
With the Fury yet to pick up their first win of the season, van Dijk said although bragging rights would only be available via long-distance communication, there was plenty at stake for both teams.
“It’s a derby so all players are extra-motivated,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who’s playing, we want to give 100 per cent.”
The Brisbane target man said coming from Europe it was difficult to come to grips with the concept of a 1000km-plus derby, but he understood the match was of extra significance.
“For the people here in Queensland it’s a special game,” he said. “For me personally, I think the Gold Coast is more of a derby because it’s closer.
“We’re not used to those distances (in Europe). I think Townsville is 1000km from here.
“If you look that up in Europe that’s like from Amsterdam to Switzerland or something, so that’s not really a derby!”
A less foreign concept for the Dutchman was the threat of Fury marquee Robbie Fowler, who he idolised in his younger days.
Van Dijk said although his favourite boyhood idol was compatriot Dennis Bergkamp, he had fond memories of watching Fowler play for Liverpool.
“I can remember when I was younger when I was playing soccer at school and sometimes I was like ‘I’m Robbie Fowler’ and now I’m playing against him so that’s quite funny,” he said.
“He’s one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen.”
The Liverpool legend picked up his second goal of the season with a sweet finish against Adelaide last week which caught the eye of Frank Farina.
The Roar coach said Fowler was getting better with each game and would add an extra edge to a North Queensland outfit which is steadily gaining momentum.
“He’s just getting better as he’s getting fitter and match sharper,” Farina said.
“They’re a good side, I think last week they showed that against Adelaide. They most probably deserved to win that game and didn’t.
“They harassed and played some good football so it’s going to be difficult for us.”
Brisbane Roar’s match against North Queensland Fury kicks off at 7pm Saturday at Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 3.