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Birmingham's De Ridder: Bruce convinced me to reject Ajax

Daniel de Ridder has revealed how he chose Birmingham City over an emotional return to former club Ajax.

De Ridder began his career at Ajax before joining Celta Vigo in Spain in 2005.

"Why Birmingham? The manager," said the winger. "He made it very clear what the plan was this season and what my role would be.

"I know he was watching me in the under-21s Championship, and I had several talks with him. We met in Monaco one time. I was impressed.

"There were other clubs who wanted me. The other that was close was my home-town club, Ajax. But Birmingham was the most convincing one for me.

"The Premiership is a dream challenge for me. So, altogether - the manager, the role, the league, the city - it was right."

The Dutch whiz knows he'll be targeted by opposition defenders and he's ready to get kicked.

"That's the passion of England, that's the mentality," he said. "It's good to be passionate in games. I just have to make sure I am in top shape, good condition, and then I will keep my head up."

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