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Heitinga loving life as an Everton player

Everton defender Johnny Heitinga is quietly satisfied with his first season in England, and is loving life at Goodison.

Heitinga arrived in August from Atletico Madrid.

The flexible former Ajax star told the Liverpool Echo: "I think so far I can be happy. It's only my first year and I've done well. I look forward to the next year.

"I can play centre-half or the position I play now. They are my favoured positions and I'm happy in either."

The 26-year-old Dutchman is fast becoming a cult figure at Goodison for his tough-tackling displays, and revealed he revels in the role.

"The fans are great. Since the first day they have made me feel welcome at Everton.

"I love to play the home games in our stadium. Even in the away games the grounds are always full with Everton supporters and that is good for team spirit and the club.

"The speed of the Premier League is higher than the pace in Spain and the battles and tackling are harder and faster. For myself I think it's the best league. It was after the Bolton game that I felt completely comfortable. Before that I think I played well but the speed was quite high.

"After the Bolton game I was just used to it."

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