We talked to Dutch defender Mark Snijders when he was at Vale Park. Find out how Mark adapted to Potteries life.
What made you decide to join Port Vale initially? Have you found it easy to settle in the Potteries?
I was playing for AZ-Alkmaar and I had just signed a four year contract, when my agent phoned me up and told me that an English first division team was interested to sign me. I went on trial to Ashford where the Vale lads were doing their pre-season and played three games. John Rudge was impressed and gave me a 3 year contract. It was easy to set in the Potteries, because the people here are very friendly and very helpful.
What would be the highlights of your time at Port Vale?
My highlights at Port Vale are the two games against Arsenal for the FA Cup. The second game at home was live on television in Holland and after the game I had a lot of magnificant reactions from friends and even from fans of AZ-Alkmaar. They all said that I did very well against Bergkamp and Overmars.
How did you find playing in England? Is the style of football different from that in Holland?
I think the game in England is a bit quicker than the game in Holland. Football in Holland is a bit more tactical, maybe a little bit more quality (passing-wise), but the fact that the fans are so special in this country (they really love football) and all the players really play with their hearts, makes it a dream for Dutch players to play in this country.
How good was Antony Gardner? Do you feel he could become a future England International player?
Anthony is a very, very good player already, but he can become much and much better if he wants to learn. Sometimes he gave me the impression that playing in the first team for Vale was very easy for him, so I think it was the right moment for him to make a move upwards the ladder and become an even better player than he already is. If he becomes a bit more aggressive and keeps the right attitude, he can become one of the best defenders in England.
I’ve also had emails from AZ Alkmaar supporters asking how you are getting on with Port Vale. Is it nice to see that supporters of your former club still think highly of you and continue to follow your career?
It’ s nice to hear that you’ve had positive e-mails from supporters from my old club AZ-Alkmaar. I have been playing for AZ since I was 14 years old. I always gave 100% and worked very hard for the club, so it’s nice to see that the fans still appreciate that.
Do you enjoy looking at the Port Vale sites on the Internet? Do any other Port Vale players access the world wide web?
I enjoy looking at the Port Vale sites on the internet. I really like computing, so every day I surf at least for an hour on the net. I don’t think other Vale players have access to the Internet, Ian Bogie once tried to get on the internet, but he has thrown the computer out the window because it gave him a headache.
Have you seen my site – onevalefan?
Your site looks very, very professional.
Finally, have you eaten any Staffordshire Oatcakes and did you like them?
I must admit I haven’t tried any Staffordshire Oatcakes, but all my friends and neighbours say to me that I already talk with a Stokey accent.
Many thanks to Mark Snijders for taking part in this interview