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All Dons for Hans

Posted on 19 December 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Hans Segers has not failed to see the irony of having three generations of Wimbledon goalkeepers working on the training ground at Spurs Lodge.

With Dave Beasant joining the ranks a month ago, the goalkeeping section is something of a Dons Who's Who - Hans being Beasant's successor at Plough Lane and then Sully succeeded the Dutchman.

So was Hans surprised on hearing that Dave was heading to Spurs?

"No, not really," he chuckled. "It's quite funny to see - but it makes for plenty of experience at the club as the moment. The goalkeeping situation is quite sound."

Dave joined to cover for Kasey Keller, who is now fit and well, and Hans explained that he did not feel that he himself could have provided an adequate alternative - even though he is younger than our latest recruit.

"He's older than me, although that's a funny thing to say. It's not easy for me, I do my own training sessions in the gym, but regarding goalkeeping I haven't done anything since the start of the season. So I think I would be a bit rusty if I had to go back and play in the Premier League.

"You need a good four to five weeks to get match fit and then play a few matches. If something happened to Sully you need someone who could go straight in and do a job. To just put my gloves on and go and sit on the bench wouldn't be fair to myself and wouldn't be fair to the club."

Hans recalls that taking over from Dave at Plough Lane was a tall order and joining Wimbledon was something of a culture shock.

"It was because he was an absolute legend down there - he saved the penalty in the FA Cup final as well.

"He was one of these goalkeepers that was taking all the free-kicks outside the box and that was completely new to me. He also used to roll the ball out of the area and launch it.

"My first kick of my first match for Wimbledon, I remember it well, was a free-kick outside the box. I thought 'I don't know what I'm doing here' and John Fashanu was waving and saying 'get it to me'.

"I tonked it up there, it hit him on the head and went straight in. What a start!"

It all must have been very strange for a man from the land of Total Football who also enjoyed a spell under the management of football purist Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest.

"The difference was like day and night. I remember Cloughie, if I had the ball my first option was to throw it and in Holland it was everything to the defenders who started the build-up.

"When I got to Wimbledon I was banned from throwing...

"I arrived there on the Monday morning and in that week I think I kicked about five or six hundred balls up field. That's why I've got legs like tree trunks now!

"Bobby Gould said to me that he bought me because I could kick a massive ball - nothing to do with my goalkeeping skills."