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FIFA Magazette
Hans Vonk

Photo Mike Hutchings, Reuters
Had it not been for South African football magazine Kick Off, Hans Vonk would probably never have become South African national team goalkeeper. Vonk was born on 30 January 1970 in Alberton, just outside of Johannesburg, and is therefore a South African citizen. But his Dutch parents moved back to their native country shortly after Hans was born and years later hardly anyone in South Africa knew that Hans Vonk was actually South African – until Kick Off brought it to light. Vonk, who has had a long professional football career in the Netherlands, was finally selected for the national team in 1998 by former coach Philippe Troussier, but he has had scant opportunity to show his true ability at international level because of a string of injuries. SC Heerenveen are in no doubt what Vonk has to offer. Since 1996, the goalie has been playing in the Dutch first division, and, thanks in no small part to Vonk’s outstanding performances, Heerenveen were runners-up in the 1999-2000 championship. Vonk hopes to produce equally impressive displays at the World Cup. South Africa’s national team will no doubt be glad of a custodian with a steadying influence, as the defence is not one of the strongest parts of the side.

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