Collen signs for Brisbane

Brisbane Roar’s defensive stocks have been given a timely boost after the club announced the signing of highly-rated Belgian centre back Pieter Collen.

Brisbane Roar-s defensive stocks have been given a timely boost after the club announced the signing of highly-rated Belgian centre back Pieter Collen.

Arriving just in time for the club-s run to the finals, the former Belgium international brings a wealth of experience to the Roar backline.

Spending the best part of 12 years in the top leagues of Belgium and the Netherlands, Collen has already set himself the target of turning around Brisbane-s fortunes.

Collen was part of the Feyenoord team which won the 2002 UEFA Cup.

“I have played UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup and have two (Belgium) caps, one friendly and one European Cup qualification match,” Collen said.

“So I hope to bring some experience and good organisation in the back.

“I think the most important thing is to get a good defensive line and don-t concede any more goals.”

A versatile player, at home out on the right and in the heart of defence, it isn-t unusual for the 29-year-old to venture forward in search of goals.

And despite last playing for his homeland three years ago, Collen hasn-t given up hope of catching the eye of Belgium national coach, Dick Advocaat, with solid performances in the Roar backline.

“First you have to perform at club level, if you don-t perform at club level you don-t stand any chance,” he said.

“But I-m not thinking of (national selection), the main thing is performing at the club and then the rest is up to the coach.”

A former teammate of Brett Emerton and Steven Laybutt, Collen said he was ‘excited- about the challenge of playing in the Hyundai A-League.

“Everything looks good, Brisbane looks nice and I saw the (Suncorp) stadium and it looks really big,” he said.

“(But) I cannot get a good impression of the level from outside, and I don-t know any of the players, so that-s a little bit difficult.

“But I-ll get that soon enough because tomorrow is first training and then it shouldn-t be a problem.”

Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said he was delighted to introduce a ‘pedigree- player to his squad.

“We knew during this time we-d obviously be down in numbers and we knew there was going to be two or three departures,” he said.

“Pieter ticked most of the boxes we were after, he brings to the table the experience we were after, he-s got the pedigree and he plays in a position where we-re really thin at the moment.

“We also wanted somebody who was keen to come here and were ambitious, and Pieter showed all those qualities.”

Postecoglou said he hoped this was the first of a number of key signings to be announced over the next couple of weeks.

Collen has signed a contract to the end of the season.

Pieter Collen

Facts

Nationality: Belgian

Place of Birth: Gent, Belgium

Date of Birth: 20.06.1980

Age: 29

Position: Defender

Foot: Right

Height: 1.83 metres

Career

97/98 - KAA Gent (Belgium)

99/00 - Vitesse Arnheim (Holland)

2000/01 - NEC Nijmegen (Belgium)

01/03 - Feyenoord Rotterdam (Holland)

03/05 - NAC Breda (Holland)

05/07 - Feyenoord (Holland)

07/08 - VV St. Truiden (Belgium)

08/09 - SS Cambuur - Leeuwarden (Holland)

09/10 - KSK Beveren (Belgium)

International

2 Caps - Belgium

Debut - 06.09.2006