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Dutch U21 star Zuiverloon joins Albion in pounds 3.2m deal; BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE.

Byline: By James Peacock

Dutch defender Gianni Zuiverloon will be one of two new faces at West Bromwich Albion's first pre-season training session today after completing a pounds 3.2 million move yesterday.

The 21-year-old has signed on a three-year contract from Heerenveen, where he has established himself both a first team regular and as a Holland under-21 international.

He has 17 caps for his country at that level and will be part of Holland's Olympic squad for Beijing.

"It was difficult for me to leave a club like Heerenveen, but this is a fantastic next step in my career," said Zuiverloon.

"I have already been there once and the club made a good impression on me.

"I will be introduced to my team-mates today and, after that, I hope to be on the training field quickly."

Zuiverloon will not be the only new arrival welcomed at The Hawthorns today.

Dan Harris, 28, the former Birmingham City and Coventry City fitness coach, has joined the club as head of sports science and will take over from strength and conditioning coach Dave Wilson, who joined the club on a consultancy basis in October and left at the end of the season.

Dan Ashworth, the club's sporting and technical director, said: "BothTony Mowbray and I are delighted to welcome Dan to the club.

"He fits the profile we're looking for. He has the experience for this role and being young and dynamic can take the club forward."

The Baggies have also recruited Bill Styles as assistant sports scientist and Arun Singh as a part-time strength and conditioning coach to work under Harris.

Academy intern Matt Green and research intern Anthony Blanchfield have also been kept on from last season's staff as the club continues to develop its sports science department, which it sees as integral to life in the Premier League.

Harris said: "I want to build a sports science programme here of which we can be proud.

"The idea is to put in place a comprehensive programme that works towards getting players quicker, stronger, fitter and more resilient to injury.

"I'm basically here to make sure the players have no excuses physically for being unable to perform in the Premier League.

"The aim is to make a genuine impact on the performance of our players.

"I've seen the Championship first hand and I think it's a real credit to the playing staff and coaching staff here that this club has been able to dig its way out of the Championship with the type of football they played.

"Everyone knows the manager is a football man who wants to play football the right way and the way fans want it to be played - I'm impressed by what he and his staff are trying to do.

"My job is to come in on the physical side of things and facilitate us being able to do that.

"We have to try and make sure each individual is improving physically."

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Brazilian striker Jo from CSKA Moscow for a "club record" undisclosed fee.

The 21-year-old 6ft 3ins forward, who has been capped once by Brazil, has signed a fouryear contract.

Jo had been on the verge of making the move to Eastlands for a number of weeks and becomes Mark Hughes' first signing since replacing Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Jo, whose full name is Joao Alves de Assis Silva, is a skilful left-footed striker who joined several compatriots at CSKA in 2006 when he moved from Corinthians.

City had been expected to pay around pounds 19million for the striker, who scored 44 goals in 77 matches in all competitions for the Russian club.

"He's a big talent and a young man with a big future," said Hughes..

He added: "He's a big guy, in stature and in ability, so I think everybody will enjoy watching him play."

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Delighted - defender Gianni Zuiverloon
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 3, 2008
Words:652
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