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Football: You have to get out of the road of black and white Van man; ST MIRREN ACE WRITES EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU.


THERE have been a few famous goalscoring Vans over the past few years and now our very own boy David has joined an esteemed list.

Van Basten, van Nistelrooy, van Hooijdonk and now St Mirren's very own van Zanten.

David's strike against Hibs last Saturday was a belter but nobody in the Love Street dressing room was the least bit surprised at it's quality.

We're used to him smacking shots into the top corner from outside the box as he makes a habit of it at training.

Whenever we have shooting sessions he's always at the front of the queue to show us his stuff and, to be fair, he is a top marksman.

He's forever going on about his prowess at hitting the back of the net so we were delighted he actually managed to repeat the feat in a match.

David has been talking about it non-stop but most of the conversation this week has been about Scotland's match tomorrow against France.

I was at Hampden when Scotland beat Holland 1-0 and again when we had an excellent 1-1 draw with Germany but I've opted to watch this one in the house.

There is no reason why we cannot beat the French, especially at a packed national stadium with the Tartan Army doing their bit.

It doesn't get any more daunting than facing a French side packed with world-class performers - but who knows what can happen.

The most important aspect of our side's improvement since the Berti Vogts era is that we have a manager everyone can trust.

Whatever side Walter Smith picks, and the formation he decides to deploy, will be the key to any success we have and he has proven since taking charge that he's the man for the job.

Scotland sides have a history of overcoming incredible odds and I have a wee feeling that Saturday night will be yet another one of those "I was there when" occasions.

But I will be on the couch rooting for Barry Ferguson and Co and getting a feel of the atmosphere from my brothers who will all be at the game.

Most of the lads have been enjoying a few days off but I haven't had that luxury.

I'm now into the fourth week of my rehabilitation since breaking a toe and thankfully I'm ahead of schedule and now managing to get the trainers on and get some running done.

The doctors set me a target of six weeks before I would be able to get back in full training but I hope to take a few days off that estimate.

We have a reserve game against Falkirk next Tuesday and I'll be shuffling around the manager's door for the next few days in the hope he will give me the nod.

It's been a blessing for me having the international break falling at a time I'm sidelined as it means I'm missing fewer games than normal but it's not ideal for the side.

After our brilliant victory at home to Hibs we would rather have kept up the momentum and have the games arriving thick and fast.

We have picked up a few great wins on the road but not been so productive at home so the win last weekend was for the fans.

It's back on the road for us again next weekend when we face Falkirk and we'll be looking to pick up more priceless points in our survival battle.


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SHOOTING STAR: David van Zanten
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 6, 2006
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