23 May 2023

Goal machine Kevin van Veen remains keen to reach milestone

23 May 2023

Kevin van Veen has his sights firmly set on reaching the 30-goal mark and securing seventh place for Motherwell in the cinch Premiership.

The Dutchman took his season tally to 27 by scoring the winner against Ross County on Saturday, finding the net in a ninth consecutive game, a post-war record for Motherwell.

The striker has more milestones in his grasp.

Van Veen will equal a club record set by local hero Hugh Ferguson more than 100 years ago if he scores in his 10th match in row when Motherwell face Livingston on Wednesday night.

The 31-year-old is still in the running for the Premiership top goalscorer, sitting on 23, two behind Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi along with Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland.

The former Scunthorpe striker is also looking to become the first Motherwell player since Dixie Deans to score 30 goals or more in a season, the future Celtic player doing so in 1968-69 when the Steelmen were in the Second Division. The last Motherwell player to do it in a top-flight campaign was Joe McBride five years earlier.

Van Veen has always believed he could challenge that landmark.

“I think it was 19 or 20, and I said to the same media in this room ‘I am going to score another 10 more’,” he said. “Everyone thought ‘this guy is off his head’.

“Now I am three away from what I set and we have two games to go. I am still stuck to my word. I have not reached it yet but I do believe in myself and in the team to get six points from these two games.

“The way we are feeling, 30 is within my reach and six points are in our reach. I am very confident I can hit my personal levels in what I said I was going to do, and the team as well, to get to the top of the bottom six. It is all there for us to take.”

With all the goals Van Veen has been scoring, his celebrations have become more varied. He marked his recent goal against Kilmarnock by pretending to go to sleep and told the wider world his girlfriend was pregnant by putting the ball under his shirt and sucking his thumb against St Johnstone.

“When I score I just do something weird or impulsive,” he said. “It’s not like I have a book with all my celebrations.

“I just do something weird. I am just a weird guy sometimes.

“Like the one (when) I fell asleep against Kilmarnock, I don’t know why I did that. It just came up. I thought, I have got tired of scoring all these goals, I will have a nap. No, that’s a joke. I don’t have any celebrations planned.”

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