Newcastle United’s de Jong: Why I’ll lead by example

LEADER ... Newcastle's Siem de Jong.
LEADER ... Newcastle's Siem de Jong.
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SIEM de Jong’s determined to repay Newcastle United for the faith the club has shown in him.

De Jong was handed a six-year contract – and the vice-captaincy – after joining from Ajax this month.

The 25-year-old scored a stunning goal on his debut against Oldham Athletic last week.

And the Holland international was set to start against Sydney FC in Dunedin, New Zealand, today, along with club captain Fabricio Coloccini, who was not involved at Boundary Park.

De Jong – whose brother Luuk had a loan spell at United last season – feels he can shoulder the extra responsibility, having skippered Ajax for the past two seasons.

“I’m vice-captain together with (Cheik) Tiote, and also captain at Ajax the last two years,” said de Jong.

“For me that’s a nice step to come here and get these responsibilties from the start.

“Hopefully, I can pay it back.”

De Jong has enjoyed his first fortnight at the club, who will also take on Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand’s capital on Saturday before returning to England.

“It feels good,” said de Jong. “I had a pretty good welcome.

“Of course I knew a couple of players – Vurnon (Anita) and Tim Krul – and my brother also played half a season here last year.

“I heard a lot about the club.

“I heard it was a really big club.

“I always wanted to play in the Premier League, so for me it was a great step.

“It’s a great challenge for me personally, but also for me and the team.”

The club signed a fourth Dutchman, Daryl Janmaat, from Feyenoord last week.