Guest Blog: Michel Vonk
- 21 March 2013 10:44
- Posted by @dclayton_MCFC
Now manager of top-of-the-table Sparta Rotterdam, Michel Vonk was a popular figure at City in the mid-1990s, making 103 appearances for the Blues between 1992 and 1995…
I visited the Etihad Stadium last weekend with my team, Sparta Rotterdam and enjoyed being back in Manchester where I have many good memories though there wasn’t much of the old City from Maine Road that I remember!
I have been manager of Sparta for two seasons now and we are currently top of the second division in Holland by two points – it’s our 125th anniversary this year and we are the oldest club in the Netherlands so it would be a great way to celebrate.
There are other former Dutch City players who are also coaching at the moment with Alfons Groenendijk currently an Under-19s coach with Ajax and Gerard Wiekens is assistant coach at Vendeem so I’ve come across them both a couple of times and we always reminisce about our time at City.
City have a much higher profile these days and people know I am a former player so I get asked about my time with the Club occasionally – I had many good times and good memories of my days in Manchester.
I liked the fans’ song for me and I recall the time we beat Leeds United 4-0 when they were on the way to the title with players like Eric Cantona in their team. I remember the last day of the Kippax Stand before the new stand was built and the FA Cup quarter-final against Spurs when there was a pitch invasion.
I didn’t score too many but one goal I got was against Ipswich Town when the manager asked me to play up front. There was torrential rain and the ball got stuck in the water which helped me get there first and score – but the pitch became waterlogged and the ref abandoned it! Still, the picture at the top you can see came out well but my goal was scratched from history.
Looking at the City of today, as a manager, I’d be telling the players to just keep going and win as many games as you can. I think United will have a tough run in and while it looks like it’s all over, it isn’t until the fat lady sings.
I’d say keep your head up and just keep winning – I hope nothing has been decided by the time of the derby so there is still something to go for – as I say, you just never know. My team was invited over to watch the United v Reading game and Reading made it tough. United didn’t play well and Reading should have taken something from the game so I always say you just never know.
I’ll be rooting the Blues on for the rest of the season and hope that if it doesn’t happen in the Premier League, maybe it will in the FA Cup.
I’m looking forward to coming back to City again soon with my family so look out for me and keep an eye on Sparta’s run-in and wish us luck.