Blog/Pictures: The very human side of Ron Vlaar
4th Aug 2012
Fans will have seen pictures of Vlaar - a mighty, man-mountain of a defender with skinhead solidity.
Read his answers in his arrival video press conference - Are you a tough-tackling, aggressive defender? Yes I am. You take no prisoners? No!
And immediately jumped to the conclusion that this is a scary character, not to trifled with.
On the pitch, there's no question he'll be a rock and a leader. But off it, he's already displaying his caring, generous and humble side.
He personally requested the chance to meet Villa fans after his press conference unveiling at the ground.
Many would say 'yes' when asked. Not many, let me tell you, would suggest it as an idea.
But his efforts to bond with fans are evidence of his football intellect. He realises that the supporters are vital to drive the team on week after week, month after month and year after year.
"We have to give them signals on the pitch and they can shout and go crazy for us.
"I am looking forward to being a Villa player. It feels really good.
"Looking around the stadium now, I can't wait for the first home game when it will be filled with Villa supporters! We have to give them the chance to shout and we have to play very good for them."
Not only did he meet the supporters, he wowed them.
One family from Shrewsbury - just back from Spain - rushed to be at the meet-and-greet with Vlaar.
Their young son was delirious to say hello to Ron and the Dutch ace was equally thrilled to act up with the claret and blue toddler.
Vlaar had over 500 supporters to get through and he stayed for every last one to meet him. He even gave the final fan a signed shirt as a memento and a thank-you for waiting. Now that's class!!
And then he took time to meet the dedicated staff who work behind-the-scenes at Villa Park.
No office was excluded and every hand was shook. It was important to him. And it was great to see.
But that only scratches the surface of Vlaar's respectful nature.
The biggest showing was the fact he wanted his family with him to enjoy the moment he was finally presented as a Villa player.
Vlaar did everything on Friday with his father, mother, two sisters and three friends by his side.
Quizzed in the written press conference, Vlaar took the opportunity to thank them.
"My family and friends are here with me now. It's important that they can be here with me because what I have achieved is down to them. I couldn't have done it without them.
"I want them to enjoy this moment with me."
I am sure they did. And I'm confident everyone Ron comes into contact with will enjoy their moment with him.
Except Barclays Premier League strikers of course! They'll hopefully dread the day they crossed paths with Ron Vlaar!
Click here for pictures of Vlaar participating in media duties.
paul brown, ron vlaar, avfc, blogs,
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