Vlaar: There's only been one skipper this season - Stan Petrov!
Ron Vlaar says he may have worn the armband this season but there's only been one real captain - Stan Petrov.
Vlaar hailed Petrov's influence at the training ground, despite not being there for months at a time because of his leukaemia treatment.
Vlaar pointed to Petrov's "enormous energy" when in the presence of the squad at Bodymoor Heath.
Now popular Petrov has retired from football, Vlaar officially takes on the mantle of skipper.
And he says it's an enormous honour to follow in Petrov's footsteps.
He said: "I have enormous respect for Stiliyan. He has fought so hard to overcome his illness and he has been to support us as many times as possible. It's always good to see him.
"When you are involved in football, you sometimes forget about things outside of the game.
"But seeing Stiliyan puts everything into perspective.
"We all want to do as well as we can on the pitch but it makes you appreciate there are other things in life.
"There is such great respect for Stiliyan both here and at other clubs and that says a lot about him.
"Even after all his problems, he gives off so much energy, he is inspirational.
"It was great to see him do his lap of appreciation with the players at his side.
"When the fans sang to him at the Holte End, I really got goosebumps.
"We all know what he had to go through. It's unbelievable that he's had to retire. He's such a good lad. It makes me sad.
"It makes me even prouder being the skipper now, coming after Stiliyan.
"He wasn't with us much of this season but there was only one skipper and that was Stiliyan."
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