PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland
so farewell then...
Joos Valgaeren was one of martin O'Neill's first signings for Celtic, and quite an unusual one he was too in that he hadn't previously played in the English Premiership or the SPL.
He was spotted by MON when our erstwhile manager was doing some work for the BBC at the Euro 2000 Championships. Valgaeren was playing at centre back for Belgium and MON brought him to Celtic Park as the left hand side of his back three.
Initially he was a great success. Reasonably pacey, strong in the tackle and a good marker, he became so popular with the fans that he even had his own war cry.
Unfortunately he was another player who could be hung out to dry in European matches. Whether the system was to blame or the personnel is up for argument, but at times it was horrendous to watch. I still have nightmares about the 3:0 tanking dished out by Porto.
Nevertheless, when fully fit big Joos was a valuable member of the squad and played his part in winning three SPL championships and four Scottish Cups.
Towards the end it was his lack of fitness which called down the curtain on his Celtic career. Called upon sparingly during the last couple of seasons he has looked a couple of yards off the pace, even in the premier league, never mind Europe.
He has returned to Belgium to play out a three year contract with Club Brugge and we wish him all the best for his future.