InterviewSepp van den Berg: I learned so much on loan - now I want to show it
Sepp van den Berg is eager to impress on his return to Liverpool after time on loan with Preston North End that he felt saw him grow in all departments.
The Dutch defender was at Deepdale for the majority of the last 18 months, making 61 appearances in the Championship and gaining vital senior experience.
He began pre-season training back with the Reds last week and speaking to Liverpoolfc.com ahead of the second outing of 2022-23 – versus Crystal Palace at Singapore National Stadium today – Van den Berg explained his aim to express the development he enjoyed at Preston.
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“I needed it, to be fair – game time again,” he said. “Now I’ve got something to come back here and show what I’ve learned and try to impress everyone. It’s definitely something I needed.”
Read on for the rest of our interview with Van den Berg, conducted after Thursday’s open training session in front of thousands of local supporters in Singapore.
The 20-year-old discussed the emotions felt during Liverpool’s tour of Asia this week, the benefits of playing for Preston and his objectives in the short term.
On Thursday’s open training session in Singapore…
The whole tour has been amazing. I’ve never been to Asia but even when we went to Bangkok, the support is unbelievable. Of course you know Liverpool is a massive club but I never expected so many people just to come to watch us train, and even before as well. It has been a great experience.
On whether the level of support has come as a surprise to him…
It always does. I know back home it’s crazy. Somehow you don’t expect the other side of the world to be the same. To be fair, the people here are in love with Liverpool as well, it’s really great to see.
On his fitness, having started pre-season training last week…
We have been training pretty hard. The weather doesn’t make it easy as well – it’s quite warm here. But for everyone it’s just getting fitness back, rhythm and everything. We’ve only played one game, another one [against Palace]. Personally, definitely I’m getting there and I think everyone else is getting there as well.
On the 18 months he spent with Preston…
I was there one-and-a-half years. It was a long time. It was great there. I played a lot of games; I think especially for a centre-back it’s important to have game experience. I played against some good teams, a tough league. I have definitely grown – in size, that’s one thing! But just everything really. It has been a great loan but now I’m happy to be back.
On whether he has spoken to the manager about the plan for him in the coming season…
I had a little chat with him about the loan last season. But it’s too early for that. With so many players, everyone is trying their best to impress and of course to get fit. For me now at the moment, it’s really to enjoy. It’s a great experience to be here. It’s a great experience to be back training with the guys as well, of course the level is outstanding. I’ve missed it. For me personally now, it’s just try to get back and impress everyone and we’ll see what happens.