Erik Pieters: 'I still love the game'

Pieters signing

Erik Pieters says he “still loves the game” after signing for the Albion on a one-year contract.

The experienced defender, who turned 34 in August, has committed to the Baggies for the 2022/23 season following his departure from Burnley at the end of the previous campaign.

Pieters has played international football for the Netherlands, UEFA Champions League football for PSV Eindhoven and Premier League football for both Stoke City and the Clarets.

And the Dutchman insists the determination and desire to be successful is still as strong as ever.

Erik said: “It means to a lot to have signed here.

“Everyone knows I have been a free agent for a little while so I have been working really hard at home to keep myself in shape.

“I’ve finally found a club and I want to prove myself and show what I still have in me. 

“It’s down to me to prove that I’m worthy of being signed here and that I still have what it takes to play at this level of football. I’m confident I can do that.

“I’ve been training here for a while now, maybe six or seven weeks. It doesn’t feel like I’m new or that I’m walking into a new group, which is really helpful.

“I’ve really enjoyed being here. From the first day I walked in the lads have been great with me and I’ve had a really good relationship with the manager.

“I feel really at home here and really happy to be here.

“The manager and his coaching staff seem to love the experience that I have because they know I’ve played in the Premier League for so many years.

“It’s hard not having a club over the summer but I’ve been working so hard to keep myself fit. I wanted to be in a position where I was ready if a club wanted to sign me, rather than sign and then have to get up to speed.

“It’s just how I am, I love to be in shape and be ready all the time. 

“I still love the game. When my body is telling me that it can’t handle it anymore then that’s when I’ll have to think about what the future holds, but I still feel great. I’m ready to go.”

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