Newcastle keeper Krul hopes to conquer Europe

THE LAUGHING DUTCHMAN: Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul jokes with a fake moustache after a Holland training session.
THE LAUGHING DUTCHMAN: Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul jokes with a fake moustache after a Holland training session.

TIM Krul’s ready to take on Europe – thanks to his exploits in England.

The Newcastle United goalkeeper was handed his third senior Holland cap in Saturday’s friendly against Bulgaria.

AS Roma’s Maarten Stekelenburg – national coach Bert van Marwijk’s first-choice goalkeeper – was struggling with injury.

Holland were beaten 2-1 in Amsterdam, with Krul beaten by a penalty and a goal in added time.

Krul intends to battle hard for the jersey between now and the start of the tournament, as will Swansea City’s Michel Vorm who is also in van Marwijk’s squad.

The 24-year-old, Newcastle’s only ever-present, was outstanding last season, and only the two Manchester clubs kept more clean sheets than United, who shut out the opposition 15 times in the Premier League.

However, Krul – who signed a new long-term contract in March – knows it won’t be easy to dislodge Stekelenburg.

“I can be confident going there knowing if something happens to one of them, I’m ready,” Krul said.

“Michel’s had his first full season in the Premier League, and he’s done great.

“I’ve had a great season, and Stekelenburg’s in Italy. He’s been fantastic for the country.

“I’ve got hard competition on my hands, but I’m looking forward to it. I can be confident. I’m looking forward to it – it’s my first big tournament.”

Holland face neighbours and fierce rivals Germany, as well as Portugal and Denmark, in what was quickly labelled the “group of death” after the European Championship draw late last year.

“We’ve got a hard group – Portugal, Germany and Denmark,” added Krul.

“It’s not easy to get through, but we’ve got a quality side. Anything can happen, but we’re expecting to be up there.”