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Jan 21, 2009

I want Golden Boot award: van Dijk

Just two months ago the claim would have been laughable - but Queensland Roar striker Sergio van Dijk is deadly serious when he says he wants the A-League's Golden Boot award.

The much maligned Dutchman looked more likely to be dropped from the Roar team rather than top the A-League goal scoring count earlier this season.

Incredibly, the highly-touted signing had only one penalty spot conversion to his name by late November.

Since then he has blasted nine goals to help guarantee Queensland a top three spot with one regular season round left to play - Saturday night's Suncorp Stadium showdown against Perth.

His incredible run included a hat-trick - the first by a Roar player - in Queensland's crucial 3-1 victory over Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium last weekend.

He now has amassed a total of 10 goals - just two behind the leader, Wellington's Shane Smeltz and one adrift of Melbourne's Danny Allsopp and Matt Simon of Central Coast.

Van Dijk is backing himself to leapfrog the lot against Perth - and no wonder.

Lowly Perth have conceded a whopping 40 goals this season - the most in the league.

What would have been pure fantasy to even the most rabid Roar fan suddenly seems possible to van Dijk.

"I haven't given up hope for it (the Golden Boot) but it's going to be tough," van Dijk said.

"I always like to play against Perth, especially now I'm scoring a lot of goals I'm a bit more confident.

"But there are a lot of opportunities for the team.

"We can win the premiership or finish second but the most important thing is that we win the match.

"If I can score two goals or even another hat-trick then it's ok, but it's not my goal for next Saturday."

The last time the Roar played Perth, the Glory conceded four goals with van Dijk helping himself to one and setting up another two.

And the Dutchman sounded an ominous warning to lowly Perth before their Suncorp Stadium showdown.

"It's not that I learnt how to score in the last six weeks. Its just a feeling and now I have that feeling," he said.

"Even the top strikers who play in the highest leagues have those phases, so it's not like it's not normal but I'm happy that I'm back now."

Charlie Miller - who set up van Dijk's third goal against Sydney FC in his comeback match - is a chance of starting against Perth despite still battling pain from hernia surgery.

The final verdict on exciting striker Tahj Minniecon (hip flexor), who missed the Sydney game, is expected to be made on Thursday.

No.1 goalkeeper Liam Reddy is expected to have fully recovered from a hamstring strain, placing pressure on back-up Griffin McMaster, who has filled in admirably at the business end of the season.

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