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Van de Ven inspired by cop TV star dad & admits he accepts the chaos of football

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MICKY VAN DE VEN was taught how to stay calm in the Premier League “chaos” by his undercover cop dad.

His father Marcel worked in a specialist unit trying to bring down organised crime in Holland.

Marcel Van De Ven with dad Micky Van De Ven who is TV cop star

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Marcel Van De Ven with dad Micky Van De Ven who is TV cop starCredit: Instagram @marcel.v.d.ven

Spurs star Micky said: “I was really young and I didn’t know everything that he was doing because it was quite dangerous.

“He was working on the highest-level criminals in Holland. He came back late and in different cars, you know what I mean?”

Marcel draws on those high-pressure experiences to help his son to cope with the demands of professional football.

Micky, who moved from Dutch second division side Volendam to German club Wolfsburg in 2021, explained: “The first few times when you are  young and play in big stadiums, you are nervous.

“When I went to the Bundesliga, it was really like when this helped me. My dad was always saying, just in the warm-up, enjoy the people around you, enjoy the vibe of the stadium.

“And then, when you have to go in and come back out, just switch on. Just accept everything that’s going on around because you know it’s going to happen and you can’t do something about it.

“And that was the moment, when I went on the pitch, that I was like, ‘OK, accept everything’. I know it’s going to be chaos.”

These days Marcel (above with Micky) is now the lead detective in the Dutch version of the Channel 4 series Hunted, in which ex-police officers pursue civilian “fugitives”.

Son Micky says dad Marcel has inspired him as a man

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Son Micky says dad Marcel has inspired him as a manCredit: Instagram @marcel.v.d.ven
Micky van de Ven was told as a youngster he wasn't going to make it as a pro

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Micky van de Ven was told as a youngster he wasn’t going to make it as a proCredit: Getty

He has also worked on a show called Kidnapped that tracks down children abducted by one of their parents, as well as presenting his own programme, Online Criminals Unmasked.

Yet Van de Ven Jr’s career was almost over before it started when a coach at Volendam told him he was not good enough to turn pro.

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Van de Ven said: “He was like, ‘The guys who are playing right now are way better than you. You are not fast enough’.

“I was like, ‘Eh? You haven’t seen me sprint’.” Van de Ven became the fastest player since the Prem started taking measurements in 2020-21 with a speed of 23.23mph against Brentford in January.

Fortunately for the young defender, ex-Sheffield Wednesday and Holland midfielder Wim Jonk was also quick to spot his potential when he took over as Volendam boss in 2019.

Van de Ven, 22, said: “He’d seen me play with the under-19s and he was like, ‘This guy, he gets a contract straight away’.

“I went to the under-21s and I became captain straight away. I played six to eight games and then, boom, first team.”

After Van de Ven’s breakthrough 2022-23 season at Wolfsburg,  Tottenham came calling.

Despite missing two months with a hamstring injury, he has excelled this term.

But taking on legendary referee Russ Bray in a nine-dart challenge during the last World Darts Championship was more of an ordeal for the massive arrows fan.

Van de Ven said: “I was quite nervous. The board was also  further away than I thought.

“Imagine you threw three darts out of the board, everybody is like, ‘What the f*** is this guy doing?’. But at least I won it.”

As undercover Marcel would say: Accept the chaos.

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