Edinburgh have today received a major boost with the news that Tim Visser, one of the hottest properties in the European game, has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him in the capital until at least the end of May 2013.
The Dutch winger, who joined from Newcastle Falcons in June 2009, has been a tremendous success in his first season and a half with the club, topping the Magners League try-scoring charts with ten scores during his debut campaign in the competition.
This feat was enough to earn the 23-year-old the Magners League Young Player of the Season award, and he was also included in the tournament Dream Team for season 2009/10. Further recognition arrived in the shape of a nomination for Players’ Player of the Season.
The man from Zeewolde in central Netherlands has continued to impress in the current campaign, racking up another 10 tries in his first 16 seasonal appearances.
Visser, whose father Marc played 67 times for Holland and captained the team for some 15 years, today expressed his delight at signing up for another two years of service in the black and red, explaining that Edinburgh offer the perfect environment in which to continue his progress.
He said: “My first thought when it came to deciding my future was always to stay at Edinburgh. I’m thrilled that I’ve got everything sorted out nice and early so that I can focus on helping the team enjoy a successful second half to the season, starting with the Heineken Cup match against Cardiff [at Murrayfield on Saturday, kick-off 5.45pm].
“Edinburgh showed a lot of faith in me when they brought me up here, and I’m delighted to be able to repay that by staying on and helping the club to grow. We’ve got a talented young squad, and I’m convinced that we’re in a good position to really kick on in the next few years.
“I feel very at home in the set-up, I get great support from the coaches and my teammates, and I know how important those things are in helping you continue to perform. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club so far, and I want to be a part of it getting bigger and better over time.
“As a city and a rugby team, Edinburgh is a brilliant place to be, and it’s fantastic to know I’m going to be seeing a lot more of both for at least the next two years.”
Visser, the only professional rugby player from the Netherlands, will be eligible to play for Scotland once he has completed 36 months of continuous residence in the country.
Already on record as stating that he would like to be considered for selection at the end of this period, Visser today confirmed: “The Scotland aspect obviously is one more reason for committing myself to Edinburgh, but the main motivation was staying in a place and a team where I know I will improve.
“When I’ve completed the residency period, I’d love to be considered, but my overriding focus is doing well with Edinburgh and helping the team achieve. We’ve got a number of massive matches coming up in the next couple of months that will be absolutely crucial for us in terms of reaching the Magners League play-offs.
“I firmly believe we’re capable of finishing in the top four, and we’ll be putting absolutely everything in to make sure it happens.
“We also want to finish strongly in the Heineken Cup. We know we didn’t play well enough at Northampton last Friday, and we want to give our supporters a much better time of it this weekend.”
Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat called Visser’s renewal a “huge fillip” for the club. He said: “It’s tremendous news that Tim is going to be with us for another two years at least.
“He’s shown a terrific attitude and work-rate since he came to the club, and his try record speaks for itself. That sort of finishing ability is priceless in the modern game, and I’m delighted we’ll be able to call on it in the coming seasons.
“Tim is an upbeat guy to have about the place and his willingness to improve is first class. We always do everything we can to hold on to our best players and this is a really positive statement about where the club wants to go.”
Craig Docherty, the Edinburgh chief executive, said: "I'm delighted that we've secured the services of one of the most exciting talents in the Magners League. He's a player who really gets fans out of their seats and he's fast become a major asset for the club.
"It's great news for Edinburgh and for the Scottish game as a whole that Tim has signed for another two years."
Edinburgh season ticket holders can bring a friend for free to Saturday’s Heineken Cup match against Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield (kick-off 5.45pm). Season ticket holders should simply have their guest present Voucher 7 at the turnstiles to gain admission.
Sections 15, 17, 19 and 21 of the West Stand are reserved for Edinburgh season ticket holders, but season ticket holders and their guests are welcome to sit together in the unreserved sections to either side.
Match tickets for the Cardiff game are available via www.edinburghrugby.org, by calling 0131 346 5180 or by visiting the Murrayfield Ticket Centre (just off Roseburn Street) in person. Book before 5pm on Friday and save £5 on the adult match-day price of £20.
The Ticket Centre will be open from 3.45pm on Saturday for match-day sales and collections.