The new season is just around the corner. The programme in the first nine games looks tough. At the Kuipje we will host Club Brugge, AA Gent, KV Mechelen and Antwerp, on the move we may go to Eupen, Anderlecht, Cercle Brugge, Standard and Genk.
The first game will be a trip to the Pandas. We were already guests there in February this year and went home with a 1-1 draw after goals from Nene and the equaliser came after a penalty goal from Stef Peeters.
If we take a closer look at our (new) core of players, we see that 3 basic players have moved on. By basic players, we then mean the 11 players who have started the most often in a match, in this case in 20 of the 40 league games played. Now who are those 3? First and foremost, the Kemphaan of the season Maxim De Cuyper and also Nacer Chadli and Nene -jaja- Dorgeles returned to their club of origin. This trio accounted for 28 goals and 12 assists.
This season, our club wants to go in a new direction and bring in more bought players.
At left-back, we found a young Australian Dutchman, Jordan Bos. With this transfer, he instantly became the most expensive outgoing transfer in the Australian A-L.eague. In fact, Jordan was named the best Australian youngster and he also got a place in the A-League team of the season.
With acquisition number 2, all Westel records were broken. Croatian striker Matija Frigan is the most expensive incoming transfer (€5.5 million) our Kemphans ever realised. He also registered fine statistics last season with his 14 goals and 3 assists with Croatian first division side HNK Rijeka.
Another striker who joined is Lucas Stassin. Has been on the Westel radar since the beginning of the mercato, but each time the bid for him was refused by his parent club Anderlecht. Eventually, all parties found common ground and Lucas can call himself a Kemphaan for the next four years.
Adedire Mebude is a Scottish Nigerian who has played in Manchester City’s youth academy in recent years. He is a typical attacking flanker.
With Tuur Rommens (left-back and captain of Jong Genk), Arthur Piedfort (central defender of Jong PSV) and Irsan Muric (striker of Club Brugge U18), 3 young Belgian talents were also added to the core who will undoubtedly get their chance.
IN: Jordan Bos (Melbourne City), Matija Frigan (HNK Rijkea), Tuur Rommens (KRC Genk), Arthur Piedfort (PSV), Irsan Muric (Club Brugge)
OUT: Maxim De Cuyper (Club Brugge), Nene Dorgeles (Red Bull Salzburg), Nacer Chadli (Basaksehir), Igor Vetokele (Lommel), Lucas Mineiro (Cuiaba), Tuur Dierckx and Kouya Mabea
Apart from coach Edward Still (KV Kortrijk), the team from the East Cantons also saw 3 important pions look elsewhere. Midfielder and captain Stef Peeters (7 goals – 7 assists) did not extend his contract and is still without a club. Also strikers Smail Prevljak (Hertha BSC) and Konan N’Dri (OH Leuven) will no longer be seen in the Eupen shirt. Together, these 3 players accounted for half the goals last season.
As coach, 40-year-old Florian Kohfeldt was appointed. He gained experience at Werder Bremen (142 games) and VfL Wolfsburg (28 games).
The two new players also both have a connection with their coach. Striker Bartosz Bialek – an ex-U21 international of Poland – is on loan from VfL Wolfsburg and featured on Dutch pitches with Vitesse last season (26 games – 6 goals). Midfielder Kevin Möhwald was then again on Werder Bremen’s payroll in the past. He spent last season at German revelation 1.FC Union Berlin, where he featured in 21 matches and managed to add 571 playing minutes to his CV for this club.
Probable type squad:
Lennart Moser in goal, Yentl Van Genechten, Ruben Paeshuyse, Boris Lambert and Jason Davidson are the defenders, Gary Magnée, Kevin Möhwald and Isaac Christie-Davies as midfielders and Isaac Nuhu, Regan Charles-Cook and Bartosz Bialek should be the trio of attackers.
Kevin Van Damme
– Age: 33 years old
– Club: KSV Rumbeke
– Referee: since 2013
– Professional debut: 15 September 2018 (Waasland Beveren – KAS Eupen 0-0)
– Home matches KAS Eupen: 5
o Eupen – Lokeren 4-1
o Eupen – STVV 0-2
o Eupen – Antwerp 0-1
o Eupen – OH Leuven 3-1
o Eupen – Club Brugge 2-1
– Away matches KVC Westerlo: 3
o Lierse – Westerlo 2-2
o OH Leuven – Westerlo 0-3
o Union – Westerlo 0-0
Text and statistics: Peter Boons