Saying goodbye hurts. But let us remember the good moments we And All Together experienced. Thank you coach, thank you Mo and Kevin for the good moments in the past successful years. “It is now up to the group to react” interim coach Bart Goor told me in one of his first interviews. This six-point duel is super important, but even in Kortrijk they probably realise this, as they already said goodbye to a coach for the second time this week.
Eric Reenaers, Director of Football Operations, and Bart Goor teamed up this week to prepare the group for the match against Kortrijk. Eric knows the tricks of the trade, having been T2 in recent years under Dennis van Wijk, Bob Peeters, Jacky Mathijssen, Vedran Pelic and Jonas De Roeck. Bart, in turn, has football experience of the highest order. He played for 23 years on the pitch with various domestic and foreign clubs and 77 times at international level with the Red Devils. Their mission is simple: take three points with them to Kuipje.
As far as selection news is concerned, Josimar Alcocer, Dire Mebude, Ilias El Hari and Irsan Muric played with our U21 team on Monday this week, the latter two will also play with the U21 team in Liege on Friday. Our new coaching duo can select from the entire selection.
The board (free buses) and the supporters themselves (waving goodbye to the players) ensured that our Kemphians can travel to West Flanders with a good feeling.
For the second time this season, Joseph Akpala will front the Kortrijk squad as T1. Last time (late September), he ensured the first win for the Guys this season on matchday 9. That night, Cercle Brugge went down 2-1. They also achieved their second victory at the Guldensporenstadion, this time against Bruges’ big brother (1-0), but this time led by Glen De Boeck, who was thus sacked this week after the 0-1 defeat in the Croky Cup against RWDM. “A dismissal that has nothing to do with football ” dixit the Antwerp coach.
Eight names we saw invariably appear in the starting line-up during De Boeck’s tenure:
- Goalkeeper Tom Vandenberghe, who, like Sinan Bolat, joined the select group of goalkeepers with a header goal in injury time.
- Central defenders Joâo Silva, who had just been given the captain’s armband by De Boeck instead of Kadri and Mark Mampassi, who despite his name does not suggest he was born in Ukraine and has Russian nationality.
- Two defensive midfielders: Marco Kana, who was still on Westerlo’s radar a few months ago and Bulgarian Malinov, who has a past at Leuven.
- 3 attacking players: Abdelhak Kadri, normally the captain and also Algerian international; Sheyi Ojo, who at 26 is already at his ninth club and finally Mounaïm El Idrissy, who was recruited from Ajaccio at the end of the summer term.
The three other names were mostly chosen from among 10 different players: Alebiosu, Radovanovic, Mehssatou, Sissako, Bruno, De Neve, Henen, Mighten, Davies and Avenatti, all given the chance to prove themselves in the starting eleven.
- Age: 27 years old
- Club: VK Tielrode
- Referee since: 2016
- Debut highest level : 14/12/2021 (Cercle Brugge vs Seraing 2-0)
- Westerlo this season : Westerlo vs KV Mechelen 2-3
- Total balance: 10 games for Westerlo (club he has already whistled the most), 6x win, 2x draw and 2x lost
Text and statistics: Peter Boons