STVV – KVC Westerlo

For the second year in a row, our Kemphans will participate in the Europe Play-offs. Last season this was a competition with 4, this season we will play a mini-competition with 6 participants. Gent and Standard are the same opponents as then, this time we will also face STVV, OHL and KV Mechelen additionally.

KVC Westerlo

We will start our first match on STVV’s pitch. Last time, a real spectacle took place off the pitch – due to the centenary of the Limburgers – on the pitch, it was then just not after a defeat by the smallest score.

Bart Goor will be in charge of the next 10 games as interim coach. His previous appearance as T1 was a success, winning the vital match against Kortrijk then.
The objective of these play-offs will be clear for our club. See what this core still has up its sleeve and give some boys a taste of the big time. We have in mind Josimar Alcocer – who just finished an international with Costa Rica against world champion Argentina, and Bakary Haidara – who also got his first call-up for the Ivory Coast youth team.

Two old hands in the box, Sinan Bolat and Sergii Sydorchuk will not be in this first match. They received their fifth yellow cardboard drawn in front of them on the final day of play and are thus suspended for this encounter between the yellow-and-blue clubs. Footnote though is that the card charge for everyone is back to zero.
Griffin Yow who then impressed in his debut match last week with Team USA’s U23 side, which also includes Bryan Reynolds. Griffin managed to deliver no less than all assists in the 3-1 win against Guinea.

Griffin Yow who then impressed again last week in his debut match with Team USA’s U23, which also includes Bryan Reynolds. Griffin managed to deliver no fewer than all assists in the 3-1 win against Guinea.

Romeo Vermant and Arthur Piedfort both got to add a goal to their CV for the youth national team. At the time when it was reported in the media that headers can cause damage, Romeo neatly buffeted the ball into the Maltese goal with his head and Arthur credited the equaliser in injury time of the first half against our orange Northern neighbours. By the way, Vermant and Rommens also delivered assists on their international commitments.


In my humble opinion the revelation of the season with a gentleman as coach, which you don’t always come across in this football world either. You have to be honest who had heard of Steuckers, Smets, Van Helden, Delorge (on loan at Lierse last season) and goalkeeper Suzuki before the season?

In any case, 56-year-old German coach Thorsten Fink, ex-pro of Bayern Munich, has made it a well-oiled squad. If we look at the mutual results of this season, of the teams participating in these play-offs, STVV even comes out on top with a 19/30. With the halving of points, they can even start making things difficult for teams like Gent and KV Mechelen for that ticket entitling them to the final place.

Steuckers – who managed to score and Smets – 2x 90 minutes on the bench – also got to celebrate their first selections for our national promising team.

Many goals (32 in total, 18 for and 14 against) never fall in a home match of the Limburgers. Only on Standard’s pitch could you see fewer balls fly against the nets this season.

However, they are fifth in terms of taking points at home, with only top clubs Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Antwerp and Union doing better. The 3 home defeats came in this season’s statistics against Anderlecht (0-1), Cercle Brugge (0-2) and Union (0-4).

Two players featured in all 30 matches already played, the aforementioned Smets and Delorge, the former even reaching the maximum (2,700) minutes played.
Eight players found their way to goal, Koita being the gobbler with 14, followed by Zahiroleslam (5), Steuckers and Ito (4 each). The quartet of Delorge, Bocat, Fujita and Barnes completed the list with one hit behind their names.

Brent Staessens
Brent also whistled this match one month ago, and he was also the matchkeeper of the only match (Kortrijk vs Westerlo) that Bart Goor led as T1. In his already 96 previous professional matches, he put the ball on the dot 29 times, including twice for our Kemphans. KVC Westerlo is the team he has whistled the most in his eight-year career. On Easter Sunday, this will be the 13th time.

Text and statistics: Peter Boons