Atabey Cicek : The first thing I bought here was a bike.
In mid-August, KVC Westerlo joined forces with Atabey Cicek, a 25-year-old Turkish striker who played with Samsunspor last season. In the cup match against Hades he gave his business card by scoring three times. Cicek lives on an apartment in Meerhout and can enjoy walking and cycling in peace and quiet in the many forests of the Kempen.
The Turkish striker came over from Istanbul Basaksehir, but played last year on a rental basis at Samsunspor. He played 29 official matches here, scored eleven times and gave six assists. Cicek signed a one-year lease with Westerlo, with an option to purchase. It is also his first foreign adventure. “My goal was always to play soccer in Europe someday,” it sounds like. “In recent years, Belgium has built up a solid reputation in terms of the flow of talented players. Through Vice President Hasan Cetinkaya and team manager Batur Soydas, I came into contact with Westerlo. A club with ambition, where I feel very much at home. Since Berke Özer and Baris Alici played here, the club has been popular and Turkey. Hasan Cetinkaya, who is very well known in Turkey, has put this Kempen club in the spotlight there”.
In the cup match against Hades he immediately gave his business card at his first base place by scoring three times. “This was a very nice entry. They were indeed my first playing minutes for KVC Westerlo. Being able to score three times immediately gives me a lot of satisfaction. This is the result of all the hard work on training. I feel better every day and already feel at home here. I was well received here and with Berke and Baris I have two compatriots with whom I spend a lot of time. I realize that there is a lot of competition here. Everyone has their own qualities, but I hope in time to enforce a basic place. I also know that the level in 1B is higher than the game against Hades, but this was good for trust anyway. I have shown myself and when I get my chance in the coming weeks, I will grab it with both hands”.
“I came to Westerlo to learn and gain experience. I estimate the Belgian competition to be higher than the Turkish competition. For me this is the ideal step to further develop my career. My first goal is to graduate with Westerlo to 1A and to shine there. Who knows, this might be the step for me to move on to a large European team. It has always been my dream to come and play in Europe. That dream has now come true”.
Atabey Cicek lives alone in an apartment in Meerhout. “I hang out a lot with Berke and Baris”, he continues. “In my spare time I take an English course. I want to master that as soon as possible. I also often go walking in the woods and cycling. The first thing I bought here was a bike. I can enjoy cycling between the fields and woods. It is quiet living here in the Kempen. I enjoy it to the fullest.