Did you know? Club NXT
Last match of the season. Most probably, we will see some players wearing the Westerlo jersey for the last time. Some players will certainly not be there. Partly due to suspensions or injuries.
Noël Soumah received his fifth yellow card in Deinze and is therefore suspended. Coach Bob Peeters has 2 options there. Either he puts left footed Pietro Perdichizzi there, or Maxime Biset comes into action for his (maybe?) last professional game.
Rubin Seigers has proven in 4 games that he can become the new patron at the back. Looking sharp and with a great presence, he leads the defence. Guy Yamego will be the other central defender. Guy looks like a card collector. In his 4 games played, he got three yellow cards pushed under his nose.
Behind him is Koen Van Langendonck. Against Deinze, he proved once again that he is up there. He made a couple of crucial saves and also played his part.
On the right flank we have Swiss solidity, Léo Seydoux. On Monday he again reached the back line several times. The final decisive pass, however, failed to materialise.
On the left flank we find a block of Ivorian granite. Kouya Mabea replaced Christophe Janssens at half-time in Deinze. The latter experienced some trouble in his knee and will most probably not make the match selection for this last game.
Igor Vetokele’s season is also over. A kick from Seth De Witte on his Achilles tendon ended his season early.
Kader Keïta and Lukas Van Eenoo will in principle play side by side in central midfield. Lukas has statistically played one of his best seasons. Seven goals and five assists are currently on his CV from this season. Never before in his career has he done better.
Simon Paulet or Kyan Vaesen could take Igor’s place. If Simon were to join the team, Lukas would move up a rung in the midfield triangle. Youngster Kyan Vaesen scored his first professional goal last weekend. He was super happy with it. His joyful sound was an expression of that.
Up front are our two boys from Turkey. Baris Alici seemed to be on his way to a world class goal against Deinze. Passing three men as if they were not there, but when deciding on the goal, things went wrong. A kick next to the ball and gone. Atabey Ciçek is our best shooter since Fred Gounongbe in 2016. Atabey has already hit 12 times, Fred scored one more in 2016.
At Club NXT, it is always a matter of guessing who will be in the starting line-up. There is not really a regular team. Only central defender Ibe Hautekiet was in the selection every game. One game, however, he remained on the bench for 90 minutes. This was the case in the first away game of the new year (against Lierse).
Club NXT have scored 22 times this season. Half of that production will not be there on Saturday. Thibo Baeten (6) was sold in the winter. He went to the Dutch Second Division at NEC Nijmegen to try his luck. Left back Maxim De Cuyper (4 goals) will not be there due to an ankle injury.
As you know, the boys of the NXT generation are being prepared for the big work. The following players have already been given a taste of the big brother’s game selection.
Goalkeepers Senne Lammens (7 selections, 0 playing minutes) and Nick Shinton (4 selections, 0 playing minutes).
Defenders Ignace Van der Brempt (21 selections, 400 playing minutes and 1 goal), Nathan Fuakala (4 selections, 0 playing minutes) and the aforementioned Maxim De Cuyper (7 selections, 24 playing minutes).
Also in midfield, players were already transferred to the A-team. Central midfielders Thomas Van den Keybus (13 selections, 167 playing minutes) and Ibrahima Breze Fofana (2 selections, 0 playing minutes) already joined Philippe Clement’s group.
Young attacking wingers Arne Engels and Mathis Servais were both selected to sit on the bench in the Europa League games against Dinamo Kiev at the end of February.
Strikers Badji and Pérez have also featured in a Club NXT match, but are more likely to be seen for the A team.
The captain of the team is Xander Blomme. He stands his ground as a defensive midfielder. He is also the player with the most yellow cards of the team. He was shown six cards and had to leave the field once with a yellow/red card.
Lynnt Audoor and Romeo Vermant have also been in the starting line-up in recent games. A nice fact is that both their fathers also once stood on the field for the big club. Yves Audoor was a promising striker in the 80s. It was the Dutch success coach Henk Houwaart who made him debut in 1984. Sven Vermant is the daddy of Romeo. Sven played in 2 periods at Club Brugge. Between 1993 and 2001, he wore the Brugge jersey 243 times and in 2005, after his period with Schalke 04, he played for the club for another 3 seasons.