Former professional players train with youth players of KVC Westerlo

With 546 youth players divided over 41 youth teams, KVC Westerlo’s youth work is in full swing. The new youth complex has become the beating heart of ’t Kuipje. Six former professional football players: Bart Goor, Bart Deelkens, Kevin Vandenbergh, Kristof Van Hout, Wouter Corstjens and Stein Huysegems, are part of the trainers’ staff of KVC Westerlo. We brought them together for this interview.

“Our youth training has 223 players at national level, 257 at regional level, 21 women and 45 G footballers”, says Kurt Van Diest, the head of youth training at KVC Westerlo. “It is a great honour to be able to manage a sports team of 200 people. The key to our success is that these people have the KVC Westerlo DNA at their disposal so that there is a good synergy between trainers, delegates, youth staff, etc. Our starting point is that we want every young person with a focus on family & school to enjoy the game of football at his/her level and try to develop everyone’s football talent as much as possible in a qualitatively and pedagogically responsible manner. The fact that our club KVC Westerlo is as bustling as ever and that our entire youth work is a very important pillar is an open door. In recent years, our youth training staff has also been expanded to include a number of former professional players. Five of the six have a history as football players at KVC Westerlo and they all think in the ‘WE’ form. Their experience as professional football players is an absolute added value for our youth training. The great thing is that they are all eager to learn and are open to tips from our other trainers”.

Bart Goor is currently training the NU11 of KVC Westerlo. “I actually unexpectedly rolled in,” says Bart Goor. “My youngest son is playing here in Westerlo. Last season they had a trainer too short for his team and I was asked if I was happy to help the team. Actually, it’s not that bad. I like to do it. I don’t have a trainer’s diploma, but like other former players I carry a lot of luggage with me. I try to give that experience to these young players. “

Bart Deelkens has been a goalkeeper in Westerlo for four seasons. He played twelve seasons at KVC Westerlo and counts more than 250 caps. “We have three goalkeeper coaches in Westerlo”, he says. “Together with Peter Verhaegen, I train the goalkeepers of the national U10 to U15. As a player I have had twelve beautiful years here and I see this as a kind of return to the club. I get a lot of satisfaction from training these youngsters. They all do their best. By training them for a number of years, you also see them grow. By attracting a third goalkeeper, we were able to divide the work more. We now also have more time to watch the goalkeepers in their matches.

Kevin Vandenbergh started training the NU7 two years ago, a team he still has under his care today. “The training has always interested me,” says Kevin. “Meanwhile I have my UEFA A-diploma and am taking the Pro Licence course with Kristof Van Hout”. In the meantime, Kevin has also been added to the Academy’s training staff. “I’m training the strikers of the U16 and U18 here. I am trying to pass on my experience as a former professional player. As a former striker it’s easier to empathise with certain situations and communicate them to the players.”

Kristof Van Hout is still active at KVC Westerlo as a professional player. He combines this with a job as a trainer at the Academy. “Last year the club asked me whether I was interested in becoming a trainer for the Academy,” says Kristof. “I’ve been following various training courses for over six years and I took this opportunity with both hands. I am also very happy to be able to combine it with life as a professional football player. I’ve been playing in Westerlo for several years now anyway and I know the house. It is the ideal place to grow further. I wear

Anyway, a certain baggage of good and not so good things from my player’s career that I can now try out and give to the younger players.

Wouter Corstjens has played for KVC Westerlo for ten seasons. “I have played 222 official matches for KVC Westerlo”, says Wouter. “At the moment I still play football for Patro Eisden. Since this season, call it ‘butterfly trainer’, I am at the Academy. I skipper between the different teams and lend a hand where they need me. In the same way I guide the defenders and assist them with advice and deeds. If all goes well, I will get my UEFA A-diploma at the end of this year. Giving training to young people has always interested me. Eric Reenaers contacted me to ask if I wanted to join the training staff of the Academy. At Patro we train in the afternoon. So it’s good to combine it with the job in Westerlo”.

Stein Huysegems is the only old pro in the list who has no past in ’t Kuipje. “My son started playing football here last season”, says Stein. “I never had the intention of becoming a trainer. Just say that I rolled in here at the request of the club. I train the provincial U11 here. Actually, I like to work with these young players. I don’t have a trainer’s diploma, but I am very well supported here by the other trainers and the youth board of the club”.

Article from De Kemphaan
Author: Leo Brouwers

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