On Saturday Les Unionistes come to visit ’t Kuipje. After experiencing a great campaign last season, in competition, cup and playoff, they are again at the top of the rankings this year.
They had to say goodbye to their super trio. Percy Tau (Club Brugge), Youssoufou Niakaté (Al-Wahda) and Faïz Selemani (KV Kortrijk) went to other places. In the previous campaign the three of them scored 55 goals. When you know that the whole team was able to use 76 goals, you can see how important these players were for the team. Coach Luka Elsner also made a big impression in his first season. Sporting Charleroi pulled on his sleeve for a very long time. They saw him as the ideal successor for Felice Mazzu. Eventually the French League 1-club SC Amiens came along as well. It was obvious that he could not miss this opportunity.
In the first place they were looking for a new coach. They ended up with the Danish Spaniard Thomas Christiansen. The last club he coached was Leeds United. No small club, we would say… In February 2018 he was dismissed and since then he has been looking for a new challenge. He found it in the Dudenpark. Ex-Red Devil Karel Geraerts became his assistant.
A nice question for a quiz would be: Which player was ever called up for the A-team of Spain, playing for FC Barcelona B and never played for one minute in the main power of the big Barcelona? Answer: Thomas Christiansen!
Also 9 new players entered the game. As a deep striker Sigurd Haugen came over from Sogndal IF. This Norwegian played 15 games with this second division from Norway, where he scored 10 goals and 5 assists. For the flanks to man, came Young (Werder Bremen II), Romero (Zamora FC) and Ahannach (Brighton & Hove Albion). Especially of the latter, the club management hopes that he can become a second Percy Tau.
The midfield was strengthened with Nik Lorbek and Casper Nielsen. The first one is a Slovenian, who was not on the magazine this season. The other is a former Danish U21 player who is currently the club’s top gunner. On six games he already found his way to the goal 3 times and he gave 2 assists. Clearly a player to keep an eye on.
The defensive compartment was strengthened with El Banouhi (Lommel), Bager (Randers FC) and Siebe Van Der Heyden, who was a fixture at FC Eindhoven last season. Before that he was on the payroll of Anderlecht and KV Oostende.
Target is Adrien Saussez. Since 2016, he has been a member of this Brussels club, with which he played 77 times.
In the back from right to left: Argentine Federico Vega, who scored 2 goals last weekend, Moroccan Ismaël Kandouss and Belgians Pietro Perdichizzi (captain) and Anas Hamzaoui. Kevin Kis also claims a place in the base eleven for the left back position, but he is in balance with Hamzaoui.
The midfield consists of the trio Marcel Mehlem, Teddy Teuma and the aforementioned Casper Nielsen. German Mehlem and Frenchman Teuma were also present in the base team last season.
Before the attack it is still a bit of a search. On six matches, three deep strikers have already been tested. First Mathias Fixelles was allowed to try it, nowadays he is manning the flank. Then newcomer Haugen came into play and finally Roman Ferber was in this position. On the right flank we find the fast Serge Tabekou.
Jannick van der Laan is a 24-year-old Dutchman, who is allowed to cross the border for the second time to whistle a match. Early this year (February 2019) he whistled Tubize-OH Leuven (1-3). Only last season he made his debut in professional football. He also has an older brother, Jordie, who is currently playing for Kozakken Boys, a third level club in the Netherlands.