Posted in Player Interview

Player Interview: Aleksandar Boljevic 

On Wednesday I made the long journey to Waasland Beveren to talk to Montenegrin attacker Aleksandar Boljevic. A player who has helped his side climb to fifth in the table with attacking flair and a real team effort. He was open, honest and humble after heady heights early in his career as he reflects on a fantastic past and hopefully an even better future now settled in Belgium. 

How have you found life in Belgium and do you feel you’ve adjusted to life in your second season at the club?

Its good. The first year was a little bit difficult because I was in Holland for three years and I change everything and the country. It was difficult to find everything. Now it’s nice, especially about football. First year I change teammates and club, but now everything is okay. 

Moving from PSV Eindhoven to Beveren, how did you find that mentally regarding expectation level and stature of club?

It was difficult because PSV are a really big club. It was an amazing time. Then I come here and I cannot say we’re a small club, but we are smaller than PSV. Everything is changing because in my first 3 months I look at everything as bigger. I try to change my mind, change everything. The second year started really well for me and the team and now it’s good. Better…much better.

I noticed whilst at FK Zeta you were heavily beaten by PSV. Were those matches almost like trial matches? You must’ve performed well to then be signed by the club who defeated you so heavily

Yeah true. It’s nice to be part of a team like that. I play with Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay, big players. The coaches, Van Nistelrooy, Van Bommel, Cocu. Was amazing. But for me it was one big, nice experience where I can learn from these guys. They taught me a lot. I go there at 17. They all helped me a lot. Now I am here and I have learned so much more, but it’s more easier now that I have come from there (PSV)

Football wise, how was it growing up in Montenegro?

For me everything is different. In Montenegro it’s the most popular sport, but it’s not so good. Coming as a 16/17 year old to PSV was incredible. Was really, really difficult because all I know is running, and then I go Holland and it’s strong passing in the first few months and then it’s like I learn football from the beginning because I think ‘Okay, I’m a good player’, but then I go PSV and I think there’s a difference between a professional player and a good player and then I have to start everything again. 

Who did you idolise whilst growing up in Montenegro?

For me, my idol was Vucinic at Roma. Now the best player is Stevan Jovetic. Vucinic was amazing. He was a crazy player. When he wanted to play he’d play and then sometimes he was like ‘I don’t give a fuck!’.

Did you feel you were given much of a chance at PSV Eindhoven?

When I came over I was given a one year contract. Then after that I was given a contract for three years and I thought things were going well for me. In the first half of my first year I was in Jong PSV and it was going really good. I was top goalscorer and then they like me in the first team. I would then do everything with them. I go to training camp with them. I was selected for all the games and I make my debut against Cambuur, few minutes, and I was thinking, okay I was young and in the team and I was thinking ‘that’s it. I’m in the team’ and that was my mistake because it changed my head. I bought a car. I was totally clear in my head. I think they could’ve really given me a chance but then I think maybe I don’t deserve it. I was thinking about everything but not about football. I think it was a really nice experience for me.

Was there enough guidance for you to make you think ‘just focus on the football and then everything will then come?’

I had my family and agent always with me. I was listening but it was going in here and then going there (whilst gesturing to his head and ears). I learned, if anything, too much at PSV but I think I could’ve done more there, but now I was maybe too young.

Did you know much about the Pro League before you came to Belgium?

I really didn’t know, no. Okay I’m a professional player. I know Anderlecht but I never followed it no. It was nothing special. Also whilst I was at PSV I know I had to make the next step but no I never followed the Pro League. That’s why I had a difficult first year because I knew nothing about the League. In Holland it’s more about football, but in Belgium it’s more about physical, that’s why I have a big problem in beginning.

Last season the club finished 14th and were in a tough play off group. How did you feel the season went for you personally?

Its interesting. The humour is different between Holland and Belgium. I had to find out how to be with other players. If I say something here they look at me differently and I say ‘what the fuck is this?’ You know? It’s an interesting question. But now it’s going well. I have to find who I can play with. Also here it’s better now than last year. But you know you have to have some guys who speak French, then some who speak Dutch.

I totally understand as there is more than one language spoken, depending on where in the country you are

That’s why it’s sometimes difficult. At lunch you have a Dutch table, and a French table there and then a rest of the world. This year we’re altogether and it’s much better.

Coming towards the end of last season I felt Cedomir Janevski would be on his way out. How was he with you and as a coach?

Going back, when I first came here it was difficult for the club. But this year it’s much better to be here, much better atmosphere for the club. Last year was all about survival. Cedomir, you know he was a good person. He was a good coach. He also came at a tough time for the club. He was fired at the end but he was good because he spoke some of the same language as me because he is from Macedonia. I didn’t play much under him but in the play off I played much more. It was just important that we stayed in the division. Because of that I feel we’ve grown and become a better team.

Phillipe Clement took his place of course. How has it been playing under him?

Cause he came from Club Brugge, he have bigger goals. Sometimes it’s good but sometimes he expects more from us. Of course at Brugge there are more technical players. It was a little bit difficult in the beginning cause I felt he asked more from us, but for young players, like me and others, it’s good. I feel he is improving this team. The level is much better. For me I’m thankful I can work with him because sometimes in a game I need extra motivation and he is always there to push you. You can sometimes have a bad game, but when you see him, you can at least always try. When he is next to the line you always try for him and the team. That’s why I like him as my coach cause he push me to the maximum.

He seems to have created an exciting, more attacking side. Did he say that was an aim at the start of the season?

He tried to play and bring with him what he had at Brugge. We have quality in this team and we try to play football. I was surprised in a way because we had really good preparation in pre season. It showed we can play against big teams and in the beginning I was really happy and we play good football. People talk about us as a surprise you know. We had this quality in the team before but we needed someone to get it out of us. Now he is here it is perfect.

You have the joint 4th best home form in the league. Did Clement focus on getting points at home when he joined?

When Clement came here he said our aim is to stay in the league. When we start we took a point against Genk, next game we continue, we kept going and then people start to talk about us, so one meeting he said ‘keep going but don’t lose focus. If we lose two games we’re down again.’ We just go game by game, but now we start to talk and think because we’re nearly halfway through and if we stay in the top 6, in the first half of the season, why not the second half? No looking back and just go for it!

I was worried for Beveren when Zinho Gano left because you lost 2 in a row. How vital did you feel he was for the team and how great is Isaac Kiese Thelin and Ryota Morioka?

We start really well with him and then you could see in the mangers face he was angry. We let him (Zinho Gano) go. We played good football. To lose the best striker from the team, you can’t just go out and buy a striker like him. We’re not Manchester United and spend millions trying to replace him. After a few games we tried different combinations with me and a striker, wingers, fake striker. At first I was scared but then we think we go again. But after they find Thelin. At PSV they had De Jong and now I think Thelin is a quality striker. He is perfect. You don’t have to give him a good ball or cross and he puts it in the goal and makes me look good.

On social media, some Anderlecht fans said they don’t want him back…

This guy has scored 8 goals you know. Of course he is on loan and we can’t keep him. I think he is progressing really fast. For sure they’ll take him back after this year. If we lose a striker like him we have to start again and get a new striker.

I was speaking to a Beveren fan on Twitter about Morioka after the Zulte Waregem match and they’re worried they’re going to lose him. To be honest, he is fantastic… 

This is true. It’s like this with not so big clubs because you can’t keep these players if a club comes along with a big offer. What are you going to do? You have to let him go. We’ll try and do our best this season and then we’ll see next season what will happen. I don’t know how but I want us to stay as a team next year. But yeah, it’ll be really difficult to keep Morioka.

Lastly, how close do you feel to getting into the national side now that you’re playing regularly at Beveren?

I think if I continue to play like this and sometimes I think a team can make players. With me and the team playing like this I have a chance. Montenegro national team isn’t like Belgium. I feel I could make the qualifiers next campaign. Before we had an older team but now I feel we’ll have a better chance next year with younger players.

After the interview, we shook hands and I had a 2 mile walk to the station!  A really enjoyable and honest conversation with a young talent who seems to have learned from his mistakes and really does seem to have Beveren in his heart. With the season going so well for Beveren, I just hope Boljevic kicks on too and both succeed come May! 

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Posted in Player Interview

Player Interview: Diawandou Diagne

This Thursday I finally met the ever present KAS Eupen player Diawandou Diagne. On a very wet lunch time in East Belgium, I managed to travel through Cologne and Aachen, down into the small town where amongst the residential areas stood a stadium that looked almost brand new. After a brief wait where every player not only exchanged pleasantries, they also introduced themselves before I even had the chance to say hello. With such manners from such a young squad, I could tell De Pandas coming through The Aspire Academy were being taught more than just football.

When I finally had the chance to sit with the defender/midfielder in a casual setting, the interview took place in a slightly noisy lunch room in the players lounge.

So Diawandou, how do you feel the season has gone?

Not bad. The season was good because our aim was to stay in the first division and we made it. Now we’re in the play offs. Our objective was to be first and play the final of the play offs, but that didn’t happen so our aim is to play and win and finish the season well. For me, the season was good.

After the last minute draw against Standard Liege I thought you may have been relegated. Did the team ever doubt themselves and think they’d go down?

We never gave up. Our aim was to stay in this division. That game was here and they equalised but the team never dropped their level because everybody was saying ‘we can do it’. We can be in the first division and we had to keep fighting. We need to deal with some mistakes we were creating because we were doing so many in the last minute, losing so many points in the last minute like Standard here and Lokeren here too. If we wanted to stay up we needed to stop doing this.

To be more discplined as a group?

We need to be more organised. At the start we did a lot of running for each other for the team, because that’s the most important thing.

Did you think age was a factor? With such a young squad, do you think that may have came into play?

That’s true, because we are the youngest team in Belgium. We have so many here with not much experience. Some day they come from the academy in Africa and then they’re playing in the first division. It is not easy for them because to deal with the climate, fans, teams, etc. It’s not easy because sometimes in the academy you play in tournaments, but here you’re playing for your family, your living and the club.

So do you see football more difficult now that it’s your job?

Yes because for me, professional football is not easy. It’s really difficult because 5 years ago you’re at the academy, living isn’t the same. Now you’re in your own house, eating here (at the club) and you have to deal with just yourself. In the academy everything was done for you. It’s not the same. 

On a personal note, how do you think you’ve performed this season?

For me it was good because last season I played a little bit because of my shoulder. After that I had an operation and missed a lot of the season, but this season was good for me. I’ve played almost every game and I feel this year was a good season for me.

You’ve only kept four clean sheets in the league all season. Would you feel you need to work more on the defensive side?

For me the first target is to defend well. We are a team where nearly every game we score at least 1 goal, but after we score we concede. For me the manager will need to deal with it for next season. To prepare to defend very well because our problem is to defend because we concede a lot. Defence for me is when everyone defends!

Because of your versatility, where is your preferred position?

I prefer to play in midfield. But if the manager says play in the centre (of defence) or left back or right back, I need to play to help the team because of injury and you need to help the coach.

Is there anyone you tried to base your game on as a child?

No…When you are a kid you just play. At Aspire they played me in many positions.

Did Aspire play you in all different positions to see where you fit and performed well?

They were doing that. For me, every position was not difficult.

You have left here and come back a couple of times. Do you feel at home in Belgium?

Yeah I feel at home here. I was here for 2 years, then went to Spain, and then come back and I knew Belgium. I feel comfortable here. I feel at home here and with this club and the supporters it’s really good. I feel great here.

I think I counted 17 African players at Eupen. Does that make you feel more comfortable at the club and does your experience of being here help them settle here too?

Every African player here, you have to make them feel at home. You need to make them feel better the first year because Belgium is really really good. You need to adapt to the weather and the league and to life in Europe.

Because you’ve said it’s really good here, do you think the Pro League is under appreciated?

The thing with Belgium is that it’s a league where other leagues look at the players. It’s not a top, top, top league. It’s still good but not the level of England or Germany or France. You see from this year Anderlecht and Genk go far in the Europa League.

Are there many differences between the Pro League and Spanish football?

Its not the same level as in Spain it’s so high. Almost all the teams want the ball, whereas here, sometimes here they wait for a corner or a free kick because they have so much height in the team. It’s different between here and Spain.

You say that because I love that in England you have Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham who play one style. Then you have West Brom, Stoke City and Crystal Palace who play another way. Do you like a mixed league like here in Belgium?

I do like that. You have Manchester City and Tottenham who can play both and mix it up. For me, England has the best football in the world. You can’t compare it with anywhere else. Very tough, very strong. To be in England you have to work really hard.

How good is the Aspire Academy?

For me, Aspire is the best in the world because you learn more than just football. You go to school in the morning and the afternoon and work hard. They have great facilities to play football.

Because the club has a lot youngsters, do you feel the club could eventually achieve something now that you’ve stayed up and reached the Croky Cup semi final?

I think it’s possible. We got to the semi final of the cup and stayed up. We have the top scorer (at the time). It’s not easy coming from the second division. For me the manager will have to deal with a lot of what we’ve already said first.

You mentioned the top scorer, do you think Henry Onyekuru will be here next season?

No. I think he’ll go. Many clubs are looking at him and for me he has had a great season and deserves more.

Do you know where he may go?

No I don’t. Many clubs like him and only he will decide where to go. For me I wish him all the best for wherever he goes. He is a great player and a great person.

Do you think it’s a negative if he leaves Belgium? With Tielemans going and the better players leaving?

No. They have to go and progress. We have great players coming through in Africa and Qatar and they can come and make it.

Picking up only 2 yellows cards is impressive. What do you feel is your best attribute?

For me it’s tough not to get a yellow card in defensive midfield. But I need to keep working and improving for next season because now the clubs know more about us.

Who is the toughest player you have come up against this season?

Lukasz Teodorczyk

Why was he so tough?

Its not that his good technically, but he’s very strong and in the air too. And Hans Vanaken is very, very good. He impressed me also.

Do you feel you’ve warranted more starts for Senegal?

YEAH!

Did you feel Senegal were unlucky in the AFCON this season?

I feel we are the best team in Africa!

Lastly I decided to take the opportunity to ask about Saido Mane for my friend who is a massive Liverpool fan!

How good is Saido Mane?

We talk a lot. He is a top player, best player for Senegal.

I think he is quality and Liverpool are worse without him. What do you think?

For me, he is the best player in the Premier League this season!

As the interview came to an end, we simply shook hands as I was grateful that not only the player took time out his day for a chat, but the club arranged the chance for me to talk to him in the first place. A club that looked like they were here to stay in the Pro League, progression certainly looks on the cards for everybody involved at Eupen!

Posted in Player Interview

Player Interview: Jordan Mustoe

With one Englishman down this season, I managed to catch up with the other remaining Brit plying their trade across in Belgium…But unfortunately not for too much longer.

After a short chat regarding where and when was best for the Scouser, Jordan Mustoe was more than happy to save me some time travelling, and money if I’m honest, and arranged a telephone interview Friday night.

The polite Westerlo left back was on his way to Manchester, via Amsterdam, and took some of his time out to talk a little bit about Belgium, Martinez and…Chinese?:

So Jordan, hows life been in Belgium the 2 years you’ve been over there?

Yeah been here 2 years and I’ve really enjoyed it. First couple of months were a little difficult, new experience for me, but after 3 or 4 months it became my home.

Have you tried learning the language?

NO. I had a go at the start but it was too difficult. I managed to pick a few of the words up but i found it too difficult. I’d rather just speak English really.

So how did the move to Westerlo actually come about?

My manager from Evo Management, he works with someone in London, and then he got in contact with an English guy who’s been living in Bruges for 25 years and he was close with the Westerlo manager, Dennis van Wijk, so I ended up going on a four day trial there.

Now that you’ve moved abroad, would you prefer to stay abroad?

Now that I’ve played abroad, I think it opens me up to more teams abroad. I might have a better chance of a good team coming out of the Belgian league. I’ve told my management that I’m open to offers anywhere in the world really.

Because your contract is up at the end of the season isn’t it?

Yeah it’s finished. We’re all looking for offers right now to see what we can do.

Are there any offers for you right now?

They’re trying to sort something out. I’m not sure if Westerlo will offer me something but to be honest, I don’t think going to the second division is a right move for me. But it is early doors isn’t it. I’m relaxed about it. No need to start panicking…Until July (with a slight laughter).

Why do you think English players tend to stay at home?

I was the same. I didn’t think I’d end up in Belgium or Europe anyway. I’m happy I came across and I think more players from England should. It’s a better standard than League 2/ League 1. If you do go abroad, it’s a different style of play which may suit certain players.

Would you say there’s been an improvement in Belgium, especially the way teams have performed in the Europa League?

I’d say a little bit yeah to be honest. You get more recognised when you do have these teams in the Champions League and Europa League performing better. I’m not sure if I recognise that myself because I’m in Belgium and I play in the Belgian league cause when I was back in England, I wasn’t paying attention to any Belgian teams.

You had a good run in the side and then didn’t feature at all. How frustrating was that for you?

Yeah it was frustrating. I had a run of 14 games. I started off out of the team and then the manager changed, put me in for these 14 games, lost a few on a run, changed the defence and then won and drew the next 2 games, which was my luck. That was a bit unfortunate for me but that’s swings and roundabouts in football. Like when I first got in the team, we went on a good run. But it is frustrating. I’m used to playing games from January til the end of the season and then I’d get a contract and wherever I go next, hopefully these lack of games won’t affect me too much in the future.

You’ve had 4 managers in you short spell at the club. Has that affected you off the pitch as well as on? That’s the equivalent of having a manager every 6 months after all.

It affects me when I’m not playing, but with each manager I had spells as their No.1 full back, even recently, in December I had a conversation with the manager saying I want you to play the next game, you’re the strongest full back I have at the club and literally, that was against Standard Liege, I gave away a hand ball, they score a penalty. Afterwards, next game, he changed it. Sometimes it’s a bit of luck you need.

Unfortunately, even though Westerlo are down, who else do you think may go? Silvère Ganvoula M’Boussy has already gone, who do you think may follow?

There’s a lot of of players out of contract so I think a lot will move on. I don’t know if anyone has anything lined up. I think only 5,6 or 7 players are contracted for next season. We’ll have to wait and see.

Speaking of managers previously, did you ever see Roberto Martinez taking over Belgium the way they currently are whilst you were playing under him at Wigan?

His management and tactics, he is very good so it didn’t surprise me but I think he did very well getting the job off of the back of not doing so well at Everton. He had a good go there (at Everton) for a while, but I think in the end, Everton can be a bit of a difficult team to manage, the fans can be hard at Goodison. He deserves a good job.

You were sent out on loan a fair bit at Wigan. How much did that help you with your progression?

I wish I did it earlier. I think I went out at 21, I should’ve done it at 19. But I was doing well in the first team. I should’ve been pushing to go out on loan earlier but in the end it worked out well.

When you were at Liverpool as a kid, was there anyone you tried to base your game on at the club?

To be honest…No. Even now I don’t watch anyone really. It’s just the way I’ve always been. Always been a bit laid back. Never really watched a lot of football when I was younger. I just really enjoyed playing.

So does that mean you didn’t watch Djimi Traore?

No, i never really watched a lot of Djimi (as he slightly chuckled)

Coming towards the end, I thought I’d ask some random questions, just to see how the player was off the pitch, apart from the first…

What were your favourite boots you ever had?

The old Adidas Predators when I was 10,11,12.

What’s your favourite dinner?

Favourite dinner…CHINESE.

Nice

I might have one tonight if I’m home early enough!

What do you usually have?

Sweet & sour chicken, to be honest, I usually get a banquet and we all share.

So what cartoons did you watch as a child?

The Simpsons. I never watched much telly but never missed The Simpsons.

And where is your favourite holiday destination?

Vegas or Dubai. Different holidays. Both top level. Vegas was a good one!

And on that note I thanked him, wished him good luck with next season, wherever he may turn up, wished him a good Chinese and safe travels. Such a polite player who seemed focussed but maybe a bit down trodden, not only regarding his clubs relegation, but maybe as well, the fact he never got given the chance to help do anything about it on the pitch. I also want to thank the press officer at KVC Westerlo for being so helpful arranging this.

I’ll sign off by saying that I hope Westerlo are able to bounce back from this next season and build for the future!

Courtesy of Getty Images
Posted in Player Interview

Player Interview: Gary Martin

In England there are plenty of Belgians turning out in the Premier League. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne to name a few, but when the shoes on the other foot, only 2 Englishman come to mind and I caught up with one of them on Tuesday. 

I travelled thirty minutes south-west from Antwerp to Lokeren and through a fantastic host of a press officer, we were taken to the Daknamstadion to meet Gary Martin. An interview-come-chat took place and…Well…This is what we said in what sounded like his North West England/Scandinavian accent.
So Gary, hows life so far in Belgium?

Not too bad, more like England than any other country I’ve played in so far. It was a bit tough in the beginning but my girlfriend is coming over in 2 weeks.

So you’ve found it easier to settle compared to everywhere else?

Definitely easier. When I arrived in Iceland I didn’t have a driving license. A lot more people speak English here and I’m more grown up. Iceland was tougher too due to 24hrs of darkness in the winter and 24hrs of light in the summer.

Has the gaffer made you learn any languages so far?

No, but I’m going to do it. I’m waiting for my girlfriend to come over so that we can learn together. Can be a difficult language but I’ll definitely try.

Does that mean you’re here for the long run?

I haven’t found the level of play too hard. I understand that contracts are shorter here than in England. If you play really well, they have to sell you. If you underperform, you run the risk of getting nothing.

For me the Belgian league is on a par with the English Championship and ideally I’d like to stay in Belgium for as long as I can if I don’t go higher.

With 3 teams in the Europa League, what do you think of the standard?

People don’t realise how good this league is. Look at the national team, I’ve come here in my best years at my peak.

I think I counted 15 nationalities in the changing room. Is it easy to communicate?

We all speak English. Perfect for me. They all have their own ways of living. For example, the goalkeeper told the defender in French to leave the ball and I didn’t know and the coach said that’s why you need to learn the language and that plays a big part.

Would you prefer more playing time and do you think the language problem has hindered your starts?

I’ve worked with the coach before so I trust him. I’m working more towards next season. For now, it’s about coming, learning and adjusting. Look, I haven’t had a pre season as the Icelandic league ended in November so I’m just adapting and looking towards next season.

Are you relishing the competition?

Yes. None of the striker’s are like me. I prefer to run in behind. Personally, I’d rather play as a 2 but I’d never tell the coach what to do. He just received a new deal and has said his looking towards next season.

How is your relationship with Rùnar Kristinsson?

Very good. In Iceland his at the top of the tree. If he thinks you’re good then you’re good. I have the upmost respect for him so I’ll only give him 100%.

You’ve basically played abroad your entire career. Would you hope to play back in England one day?
It depends. Personally, I like it here, but if the opportunity ever came up and was right for everyone (me and the club), I’d love to play in Holland 1 day. I’ve lost my English mentality. I’d go to the Championship or a high League 1 side but I’d rather stay abroad.

So in your opinion, why do the top English players stay in England?

I know why. They’re narrow minded. I wasn’t born into a lot of wealth, so when I could play abroad I jumped at it. I know players who are from England and now play in the Europa League in Scandinavia rather than League 2.

What if there was to be a North Atlantic league?

If Anderlecht left it would make the league weaker, but I’d be happy to see the back of them (as he jokingly laughs) all you do is run against them teams. The thing I like is that Belgian clubs know their place. When you see Charleroi, Mechelen and Oostende above Gent and Genk who are performing in the Europa League, it’s no joke.

He then spoke briefly about the changing room saying he missed the banter in England. Iceland and Norway is better for that, but it will never compare to England.

Since you’ve arrived you have had some very tough fixtures.

You’re right. People who know their football know it’s tough in the Pro League, especially away. In Iceland and Norway there was no difference between home and away. 

You mean the crowd?

No, just in quality. But I think we’ve faired well against the top clubs and naive against the lesser sides. I think we believe we’ll overpower the teams below us but the gap isn’t really that big. We’re defensively solid against the top teams and we go away from that against the lower clubs.

So what’s Lokeren’s aim in the Playoffs? 

You never know with playoffs. When you’ve got Gent, Genk and Standard Liege they need Europe. It maybe gives us the chance to play players who haven’t played much, looking towards next season. It’s difficult but not impossible (for Europa League) you never know.

Who did you try and emulate as a child?

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

You a United fan?

I was. I also liked Van Nistelrooy, Mark Viduka when I was at Middlesbrough, but as soon as I saw Fernando Torres, I had to try and play like him.

At the end, on behalf of @PlayingAFH, I asked one question about his coach from Ujpest.

How much influence did Willie McStay have on you in Hungary?

Yeah…Willie McStay and Joe McBride. Willie called me when we played Celtic in a Champions League qualifier and wished me good luck. I’ll never forget that. He had a massive influence on me. Top man. He tried to get me to Scotland when my contract at Boro ended.

After a handshake, Gary looked relieved to get back to training, stood up and left. A comfortable chat and was polite and open throughout. I wished him luck.

After a brief look around and a good football chat, I was driven back to the station by the press officer and I was on my way. 

A humble and welcoming football club, I wish Lokeren the best for this season and beyond.