Extra youngsters will join first team practice in january

Nine games in 27 days, that’s Beerschot’s schedule for January. “Quite a challenge”, technical manager Sander Van Praet says. “We will have to be at our best.”

“2020 has been a sensational year for Beerschot. The way we fought our way back as title contenders and finally achieved promotion to Division 1A was really impressive. A highlight in our club’s history. Our great start this season makes our achievement even bigger and more glorious. It is a pity though that we were unable to celebrate all of that together with our supporters. I sincerely hope we will be able to get the accolade we deserve on the 13th of January; either with Rapha Holzhauser winning the Golden Boot , or Hernan Losada being voted “Coach of the Year”. They both deserve that prize.”

Beerschot’s form this season has been outstanding. Beating Club Brugge, Racing Genk and Anderlecht resulted in an incredible but ever so deserved “Top of the League”-position after 14 games. Covid-19 problems then broke the rhythm, and after four defeats in a row we now are 7th in the table with one game in hand.

“More than satisfied with the position we are in”, Sander Van Praet continues. “It was kind of  normal we had a downfall as a result of the corona impact. I agree with our coach that maybe our squad was overrated at the time we took pole position. But we are stronger than it may seem after those four defeats. We shouldn’t forget we are newcomers in Division 1A an don’t have the financial means like the top clubs. We are ambitious and realistic at the same time. Not being able to accommodate our fans and subsequently missing income is a severe handicap. But thanks to our great start of the season we find ourselves in a comfortable position right now. There is absolutely no reason to panic or feel uncomfortable. We won’t be tempted to rush into the winter transfer mercato.’

"Despite those four defeats and unfortunate injuries of Tissoudali, Dom, Brogno, Mboko and Halaimia we are good as we are and we remain confident. Okay, our squad at the moment “only” has three goalkeepers and sixteen outfield players. Quite limited, I must admit. But instead of buying new players we opted to give a handful of youth players an opportunity to make the grade in the first team. Mukuna and Ceulemans have been training with the big boys for a couple of months. Mukuna was used as a late substitute already. From this week Ilias Sebaoui and Benjamin Kaissi will also be taking part in Hernan Losada’s training sessions. Two more promising youngsters.”

Instead of buying new players we opted to give a handful of youth players an opportunity to make the grade in the first team.
Sander Van Praet

No winter break, a relatively limited squad and a very busy calendar: this is going to be Beerschot’s testing period. “We are aware that it will be busy and difficult the next couple of weeks. This is the time to show commitment and energy. Prove our resilience. At the start of the season we had two big ambitions: staying up in Division 1A and beating one or two top teams on the way. We have delivered so far… and hope to continue to do so in the future as well. Only the media have been trying to adjust our goals upwards. We remain level headed and will take on every game as it comes. Starting on Sunday against AA Gent. They are in good form at the moment… but we are afraid of no one. Not even in those difficult circumstances.”

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