"I ENJOY OUR FANS' SUPPORT IMMENSELY"
After almost one year of unavailability through injury Marius Noubissi finally made Beerschot's starting XI again last Sunday against Standard. And he played the whole ninety minutes. We are five days later now and he is still smiling.
"I am happy and very relieved, didn't feel any after pains or other worries, so I think I can say I can put all those injury problems behind me now", our 24 year old Cameroonian striker says. "At last as it has been a frustrating period. First a rapture in my calf, then an inflamed achilles tendon injury, which was very delicate. The rehabilittion was lang and difficult but went smoothly thanks to physiotherapist Lieven Maesschalck, who did a brilliant job. Also mentally."
"But everyone at Beerschot played its part as well: the coaching staff, my team mates and our fans. And on top of that there was the African community in the city of Antwerpen who helped me a lot. Didier Lamkel Zé from Antwerp for instance became a good friend. We didn't meet up very often but I enjoyed his text messages and phone calls. He is a good guy. Did I ever worry about not getting fully fit again? Not really. I never panicked although the whole rehabilitation process took its time. I always kept a cool head and trained very hard. And look now: I'm back!"
Against Standard you fitted in well into the team from the start and had a good game. You even could have scored - or should have scored - halfway the second half...
"Indeed. It is a pity I was unable to finish off my raid on the left wing. I was in a good scoring position but unfortunately my shot wasn't on target. Passing the ball wide towards Bamba Sanyang wasn't an option. And only one minute later we conceded a goal that proved to be the only one in the game. That 0-1 defeat left us with a sour taste in the mouth. Our team performance wasn't too bad though. That's how our fans felt too. The way they supported us for the whole ninety minutes was just incredible."
You have become the fans' hero.
"I feel utmost respect for our supporters. They are warmhearted and passionate. I can't thank them enough for their good luck wishes when I was out injured. Before coming to Beerschot I played in the Finnish first division but I never felt the love and the same involvement there. Maybe that is not a big surprise as football isn't the most important sport over there. In Finland ice hockey rules."
Who is the best player you have played with so far?
"Jan Van den Bergh. He is great. In all areas. And I also rate Ryan Sanusi very highly. It is comforting and good to know he's playing behind you. This gives me a lof of confidence."
This weekend Beerschot travel to champions Club Brugge. Remember last season: a 1-0 win with a goal from Rapha Holzhauser, brilliantly set up by Marius Noubissi.
"What a sweet memory that still is. Wouldn't it be great if we could do that all over again on Sunday. We know we probably will be under pressure from the first minute there, but that doesn't bother me. On the contrary. As far as I'm concerned it motivates me. I feel we should learn from our decent performance against Standard and play with more confidence and belief in ourselves. Seeing Ryan Sanusi fall away through a knee injury is a huge blow but on the other hand there was that nice hopeful debut of Soumaré when he came on late in the Standard game, while our new Scottish striker left a good impression on the training pitch this week. Beerschot are getting stronger and we shouldn't panic despite our poor start of the season with just one point out of a possible twelve. We must and will bounce back."
By Danny Geerts