Mike Vanhamel goes 100!
On Sunday Mike Vanhamel will play his 100th match for Beerschot. “Here I found my club and my home. Feeling the confidence from the board, the coaching staff, the players and fans gives me power. I am at ease here.” To celebrate this milestone and after three clean sheets in a row our goalkeeper/captain picks five significant games he played for Beerschot… and looks ahead to the derby.
“I’d rather talk about our team performances than about my own achievements now we have found defensive stability. Full credit to all the players and the coaching staff for that recent 7 points out of 9. As a goalkeeper I enjoy those three clean sheets and my part in it. The fact that my 100th match for Beerschot is the derby against Antwerp is a real bonus and something to look forward to.”
Vanhamel’s impact at Beerschot has been stupendous from day one. Since his arrival on 15th May 2018 he only missed one game when reserve goalkeeper Antoine Lejoly got his chance to prove himself on the highest level during Play Off 2. But what are Mike’s five most important games in the process?
05/08/2018 - TUBEKE-BEERSCHOT 3-3
“My very first game for the club, so this will always be of significance. We played a good game but I could and should have done better by two of the goals we conceded. So it was a bit of a false start for me… and it was obvious people were a bit skeptical. Understandably. I didn’t lose confidence in myself though. After that game the board and the coach made clear that I was and would remain their first choice as goalkeeper. I am still grateful for that.”
30/08/2019 – BEERSCHOT-UNION 1-0
“Game number four of the 2019-2020 campaign and we had to win to keep our place high in the table. Very important as Union hadn’t lost a single point at the time. It was a difficult match for Beerschot against a strong opponent who were given a penalty sixteen minutes from the end. I saved Teuma’s spot kick, and one minute later Fessou Placca scored the winner at the other end. Saving that penalty and winning that game only sixty seconds later was a magic moment for me. It gave myself, the team and the supporters an enormous boost.”
08/03/2020 – BEERSCHOT-OHL 1-0
“The first leg of the promotion final. My choice to pick this particular game and not the second, decisive one is because that match was played in a full house. The whole day was unforgettable. We were full of confidence and we got another boost when we arrived at the Olympic Stadium two hours before the game and thousands of our fans were there welcoming us. The atmosphere during the game itself was electric too. It still gives me goose bumps when I think of it. It makes you realise how we miss our fans during this long covid-19 period…”
“We should have won that game by a bigger margin, but on the other hand I was able to prevent Henry from scoring Leuven’s so important equaliser. It proved to be a significant save and I guess that was the moment the fans opted for me for the “Manneke of the Season” award. Being chosen as the best player was a fantastic feeling. Getting the respect from the supporters and creating a bond with them is a very important factor for me.”
10/08/2020 – OOSTENDE-BEERSCHOT 1-2
“One week after winning that second leg of the Promotion Final in Division 1B and promotion we already started the new season in the top flight. I remember feeling so proud leading out the team in Oostende, as this was the crowning achievement of Beerschot’s long and successful seven years fightback to the top. One of the most intense moments in my career. And then we scored in the very first minute of the game as well. The perfect start. It was our statement to the Belgian football world: “Hello, Beerschot is back!”
30/01/2021 – OHL-BEERSCHOT 0-1
“The last game of a long, physically and mentally demanding January month. There in Leuven we put a stop to a less successful period and the downward flow we had got into. After a disappointing ‘2 points out of a possible 21’ Will Still put us back on track, and we regained enthusiasm, energy and confidence. It proves that we have a strong backbone and can fight back. We are mentally resilient and our togetherness makes us strong. On a personal note I think I may say that I have made some crucial saves the last couple of weeks. Full credit though to my defenders and the good organization at the back. We have the feeling we are unbeatable again…”
And now on Sunday the big derby: Beerschot v Antwerp. How confident are you? “Very much so. With our fighting spirit and us picking up points again I dare say we can match Antwerp. At the same time we have to show respect to our opponents and be apprehensive. We must realize we will have to fight hard to get a result. But we aim to get the three points on Sunday. The only good result for a derby is a win. Need I say more?”