Bas Saillart (here against Lyra-Lierse) closes the door to Berchem Sport.

Bas Saillart (here against Lyra-Lierse) closes the door to Berchem Sport. © Tom GOYVAERTS

City Pirates ended the season with two false notes. But the heavy defeats against Houtvenne (3-0) and Eendracht Aalst (1-5) do not affect the remonte of the Merksemnaren. At least confirming next season is now the goal. With experienced reinforcements à la Bas Saillart, who comes over from Berchem Sport.

Stijn Druant

Bas Saillart is not the least, because the 23-year-old winger played in the first team of Berchem Sport for five seasons. “Including that corona year, four full-fledged actually,” laughs the left-footed striker, who has 102 official games for yellow-black to his name. “I look back on a very nice period at Berchem. A nice club, a popular one too. Moreover, one of the best known in Belgium, with a good group of players”, Saillart brings out the censer for the team of Het Rooi. “But at some point it’s time for another air, and then came the call from City Pirates. The ideal next step.”

Saillart didn’t have to think long before taking the plunge. “Coach Kevin Van Haesendonck, whom I of course know well as T2 at Berchem, called me. Our bond was always good, and I know he’s a good team coach. He has already gained a lot of experience, including as T2 of Jonas De Roeck at the time at Berchem. Kevin has already put his stamp on City Pirates, partly because he is a real people manager. The contact with sporting manager Philip Van Dooren also felt good, so I didn’t have to think long. I could see from everything that they really wanted me. Moreover, I know half of the Merksem dressing room and City Pirates plays on artificial grass, which is the ideal surface with my technique. All pluses”, Saillart sums up.

The left leg already has great ambitions in his move to Merksem. “Collectively, the same season as last. They can be proud at City Pirates, because at home against Berchem they were better than us. I would like to have a big impact on the team, especially with my experience as a second amateur. I may only be 23, but I don’t see myself as a very young player anymore. So give me that and goals and assists”, says Saillart, who will of course have to fight for a base place. “But I’m not afraid of competition, because I have quite a lot of confidence in my own abilities. I know that I am a good footballer and that I will gain confidence. Yes, I am hungry, very hungry. And I’m looking forward to it, especially because I needed something new”, concludes the newest addition to City Pirates.

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