New contract for 'Samoise van de Gantoise': “I want to experience a few more good seasons here”

The 20-year-old thoroughbred from Ghent is without a doubt one of the strongholds of the Ghent troops, who, under the leadership of Hein Vanhaezebrouck, steamed to a fourth cup victory in the blue and white club history. “I am very satisfied, because it is still a good moment to be able to sign. This is somehow also a reward for the past season. That gives me a boost and this is an incentive to continue like this.”

For many young players, Samoise is without a doubt an inspiration and figurehead. “I didn’t always have a great example in the past, but it’s nice that I can now inspire those guys. I have made great strides on many points: tactically, but my flank crosses have also improved a lot. The more you play in that position, the better it succeeds. Of course, I didn’t really get into that situation in the past when I played more centrally.”

© ID/ Lieven Van Assche

“Of course you always hope for a new contract, but this season has gone beyond all expectations. There is no doubt about that. It is obvious that I am now also taking a step financially. To celebrate? Maybe have dinner with the family, but the performance on the field takes precedence. I do realize that expectations are completely different next season. But once you’re on the field, you don’t think about that.”

Thanks to this new contract, AA Gent is also assured of an extended stay for Samoise in the Ghelamco Arena. Although that was actually a foregone conclusion for the 20-year-old from Ghent. “Yes, there was also interest from other clubs, but for me that was not an option now. It was clear to me that I really like football at AA Gent. I live ten minutes from the stadium, this is the club of my heart and I can go there by bike.” (laughs)

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“I did not conduct the negotiations, I left that to my manager. I kept out of that as much as possible, but of course they kept me informed,” said Samoise, who already dares to formulate new goals. “I would like to be even more decisive, but that can be done in different ways. Sometimes it’s simple things. Defensively, I might still be able to take some steps, especially in one-on-one situations or in header duels. You can train for that. If you improve by half a percent everywhere, that makes a big difference, doesn’t it.”

Dreaming of the title

Despite all the praise and accompanying contract adjustments, Samoise remains his sober self. “I have a bit more experience now, because it makes sense that you can’t be a key player if you only have ten matches to your name. But you also gradually grow in that.”

Yet Samoise does not link his fate to that of Hein Vanhaezebrouck. “No, I would have stayed anyway, no matter who is the coach here. Hein is of course a good trainer and I also broke through under him, but that played no role. I want to have a few more good seasons here. I don’t look too much into the future, now the play-offs take precedence and then we look at next season. To dream? Everyone has that, eh, but I want to perform well here. The title would have been nice.”

© BELGA

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