Double figures, no injuries and above all an ideal match stimulus: Westerlo coach Jonas De Roeck was satisfied after the generous 11-0 win against City Pirates. “This was a good training, with beautiful combinations and, above all, the feeling of a competition,” said De Roeck
No fewer than 25 players, including three goalkeepers, came into action on Saturday, on a side pitch of the Kuipje and at a sweltering temperature. Internationals Lyle Foster and Edisson Jordanov join today. The injured duo Mathias Fixelles-Kouya Mabea watched from the sidelines. “I don’t think it’s too hot to play myself,” Jonas De Roeck responded with a wink. “Obviously I would have preferred to play this match earlier in the day, but for City Pirates, with some students in the team, that was not feasible. The most important thing was that we had an opponent so early in the season.”
On Friday, Westerlo will receive AA Gent in the Kuipje. “That will be an opponent of a different caliber. Just as I like it in preparation. Teams of that level more easily expose the pain points. For me, the practice matches are the ideal time to try something out. The core has not been finalized yet, certain players will still be leaving and I expect to have our homework ready by the end of August at the latest. Last season our transfers were a bull’s eye. As a club you have to find the right profiles and the acquisitions have to be an added value. I am very happy that we were able to keep the core together and that someone like Tuur Dierckx is back. His goals are an excellent thing for confidence”, Westerlo’s T1 saw a frisky and dribbling-able Dierckx on the wing.
Sinan Bolat completed the last half hour. He came to relieve that other newcomer, Nick Gillekens, in goal.
“It goes fast. First signed a contract, finished my first training at Westerlo more than a week ago and played my first minutes against City Pirates,” says Bolat. “Luckily I didn’t have that much work. (laughs) It was nice to play another game and keep a clean sheet. Friday’s confrontation with my ex-club AA Gent? Phew, it’s a match like any other. With the added bonus that I have played for AA Gent for the past two years. We used our chances very efficiently against City Pirates. With all due respect, but sometimes it went a little too easy. Although it was also to our credit that we performed well.”