There is still no successor at the Belgian Cats for Philip Mestdagh as national coach. In recent weeks it has been buzzing with rumors and sounding names such as Lucas Mondelo (Spain), Fred Dusart (French, Castors Braine) and Marina Maljkovic (Serbia) have been reviewed. However, the Belgian Thibaut Petit and the Frenchman Valery Demory are in pole position.
Thibaut Petit would be in the top drawer. The 41-year-old Waal, who includes ex-Castors and Lugana Tigers (Switzerland), is currently working as an assistant coach of Dynamo Kursk. The Russian team also plays in the Euroleague. Last season he won the French Cup with the Montpellier and with Julie Allemand in the ranks.
In the French media, the name of Valery Demory (58) has been sparkling for several days as the successor to Philip Mestdagh. The French coach, who won the title twice as a player at Limoges and played 121 times for France, is the successor of Thibaut Petit at Montpellier. In 2016 he was already working for Montpellier and won the league title. Ex-NBA star Tony Parker brought him to ASVEL Lyon, the club where he is chairman/owner. In 2019, and with Julie Allemand, Demory became champion with Lyon.
Foreigner or Belgian?
General Manager Koen Umans of the Belgian Cats indicated that the new national coach will be presented this week. Another Belgian and therefore Thibaut Petit or a foreigner for the third time? However, the previous two foreigners were not a success. Frenchman Laurent Buffard had to lead the Cats to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That went wrong at the European Championship of 2007. The Belgian Cats were only seventh. German Olaf Stolz, who became national team coach in 2008, also brought no success to the Cats and was quickly forwarded.
November 11 starts European Championship qualifying round in Bosnia
White smoke should be expected soon. On November 11, the Belgian Cats will start the European Championship qualifying round in Bosnia and on November 14 they will receive Germany in Kortrijk. Macedonia is the third opponent of the Cats in the race to a fourth consecutive European Championship. The European Championship will be contested in Slovenia/Israel in 2023.