Sunday 17 July 2022 20:45

Hans Vanaken: “A confidence boost to start the season with a prize”

The Supercup, after beating Gent 1-0, is a first prize of the season for the blue and black. Hans Vanaken, who welcomed a daughter in this world just a few days ago, played ninety minutes after just two weeks preparation.

"It's obviously great to start the season with a prize, eventhough the Supercup isn't as appreciated as it should be. Every prize you can win, you have to give it your all. It's great for the group and it boosts the confidence. I only played 45 minutes during the pre-season, so it was good for me to be able to play ninety minutes today. I realize there's still work to be done, especially physically. But for today I'm just happy that I played the entire game."

In the second half some players showed some fatigue. "It was very hot and it's only logical to not be at your best level at this point. We gave a lot during the first half, with a lot of high pressure during the first thirty minutes. We held on to our lead in the second half and won the Supercup. Looking at the technical and physical aspect, we can do better. We have a lot of internationals in our team who have only been training for two weeks, so that's just normal."

Hans Vanaken
Hans Vanaken

Carl Hoefkens took over from Alfred Schreuder as trainer. Vanaken sees the new coach mainly building on the foundations of his predecessor. "The coach focusess on little different details. It is a bit of building on what we have done in the last half year. He was also Alfred Schreuder's assistant and was comfortable with that football. He will continue with that philosophy and adding a few of his own details. It's difficult to master the automatisms in two weeks. Next week it will only get better by training together. At training, you see that everyone can contribute to this group, each in their own way. I have only been here for a fortnight. I haven't seen much yet, but I can see the qualities they have."

Club announced the arrival of Casper Nielsen just before the Supercup. "He is more than welcome, he showed last year how good he is. I think extra competition anywhere always benefits the team. Let him come, hopefully he can do the same here as he did at Union."

Next week the league starts. "Genk is still a week away, we have plenty of time to prepare. We are going to enjoy this a bit first. From Wednesday onwards we will work towards Genk."

Vanaken became a father of Romée this week. "Fatherhood is the most beautiful thing there is. No prize can compare to that. Having a daughter is the most beautiful thing there is and I enjoy it to the fullest together with my wife. It is very nice to experience this. So far, no sleepless nights, it's not too bad. If necessary, I will be there. I will do my best to combine it." (KN)

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