Thursday 16 May 2013 09:00

Hoefkens: "I'll be coming back"

On Sunday, Club Brugge will be bidding farewell to Carl Hoefkens. We paid him a visit.

<strong>Saying farewell to Club Brugge: how does that feel?</strong><br />
Farewell is a bit of a strange word. This is the end of what has been a fantastic chapter in my football career. I&#39;m looking on the bright side, and focus on what&#39;s ahead, the next chapter. A career always comes with ups and downs, and with new opportunities. It feels a bit weird, though. It dawned on me yesterday that this is my last week at Club Brugge, that I won&#39;t be in these dressing rooms with these players anymore. It&#39;s not that I&#39;m no longer welcome, though, I&#39;ll be passing by often.</p>
<strong>You didn&#39;t get to play all that much in the past months, but you showed your skills against Anderlecht.</strong><br />
A coach always needs to take decisions. Sometimes that decision is positive for a player, sometimes negative. As far as I&#39;m concerned, I have been on the negative side in the past weeks, but that doesn&#39;t change the great understanding I have with the coach. I thought is was a great gesture that I got to play against Anderlecht and help Club win; to me that was the perfect goodbye. I knew I would be ready when called upon. Just like I&#39;m ready now to show my skills anywhere else. I&#39;m not one to be down the dumps, I say goodbye in a decent way and move on. It&#39;s a pity it&#39;s not at Brugge, obviously, but my last chapter will also be a good one. It is not because I am now saying farewell to Club Brugge that I don&#39;t carry a torch for them. My bond with the supporters has always been phenomenal. They will definitely see me back in the stands.</p>
<strong>How did you take up your role as leader in the past months?</strong><br />
I was not the only one to be playing less. Guys like Almeb&auml;ck and J&oslash;rgensen have also been in a slump. I had a lot of individual talks with Michael and it&#39;s great to see that we can still show what we&#39;ve got. Every player in this selection has carried his weight in this season&#39;s performances, I really mean that. We give each other a hard time at training, and keep each other on our toes, which is also important. Getting another chance to play in such moments, that&#39;s what makes this profession so great.</p>

Your final day will be Sunday. Imagine this can be during a huge celebration!
Saying goodbye with a title would be fantastic. Both mentally and physically, we pulled in so much this season, and I think we really stood up as a team. Everyone has fully committed in order for us to be where we are now, from the first to the very last minute. Even if I'm no longer starting, I'm still part of the team, and winning the league would be just as wonderful to me as for any player.

But I don't want to be ahead of things. We are now two points behind the league leaders with two games to go . First it's Zulte Waregem, where we have to go for the win at 100%. It's only then that we can take on Genk, with the same goal. It's no use looking at other teams, only our next game counts!

You don't sound bitter or vengeful.
It is like everyone wants to hear me say just how low I am now, but I know that I'm closing off a great period in order to take on a new one. I'm going on vacation next week, and look over the options with my family. I haven't thought about it just yet, no. In my career, I had three fantastic spells, and my time at Club Brugge is definitely one of them. It's impossible to be looking back with a bad feeling.

Playing Anderlecht was the perfect goodbye for me.

Carl Hoefkens

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