Who will hold the title in the fourth provincial A FC Dampoort? The team from Koestraat in Merelbeke won 3-4 at Eendracht Hansbeke B and leads the rankings with 25 points out of 27. Close pursuer FC Anatolia Gent follows on 4 points. The third ranked VK Akkers Middelburg has 7 points less. Coach Deniz Colaker has only one goal with FC Dampoort: to win the title and promote directly to third provincial.
“We experienced one of our most difficult matches in this young campaign against Eendracht Hansbeke B,” says coach Deniz Colaker. “We were 3-1 behind after an hour. Ali Cetinkaya’s goal seemed to be in vain, but in the last half hour my team completely corrected the lopsided situation. We showed our mental strength and scored three more through Ikbal Cavdarli, Ibrahim Ünver and Mutlu Ekici. The winning goal came in the final minute. We were paid for our work, but this cost blood, sweat and tears. I am proud of my players for not giving up. These would have been expensive losses in the title battle. The discharge in the dressing room was understandably very great.”
FC Dampoort finished in second place last season with 66 points. SKV Oosakker became champions with 73 points. “We hoped to get promoted through the final round, but that turned out to be a traumatic event,” Colaker reflects. “We were unlucky with the draw. In the first round we met our strong series rival FC Sint-Laureins B, which achieved one point less in the competition. If we won in the second round, we would compete against the less strong SK Nieuwerkerken, but it didn’t happen that way. We had a good performance against FC Sint-Laureins B, but lost 3-2 with the decisive goal in the 91st minute. We deserved to survive the first round but our dream was shattered.”
It is no surprise for Deniz Colaker that his team leads the rankings. “Our group of players has undergone almost no changes and usually trains twice a week. That is exceptional at our level. The hard work should pay off for this technically gifted team with a lot of footballing ability. We wouldn’t cut a bad figure with this group, even in the third provincial.”
FC Dampoort has another special source of motivation in their deceased teammate Tarik Arici. “Our thoughts are still with him every day. He died in an accident in July while on holiday in Turkey. He must be proud of our achievements and would have loved to be there. We owe it to ourselves to win the title. We will dedicate that award to him. There is no better motivation to continue to perform well.”