Although the men’s team of JTV Dero Zele-Berlare easily grabbed the title in Promo 1 last season, the merger team from Zele and Berlare did not manage to find a trainer. Strange, because on the first day of play they showed that they can now also count on a solid men’s team.
“Yet we have no goal in mind”, interim coach Johan Symoens opens the conversation. “Partly due to the lack of a coach, we started the preparation with a false start, so it was quite a bit of coffee grounds. Moreover, we are now in a series in which we hardly know any teams. But come on, good work is being done and it pays off.”
On the opening match day, Zele-Berlare did indeed succeed in putting Bredene aside. “With a battered team”, beams Johan Symoens. “We had to miss four players, which forced me to bring two 15-year-olds from the B-team. If it was initially the intention to have both only show up to the reserves, then both did so well there that I also gave them opportunities in the A-team. Jurre De Waegemaeker played a hell of a game as a striker and Jonas Braeckman did very well as a libero. The fact that we eventually beat Bredene proves that it is all right.”
“Still, I’m not going to put any extra pressure on anyone. We’re going to try and have fun this season, while trying to win as many games as possible. I hope things go a little smoother in the coming weeks. The leave has now been used up so that everyone can be more present at training and competitions. Attention, volleyball is and remains a hobby and that translates, more than in the past, into limited availability. Still, I saw that my puzzle work paid off last weekend. I hope to have more men at my disposal next Saturday in Gavere.”
Despite all these positive results, Johan Symoens will remain an interim trainer in the coming weeks. “Apparently it is poverty trump in the coaching world. For the men’s team in Nationale 3, we contacted about seventy people. Either the trainers were not free, or they did not have the right diplomas. At the start of the preparation we were without a trainer, so I took on this task. So now I train the women’s and men’s teams in National 3. Fredriek Van Malderen, who has been my assistant with the women for years, takes over the coaching there if necessary. Perhaps he can also relieve me of the Tuesday training with the men. At the moment I’m only home on Friday, because all other days it’s either the men’s or the women’s training. On Saturday and Sunday it will be competitions. And that in combination with a full-time job is not really sustainable. Hopefully there will be a solution in the shortest time, because it still has to be fun, isn’t it”, Symoens hopes.