INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: FREDERIK JÄKEL
Frederik Jäkel, our 20-year-old German defender, feels that after a turbulent transfer period and the departure of both Arthur Theate and Jack Hendry, it is time for him to step forward as a leadership figure in KVO's defence. "I am ready for this step and hope to get as many playing minutes as possible".
How did you experience the start of the season, Freddy?
We started with a false start against Charleroi. Then we came back very strong with a good flow of 3 victories in a row. Also the spectacular win at Genk in which I scored my first goal.
After that we had a zero to nine, although we could always have got a point at Standard, for instance. The last game, at Club Brugge, wasn't bad at first. We had a few chances and were in the game, but after the red card it became difficult. The main thing is to get the three points in front of our own fans at the Diaz Arena this weekend.
Beerschot sidelined trainer Peter Maes today, just before the game this weekend. An advantage or disadvantage you think ?
With a new coach, things can go one of two ways. Either a new wind blows through their team or a team really gets into a malaise. But hey, our job is to focus on our preparation and play our own game. We shouldn't be looking at another club.
Are you experiencing pressure to win against Beerschot this weekend?
There is definitely a pressure to win, but this is so with every game. We always try to fight for every game, and this time will be no different. In football, you often hear that the next game is important, but usually the first game is always important.
With the departure of Arthur Theate and Jack Hendry, two leaders on defense left. Will you take on that leadership role now?
I definitely see myself taking on that role, but personally I think every player should take on that responsibility. This year, I really want to give myself for the full 100%. Last year, I struggled with an injury, but this is the season where I want to break through at KVO. I want to play a lot and be important for the team.
You recently played with the U20 of Germany, how was it?
We won the first match 2-0 against the Czech Republic. The next match we drew 1-1 against Norway. The U20 is actually a category that doesn't exist in extremely many countries. Most countries only have U19 and U21. So we only play friendly matches but personally I like this a lot to get more experience. At the moment I am one of the older players in the team. So I do have a certain responsibility and leadership role in the defense. I want to take that role with me to Ostend.
You're still the owner of RB Leipzig. Will you be watching Manchester City's game against Leipzig tonight?
Obviously. That match against City is an absolute cracker. I'm a real 'Leipziger', I've been playing since I was 14.e for the club and I'm also from that region. When Leipzig play against such a big club, I can't help but watch. But I'll also be watching Club Brugge - PSG on another screen. I wonder what Club can do against PSG. In Belgium they are absolute top, but Messi and co is something else.
Are you in touch with any of your Leipzig teammates about tonight's match?
No, not really. I do have weekly contact with someone from Leipzig who follows up on all the renters. That's usually the day after the KVO game. It's a good thing that renters are closely monitored and assisted. Of course, this always happens in consultation with KVO. In principle I return to Leipzig after this season, but that's for the future. First I want to run a good season with KVO.