INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: JORDY SCHELFHOUT
In early January, Jordy Schelfhout sustained a finger injury at training. After examination, it turned out to be a fracture. He was operated immediately. The doctors feared he would be out for six months, but after a good rehabilitation, Jordy was able to return to work after three months. On Monday he played his first match with the U23 team after his injury. The Coastal Boys won the match 0-1 against Mouscron. Good for a three-point win and a clean sheet! We spoke to him about his return, his goals and his debut at KVO.
Jordy, after three months you are back on the field. I can imagine that there is a happy man sitting here.
Indeed, I feel very good at the moment. It feels great to be back on the field. That injury came at an unfortunate moment for me. I had just played a good match in the cup against Kortrijk, and I made my league debut against Eupen. The doctors predicted that I would be out for six months. Thanks to the good care of the club and my management, I am back much faster than expected. It was especially frustrating because I showed in those two matches that I can handle the level of the highest league. This was also a difficult moment with a view to a possible contract extension. Fortunately, I played a good game on Monday.
How did you mentally cope with your injury? That must have been a hard blow since you were doing well.
I fortunately had a lot of support from home. As a footballer, you know of course that you can always have an injury. To have an injury to your finger as a goalkeeper is difficult. It was also a complicated fracture. That immediately makes it a long rehabilitation. Thanks to the support from home, I was able to get through this period well. We also contacted players who have had the same injury. Because of this, we also knew what the pain points were and what we had to pay attention to during rehabilitation. The advantage of a finger injury is that you can continue to train your whole body. This ensures that I could always physically stay on level. When I returned to full training with the group, I noticed that I had not suffered any physical backlash. That does give me a good feeling. I also did most of my rehabilitation at the club. In this way, you remain in the atmosphere of the group. This also keeps you motivated to rehabilitate. Sometimes, the physiotherapists and I were amazed at how fast the rehabilitation went. At home, I kept working on my injury. I wanted to be back on the field as soon as possible.
As you say yourself, a finger injury is very difficult for a goalkeeper. Do you now sometimes suffer during training or during the match?
The first few weeks it was with a frightened heart that I stood to play goalie. Mentally I was still working on it every now and then. Goalkeeper trainer Ebo Trautner helped me a lot by giving me exercises that gave me confidence. In terms of pain, it is actually good. During the match and training sessions I hardly have any problems. Sometimes when you get a wrong ball, you can feel it. But it is not an annoying pain.
Your first big game was against KV Kortrijk in the cup. You stopped a penalty immediately after four minutes. Describe that feeling.
It was unexpected that I was allowed to start. Hubert was sick and so I was allowed to play. I heard it myself only the day before. Maybe that was best (laughs). If you have too much time to prepare for it, then stress can set in. I did have some stress of course , also not illogically. It was an important match for the club. Getting that penalty after four minutes put me in a good flow. I'm also happy with the game I played there. Unfortunately, we were kicked out of the cup. That was of course a big disappointment.
And then came your league debut against Eupen. Another important match for KVO.
Indeed, we had taken 0/15 before that. Then you know how important it is to keep those three points at home. I was also more stressed than before the match against Kortrijk. We really had to take points. Eupen is an important game for us anyway, as they are also bottom of the league. So those three points were crucial. Also how we fought as a team was very nice.
Now only two matches remain, what do you hope to pick up in that period?
I definitely still want to prove myself to the coach. A new coach also means new opportunities. I want to show that I am worthy of the level and that I am certainly not inferior to anyone. My contract also expires. The club has an option that can be exercised. That's another reason why I want to prove myself. I feel good in Ostend and I owe a lot to the club. So I would definitely still like to play here next season. If I stay next season, I will do everything I can to compete with the other keepers. That competition only makes you better. I'm still young and can still learn a lot. So becoming a base player must certainly be a long-term goal.
How is the collaboration going within the team?
Everything is going smoothly, even with Yves. It is easy to speak Dutch with him. In all those years that I have been at KV Oostende, we have always had a great group. It's nice when the atmosphere is good. You only get better from that. There is a lot of laughter in the group, also at training.
And had you not been a professional footballer, where did you see yourself standing now?
I always wanted to be in the police! Ever since I was little, that was a goal. Before my pro contract, I hesitated between soccer or school. In the end, the choice fell on soccer. I was not a top student (laughs). I was the type of student who was satisfied with 50 percent. Anything more was a bonus. At school I was also the quiet one in the class. As a result, I missed a lot of classes due to training. That made it difficult at times to get my degree but it worked out in the end.
You say that in school you were more of a quiet type but on the field as a goalkeeper you have to be the leader, right?
On the field you become a different person. As you say yourself, we are kind of a leader figure on the field. You have to coach your back lines well. As a goalkeeper, you also have to have a certain toughness about you, so that your teammates listen to you. So on the field I can definitely take the lead and say how things should be done. I also think it's important as a goalkeeper that you radiate a certain calmness to your teammates. I think that coaching on the field is one of my strong points.
If you are allowed to dream, do you have a competition where you would like to end up one day?
ITALY! We talked about that at home the other day, too. Everything about Italy attracts us. A beautiful country, good food and often good weather. My girlfriend also has family in Italy. Hence the love for the country.
To conclude, what do you like to keep yourself busy with besides soccer?
I especially love spending time with my friends and girlfriend. We also have a dog together now so we go for walks with that a lot. My girlfriend is still studying, she is now in her last year. I try to give her some support so that she can get through her final year. I also regularly play darts with friends. Darts is also very popular at the club. I'm definitely not the biggest talent (laughs). So I think it's best for me to stick to soccer.