Ruud Vormer immediately wants to “flame” at Zulte Waregem: “But hopefully I will also get a nice farewell at Club”

“After all those years in Bruges, it feels a bit strange to get started here”, Ruud Vormer smiles when he enters the press room of the Zulte Waregem training complex. The press attention on his first official working day in Waregem employment clearly does him good: “It takes some getting used to, but I am really looking forward to flaming at Zulte Waregem and keeping the club in first class.”

During his first training he immediately showed that he is looking forward to it. He trotted up and down like a young colt. Still, Vormer realizes that Zulte Waregem has a big job ahead of him in 2023, but: “I have a very positive feeling about this club. It was always fun playing here. A great stadium. I also scored here sometimes, right? You certainly have quality in this group, many youngsters too. There is clearly some work to do but I am really looking forward to it.”

Adrenaline missed

Vormer therefore informed himself thoroughly. For example, he listened to an old teammate. “I know Davy De fauw (former assistant at Zulte Waregem, ed.) good and he was also very positive about this club. For me it was especially important to be a footballer again. At Club I could only train and I missed the feeling of being important. I missed that adrenaline.”

“My last minutes at Club I did indeed play against Zulte Waregem”, the Dutch former Golden Shoe still vividly remembers. Yet he clearly does not want to dwell too long on the less pleasant farewell at blue-black. “I will now focus on Zulte Waregem, but in the beginning it was really terrible. I wasn’t a nice father then either, because you come home grumpy anyway. In the long run you can give it a place.”


The football animal Ruud Vormer is hurt, as he himself admits. “The most difficult moment was against Paris Saint-Germain. Then I really shed tears, I was angry and sad. You become champion and then you also want to play in the Champions League. I even ordered fifteen tickets for that match for friends and family and then you hear a day in advance that you will not play. That was a bit of a swallow.”

Six or eight?

In recent months, Vormer did not get to play in Bruges, a difficult period that he tried to process as best as possible: “I had fun at training, but you miss those matches. I don’t even know what happened. We go on. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, by the way. I was also able to train at Club Brugge for six months. I want to excite myself and be important again. I see a challenge in that. I want to show myself again.”

So remain a professional footballer, if possible until the summer of 2026. Vormer realizes that there is a lot of work to be done at Zulte Waregem, even though it is still unclear what position he will hold in Mbaye Leye’s team: six or eight. I’ve already talked to the trainer a bit, but he’s not quite there yet. We need to push those guys forward. At 8 I had my best years. At Roda I was on the sixth. I will do my best to help the strikers to score goals here, as I did at Bruges.”


In the dressing room of Zulte Waregem, Vormer will of course also meet some familiar faces. This is how he immediately found a buddy to carpool. “This morning I already drove to the club with Jelle Vossen. Nice, although it was a bit early,” says Vormer with a grin. “By the way, I also know guys here like Timothy Derijck, Sammy Bossut and Zinho Gano.”

Hoping for a good farewell

“I was mainly brought in to be important,” Vormer also acknowledges the pressure that rests on his shoulders. “To start on Sunday against KV Mechelen. “I trained hard, I liked that. Hopefully I can play on Sunday. I feel ready. With which back number will that be? I do not know yet. I heard that Noa suggested that I no longer give my club number to another player. Sweet, hey. That’s typical Noa.”

It typifies the person Ruud Vormer. He goes through life with a smile and a healthy portion of optimism and now also leaves a difficult period behind him: “My head is now with Zulte Waregem, but of course I also had a fantastic time at Club Brugge. I had nine fantastic years there full of wonderful highlights. The first title was a fantastic moment: 4-0 against Anderlecht. Phenomenal. Hopefully I can get a nice farewell, because we have been through a lot.”

“Hoefkens told me not to stop yet – great guy and good coach too; by the way”, Vormer gave the recently fired Bruges coach a pat on the back. “I also had that feeling. Otherwise I would have just stopped within six months. I always followed Zulte Waregem. They can all play football. That hunger to grab the three points has yet to come. If you don’t get points, everyone’s faith goes down a bit. That has to change from now on.”

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