Football 1st national FC Knokke
Will FC Knokke – Patro be the last top match of goalkeeper Sven Dhoest (28) in Graaf Leopold Lippens Park on Sunday afternoon? After four seasons, the captain is anything but tired of FC Knokke, but his knee is worrying him again and an operation after the season is necessary. “I really have mixed feelings. I still love to do it, but I also have to listen to my body.”
FC Knokke has regained the taste of victory. The coastal team deservedly won 0-1 against the Young Reds of Antwerp last weekend. Goalkeeper Sven Dhoest and his teammates will get six out of six in 2023 and leader Patro Eisden will visit this weekend.
Zero is sacred
Anyone who follows Sven Dhoest on social media knows his catchphrase. Every week he stands under the bar with the main goal of keeping his nets clean. Last Sunday at the Lisp against the Young Reds, he recorded the sixth clean sheet of the season. Knokke then won well, but had to wait until the 82nd minute for Din Sula’s opening goal, who also took yellow and was thus suspended for the duel with his ex-team Patro Eisden. Last season, Sula was active for Patro for a few months until he was injured. Yves Van Borm is therefore forced to change, but the strong bank leaves many possibilities. With 6 out of 6 after the winter break, Knokke also secretly dreams of a stunt against Patro.
“It is typical of our team that we patiently look for a goal and that we continue to believe in it,” says Dhoest. During the day, the native of Bruges can still be found in the famous café Den Comptoir in Sint-Andries, which he runs together with his parents. But in the free hours, football is still the trump card. Those who know Dhoest a little, know that he has a good view of the game. “We were also perfect defensively against Antwerp. We gave nothing away and our central duo Van Raefelghem-Bailly found each other very easily. This is also proof that everyone is important to this group sooner or later. That will be no different on Sunday, because the match against Patro has been our goal since the winter break. We knew in advance that with two victories we could go to that match with full confidence.”
The match against Patro has therefore been noted with a dot at FC Knokke for weeks. The one and only Loredana from Limburg will also come by to perform after the game. “Despite the great distance between the two teams, it is a bit of a special match for everyone,” says a smiling Dhoest. “I still played together with Justin Verlinden and Niels Verburgh in Knokke, but I also know Sam Valcke and I trained together with coach Stijn Stijnen for another six months at Club Brugge. I saw that he was also present against Antwerp and occasionally we send each other a message. It’s always a pleasure to see him again. It will be no different for Din Sula. As a group we also want to do something special for our top scorer because he cannot be there due to his suspension. We will do everything we can to win for him.”
Sven Dhoest (28) will go down in history as the goalkeeper who made his debut as a 17-year-old as a substitute during Club Brugge – Anderlecht in 2011 and immediately saved a penalty from Kljestan. Suddenly everyone knew him and he is still often called to account for it. Dhoest looked set to have a great career, but several injuries, mainly to the knee, played tricks on him. And the pain flares up again. “I play with different painkillers every week and I have to visit the sports doctor every month to evaluate how we can keep my knee fit. After the season I have to have another operation and I feel that my body is struggling. My contract is about to expire, but there is still an option. I need to sort things out, because there’s also the case, my girlfriend and my two daughters asking why daddy is always away. I still enjoy doing it, but maybe I should listen to my body and play at a lower level. Together with my family and the people of the club, I want to find out what is best now.”