Captain Lennard Hens ready for a new start with FCV Dender: “Knowing what is at stake”

Football Challenger Pro League FCV Dender EH

Lennard Hens and FCV Dender face the first match under the new coach. “Simons immediately felt good in the group.” — © Johnny De Saedeleer


With the arrival of red lantern Excelsior Virton, a key match is immediately on the calendar for FCV Dender on Friday. We are looking forward to the Denderleeuwse debut of new coach Timmy Simons, who immediately moved the training sessions to the morning and adjusted the diet during the mandatory breakfast and lunch.

Wim Redant

The outside world reacted with surprise to the dismissal of Regi Van Acker, who had to leave after a strong performance against SK Deinze. “The group of players was also surprised, you know,” responds captain Lennard Hens. “We expected the coach to get more credit. The group was still right behind Van Acker, but the management viewed it through a different lens and sealed the fate of the trainer with whom we won the championship last year. That title created an eternal bond between Regi Van Acker and the players who were already there at the time. Even after our career, we will still reminisce about those memories. I had a good relationship with Regi and there was mutual trust. As a football professional you are expected to accept management decisions. Simons was right in the group right away. After a group discussion, an individual discussion was also held with all players, which was necessary. This way everyone immediately knows what is expected of them.”

Hens soon discovered that Simons has his own accents. “Our new coach has a brilliant and long playing career, which of course commands awe. The emphasis is now on good sleeping and eating patterns. From now on training will be at 10.30 am. That also means that you have to go under the wool on time the day before. From now on we always have breakfast at the club and that is done with adapted food. We also eat lunch together at the club, which is put together by a dietician.”

Technical capabilities

Dender is preparing for a key match against Virton and owes itself a revenge after the recent home defeat against the last player from the East Cantons. Kjetil Borry is suspended, but Kobe Cools and Dylan Ragolle are available again, so that the defensive problems seem to be over. “We know what is at stake, but we must not put too much pressure,” says the captain. “If we win, we open a gap and we are immediately in a comfortable position. In the event of a defeat, we largely lose our bonus, but even then there is still no man overboard. I would especially like to emphasize that with Virton we are dealing with a team that was strengthened during the mercato and should not be underestimated. They have a lot of athleticism and excel in dueling power. It will therefore come down to making optimal use of our technical capabilities.”

Simons still has to manage without Nicolas Rajsel, Mike Smet, Jonathan Rowell and Jasper Van Oudenhove, while Dender has to break with a terrible home reputation. “Last year we were unbeatable in Denderleeuw. Don’t ask me why we’re doing better away from home this season than at home. I owe you the answer”, Hens sighs.

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