Promise international and ‘student’ Ewoud Pletinckx loves (OH) Leuven: “But you won’t meet me in the nightlife”
4 de March, 2023
Football Jupiler Pro League OH Leuven – Zulte Waregem (Saturday at 6.15 pm, live on Eleven)
For a central defender, he is still a young foal at 22, but Ewoud Pletinckx has already played more than a hundred games in the Jupiler Pro League. “A strong and beautiful competition”, emphasizes the promising international who surprisingly exchanged Zulte Waregem – Saturday’s opponent – for OH Leuven in the mid-season.
At Zulte Waregem he was even captain at a young age. “It is a special match. Although I am less concerned with it than in the first leg in Waregem”, he immediately kicks off. “My current club and my former club both desperately need the points and that creates extra pressure. For us, defeat is taboo. Zulte Waregem made a strong impression in Tuesday’s cup match against KV Mechelen and will be doubly motivated after the elimination with an edge. If Zulte Waregem had remained with eleven, I would have wanted to see it. I’ve seen some matches of my ex-club live this season and I’m still in contact with Sammy Bossut, to name one player. No not this week. (laughs) We are too focused on the game for that. Zinho Gano is also no stranger. We know each other from previous seasons in training. He has no secrets from me and maybe the other way around is also the case. Hopefully I will come out victorious.”
Man of the match
With the trio Gano, Vossen and Brüls, the West Flemish opponent has a lot of offensive wealth. “They are three players with an action, a nose for goals and an action around sixteen. We will have to be sharp and not give them too much space. With Gano you have to watch out for crosses and headers and Vossen prefers to have the balls on the ground. I hope that Zulte Waregem will survive and take a lot of points in his remaining matches. But not against us.” (laughs)
“ Zulte Waregem is lagging behind the facts due to that slack start and that is in the cup. We have played many matches ourselves where there was much more to it and we should always have been in a European play-off place. I am satisfied with my own performance. I want to continue the line. That I was man of the match against Antwerp? A nice appreciation. Vincent Janssen is a strong striker and someone with tons of experience. One of the best strikers I’ve played against. It is to our credit that he hardly got into a scoring position in a physically difficult match”, Pletinckx notes.
Pletinckx is now also looking forward to the European Championship for U23 in June. “This month there is an internship on the program. The qualification is a two-year job and hopefully will have a nice follow-up. I wonder which of the young Red Devils will come along. Onana, Openda, Verschaeren and De Ketelaere have moved on. I also secretly dream of a career with the Red Devils. Although I am realistic enough: first have a base place with the promises. I have taken steps forward at OH Leuven and have become calmer on the ball. In the beginning it was adjustment. This build-up from the back entails risks, but we also create opportunities through it. I advanced against Antwerp and almost gave an assist. Maybe I should do that more often. Although I must first dutifully take care of my defensive task.”
He lives in the student city of Leuven. “In an apartment with my girlfriend, who studies in Leuven. You will not meet me in the nightlife. (laughs) I do like that I can walk to the store and that it is teeming with young people. One day I will move to the countryside, while I am still young I can taste a city like Leuven. I am pursuing a legal practice course. At my own pace. I don’t care how long it takes me. It provides distraction and I can occupy myself usefully in my spare time. You never know what I can do with the diploma later on.”
“We are looking forward to winning as a team. It’s been since mid-January. The longer that victory is delayed, the more it haunts us. It is by no means a problem of mentality, but unfortunately we lack efficiency and a touch of luck. The supporters know that we are doing everything we can and there is no lack of commitment”, concludes Ewoud Pletinckx.