Sporting director Carlos Avina also wants to join Cercle for the top eight next season: “Two newcomers and four players from Monaco. Definitely not a third choice”

At the end of this year, Bruges will have a second Avina richer. After all, Carlos and his wife are expecting their first child in December. The mom-to-be has already flown home and the daddy-to-be will follow her next week. It is certain that the little sprout will soon be born in Bruges. “As long as you know”, papa Carlos assures us. “We live and work here, so it makes sense that our baby will also be born here.”

It is certain that it will be in good hands. Just as is the case with Cercle. The first months in Belgium were difficult for the young couple and things did not go well professionally either. But the young sporting director turned out to be a go-getter and after ninth place last season, Cercle now reached the European play-offs and can still finish sixth. “Last week in Ghent, the disappointment was great because we grabbed next to European football, but I strongly believe that we can still take sixth place,” Avina thinks.

The right price

Next season he wants to compete again with Cercle for a place in the top eight. The current core will undergo quite a few changes, but Avina has got its act together. His now famous plan B works flawlessly and the framework for next season has already been set.

Majecki and Marcelin return to Monaco, Didillon is not coming back to Bruges, Hotic is out of contract and is leaving, Vanhoutte is close to Union, Daland, Lopes and Ueda are wild on the transfer market and have to settle the bill.

“That is no different at Cercle than elsewhere,” says Avina. “Football is business, but the art is to anticipate and I can say that we do that more than ever here. Only one contract is up and it’s that of Dino Hotic. Some players are so good that they are ready for a higher level. Daland, Lopes and Ueda are in that case. There is huge interest in them, even from the Bundesliga or the Premier League. And we want to help those guys take steps, because that’s part of their development. But we want to get the right price for it.”

Reinforcement coming

Anyone who thinks that Cercle will end up in troubled waters again in sporting terms is wrong. The base of the side remains with Warleson in goal, Siquet and Decostere as wingbacks on the right, Deman on the left, Ravych, Popovic and Utkus in center back, Abu Francis and Van der Bruggen in the middle and up front Somers, Gboho and Denkey. “We expect many of those guys to explode next season,” Avina asserts. “Gboho shows great things in training, records good grades and was the best man on the field in Ghent. Denkey will break through completely next season and I am convinced that this team will be able to win against Standard in Liège on Saturday.”

However, Avina also announces reinforcements. “The files are ready. After next Saturday’s match against Westerlo I will also fly home, but I hope to be able to make a few announcements before I leave. There are two newcomers and four more guys from AS Monaco. Certainly not a third choice, on the contrary. In the past we never got guys of this caliber and they will be available immediately. The fans should not worry, there is something here on all fronts and we want to at least confirm.”

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