Seppe Rotty, fit again, starts Knack Roeselare’s 22nd Champions League campaign at home against Ankara: “Surviving the group stage will not be easy”


Seppe Rotty no longer has problems with her abdominal muscles. — © Bart Vandenbroucke


On Thursday evening, Roeselare will start the 22nd Champions League campaign in club history in its own Tomabelhal. Against Ziraat Ankara, Knack can once again count on reception corner player Seppe Rotty, who no longer has problems with his abdominal muscles.

“I was able to complete the full marathon at Haasrode Leuven last Sunday and had no more abdominal muscle problems this week,” said a relieved Rotty. “Of course there was some fatigue, because the tiebreak victory required a lot of energy. After a few days of recovery, we have to be back again for the first confrontation on the highest European stage. Whether I will act as a reception corner or as a main attacker remains to be seen. A lot will depend on the availability of Simon Plaskie, who had to be sidelined in Leuven due to an eye injury.”

“We didn’t have much luck in the European draw,” Seppe Rotty continues. “In the A-pool we meet the Polish title holder Kedierzyn-Kozle, Ziraat Ankara and qualifier Olympiacos Piraeus three big opponents. They will probably have to fight for third place, survive the group stage and advance to the jump-off rounds in the Champions League or further European conversion in the CEV Cup. Given the quality and reputation of the opponents, this is not easy.”

“Ziraat Ankara, the Turkish champion of the past three seasons, has a number of very experienced foreigners in its ranks in addition to several Turkish top players,” says Guido Declercq. “The supporters can look forward to the Cuban Oreal Cameho, who was active in Russia at Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, the Argentinian Luchi Vincentin and the Dutch Bennie Tuistra (ex-Tourcoing) and Wouter Ter Maat (ex-Gent). The eye-catcher at Ziraat, however, is the American reception corner player Matthew Anderson (36), who has already played three times in the Tomabelhal with the Russian Zenit Kazan in previous Champions League editions. Hopefully we can once again live up to the tradition that Turkish teams are ahead of us.”

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