KV Mechelen

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Season Guide
2022/2023

KV Mechelen

In


Dimitri Lavalée (def), Mainz), Julien Ngoy (att), Eupen), Jorge Hernandez (mid), Chornomorets), Yonas Malede (att), Gent), Toon Raemaekers (def), Leuven), Boli Bolingoli (def), Celtic), Alessio Da Cruz (mid), Parma)

Out


Hugo Cuypers (r)(att), Gent), Vinicius Souza (r)(mid), Lommel - end of loan), Rick van Drongelen (sp)(def), Union Berlin - end of loan), Elie Youan (sp)(att), St. Gallen - end of loan), Onur Kaya (sp)(mid), retired)

Mechelen ended last season on a bit of a downer after some poor results, mostly likely owing to the fact that Wouter Vrancken already announced earlier that he was leaving and most of the squad have lost their motivation. Now a new era begins with Danny Buijs taking over as a new manager of the Malinwa and he is facing a steep challenge in trying to maintain the same level of competitiveness of recent years and keeping the team in the play-offs. The squad has been stripped of two key performers in Hugo Cuypers and Vinicius Souza but in fairness it has also been strengthened with a few interesting and promising additions. Julien Ngoy has the potential to become a prolific striker while Alessio Da Cruz is a bit of a wildcard and could really explode in the position behind the number 9, realising some of his undoubted potential. It will be interesting to see if players like Nicolas Storm and Rob Schoofs stick around for another season after being subject of real interest before while keeper Yannick Thoelen is a potential target for bigger clubs as well, with Gaetan Coucke waiting for a chance to impress in reserve. The overall picture for Mechelen still looks mostly underwhelming for this season as the squad will need more time to adapt to the demands of a new coach and may struggle early on, with a spot in lower mid-table their most likely outcome.

Target


Looking to make the playoffs again but it will be a real challenge.

Season Review
2020/2021

№6: KV Mechelen

Mechelen kicked the season off with determination to establish themselves among the top six but they actually had a pretty rough opening month or so and soon found themselves bottom of the standings after losing six out of eight games. They actually played some decent football but too often undermined themselves with poor mistakes at the back and Wouter Vrancken started to feel the pressure as the campaign went on. Yet, he managed to steer the team in the right direction towards the end of 2020 as four wins either side of the winter break moved the Yellow and Reds away from immediate relegation danger. Indeed, they developed into one of the most consistent and in-form sides in the league from January onward and went on a run of just one defeat in 11 games. That suddenly turned Mechelen into a side competing for European spots and that transformation was underpinned by the quality in midfield of players like Rob Schoofs and Geoffrey Heiremans while the direct running and cutting edge of winger Nikola Storm proved a real game-changer too. There were a few stumbles late in the regular season but a win on the last day of it at Kortrijk ensured a spot in the top eight. Indeed, the team maintained the good run and remained unbeaten for the first five of the six play-off games, seeing off Oostende at home for a 5:3 win in a key duel. Mechelen still needed to avoid a defeat at home to Gent on the last day of the season to secure a European ticket. Yet, they fell short after a 2:1 loss and will have to swallow that bitter pill after what was a mostly satisfying and successful season.


Player of the Season: Rob Schoofs

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