Today’s loaded derby between Antwerp and Berchot featured in the programme. Loaded because it relates to the unofficial title “Team City”, but also because both teams should win. Bierschut hopes to avoid the almost inevitable relegation, and Antwerp is battling for its place in Annex I. How do fans see this version of the city derby?
Antwerp: “The points are points but we expect more from the coach”
Dominic van Landegim is the spokesperson for the Antwerp Federation of Supporters (FASC). “The derby is always special and something to look forward to, especially at home in a full stadium.”
“Win or lose is always important in a derby, regardless of the three points. It’s the mutual battle between Antwerp clubs. It’s about honor, that’s very important.”
Are the fans nervous? “It’s always something special. You try to be on the field before the Beerchot fans come. Then the temperature goes up. Great.”
The fact that Bierchut is at the bottom of the rankings does not make the match any less beautiful. “The points are important for them at the bottom, for us at the top. I don’t know yet if I want them to go down. It’s always great when Beerchot loses, but the derby goes down too.”
“I watch Bearchot matches, but happily. Only when I see Yorn Dom in those interviews, come from here, do I have some sympathy. But yeah, they will try to get back to 1A soon. Maybe they can integrate again?”, he laughs.
I watch Bierchot matches but happily. Only when I see Joren Dom’s interviews, I feel some sympathy
But not all roses and moons are in your club either. “We’re strictly at the top and that’s a good thing, but we’re not really saturated with the football we see. It’s not recruiting and sometimes we get these points on a thief.”
“Points are points, but as fans we expect more. The potential that Antwerp has is not really showing. The coach is under pressure. He is not running the season we were hoping for.”
Is it appropriate or die for Priske for the fans? “I think he lives with the fans, yeah. If he loses he can head towards the director, for sure.”
Finally, in the first leg at Kiel Stadium, things got completely out of hand among the fans. Was there a call to keep calm? “The atmosphere never hurts. The stadium it’s around is a beautiful thing, but there are limits. Our Safety Officer is already working on that, and rightfully so.”
Bierchut: “If we win this, our season will be saved a little bit”
Frank de Lee is president of the Union of Supporters at Berchot. How noisy live derby on that side of town? “Huge. This is the only derby in our country.”
“This is the match of the year. Ranking doesn’t count in a match like this. It’s also proven in the past. Whether you’re first or last, in the derby you start on par with the knife between your teeth.
“It will be difficult in these conditions, but everyone expects this to be the first match of the year. We have to give everything, on the pitch and all around it.”
Are there any nerves? “As a fan, this match has been flagged off the calendar. That is not the case with matches against Essevee or Seraing. Everyone is nervous. Everyone wants to go there.”
“I don’t know if the players have that feeling either, maybe because there are still very few Belgians in the squad. But they are reminded that this is special.”
Whether you are the first or the last, in the derby you start with the knife between your teeth.
Will it be a tough match against non-Lin? “Yeah, I expect that. They don’t take points either, and neither are we. I’m not following a competition from ‘The Other Side’, but I can still hear her crying with the max.”
“We will fight for it and I think it will work. If necessary, we will be behind and play poorly, but then we will score the winning goal in the last minute. Then our season is saved a little.”
“After that there are still 4 matches left to save us. I still assume it will work. Now we start the rescue.”
And finally, does the fun remain among the masses? “I think so, but I can’t look into other people’s heads. The special atmosphere is part of it, but the message is that there should be no victims.”
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