The Moving King of Antwerp is dead, long live the king! But who does he have to be? By farewell to Luciano Donofrio, a big hole is made in Antwerp. Football journalists Eddie Damares and Tom Bodwell talk about the departure of Buswell’s sporting director.
A tough decision for Gheysens
Whether Luciano Donofrio’s departure is a good thing for Antwerp is debatable. So do Demares and Bodwell.
Demarez: “I think (Chairman) Paul Gissens’s decision is completely hallucinatory. I think the Jesens character would play a role, because he knew that if he let D’Onofrio go, he would create a void. But on the other hand, his ego is of the strong.”
Bodwell: “Right, but on the other hand, it was worse for Antwerp to wait until June 1. Then there was less time to prepare for the summer transfers. And from the dressing room I also heard that was not the case. For longer, certainly with the team manager Frederick Ledgens.”
“I don’t see anyone in Belgium to replace D’Onofrio at the moment”
What Eddie Demares and Tom Bodwell sometimes agree on is that the departure of Luciano Donofrio is an enormous challenge. Who should appoint Paul Jesens as his successor?
Demarez: “There is no one in Belgium with the same connections and power as D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio has connections and access in Italy, France and Portugal. He knows all the talent in Porto, for example, where there is a lot of talent.”
“The challenge is to find someone who can allow Antwerp to take the next step again. I don’t see anyone in Belgium at the moment.”
Bodwell: “They really need someone who understands football, because after the departure of D’Onofrio from Antwerp, this does not exist. It makes sense, because D’Onofrio did everything on his own and he had all the power.”
I suppose Antwerp will have to recruit several people to replace Donoferio.
“I don’t know if there is anyone like this in Belgium. Peter Verbecki also came out of nowhere. If you start with someone who works a lot with data, you have to gradually expand the address book.”
“I assume Antwerp will have to attract a lot of people. There is talk of Wim de Decker, but he is still a coach at Denzi at the moment.”
Eddy: “Another challenge is that you have to go fast, because in reality you now have to prepare or make transfers. There is also no expedition cell in Antwerp to return to. Everything passes through D’Onofrio.”
“Antwerp was often a tumultuous club in the past, and to become you need someone who stands strong as a sporting director and does something of their own. Someone who can compete with the Gheysens.”