HS Fanatics – Number 1
The cover of the very first Helmond Sport Magazine. Credits to our English GFX man Tallery
An IntroductionWelcome readers, to the very first HS Fanatics, a magazine composed by fans of our club. This magazine will be full of interviews with players, articles by fans and everything you need to know about the club. Magazines can be bought at the stadium before matches, while season ticket holders will automatically get the magazine sent by post, for free.
Today, we’ll be interviewing striker Serhat Koç, who has been instrumental for Helmond in the first four matches. Furthermore, Helmond Sport fan Zed gives his opinion about the new manager, the start of the season and more subjects.
Serhat Koç – Helmond’s Deep StrikerIn this very first edition of HS Fanatics, we interview cover star Serhat Koç. He’s been a very good player for the club so far, scoring 4 goals in 7 matches. Koç is Turkish, but he’s lived and played in Holland for most of his life.
You and your team have made a great impression in the start of the season, what do you think is the cause of the team playing so well?
We’ve got a great squad, which has been together for a couple of years now – there are only a few new faces. Our squad is very balanced, in my opinion, we’ve not got a big squad, but all players are very talented for Jupiler League means. Also, with Wilfred Bouma as our manager, we have a very experienced footballer, and he’s been able to transfer this knowledge and experience to us. Our former managers haven’t been very experienced as footballers, and I believe that that has made the difference so far.
After this good start fans will want your team to challenge for the championship, do you think your team can do that?
Form is not something that lasts all season, but I believe this is something more than form. So yes, I think we can challenge for the title, however we’ll need to be very focused and determined, because the opponents in the league are strong, maybe even stronger than us. Also, due to our performances in the first period of the season, we’re already qualified for the play-offs, which means that even if our form drops dramatically, we’ll have a play-off spot. But, I don’t think that our form will go away; we’ve been very good these first eight matches, and we’ll keep fighting till the end.
Who are those strong opponents in the league?
In my opinion, the three relegated teams, RKC, NEC and Roda JC, are always main contenders for the championship. They’ve got a lot of cash to invest, and a very strong for Jupiler League means. Besides those three teams, I think Sparta can really raise a few eyebrows. Sparta, in my opinion, belongs in the Eredivisie, with the history they’ve got. Also, they’ve got a good squad and fanatic supporters.
Just how pleased have you been with your own performance?
Quite pleased, I’d say. I’m pleased with my finishing so far, but I should’ve probably created more chances for myself, as I’ve had the ball a lot, but I quickly passed it to somebody else or I lost the ball. That is a point I have to work on. But in terms of efficiency, I’m very happy with my campaign so far, it’s been pleasing to score four goals and give one assist.
Who would you say has been the key to success these eight matches?
For me, it has to be our centre-back Koen Weuts. He’s consistently been a rock at the back, making great tackles and interceptions. Besides that, Koen has been great in front of goal, better than me frankly! He’s scored some very important, late goals for us. If he can continue his performances, I can see a big future for him. He’s a very determined and concentrated lad, so I’m sure he will play in the Eredivisie soon, maybe for Helmond, maybe for another club.
What are your impressions of new manager Wilfred Bouma?
Wilfred has been a great player, and he’s a great guy. I personally feel that if you have a young trainer who has lots of experience in football, you can relate to him better; the difference in age isn’t that big. Also, I think his tactical knowledge is great, the way he’s made this team play is beautiful to watch, and we’re very happy that it’s coming off very well. Another thing he’s impressed me with are his signings, as we really needed an experienced player, and he’s brought in exactly that kind of player with Marcel Meeuwis.
How is the atmosphere in the team?
It’s absolutely great! Everybody likes everybody, and there are not a lot of foreigners so it’s easy to communicate with one another. Off the pitch, we’ve been bowling together and we’ve worked on our team spirit a lot. I haven’t been at many clubs, but this definitely has to be the best bunch of players I’ve met. This strong bond also helps on the pitch, as everybody is willing to pass to each other, and is willing to listen to each other.
A Fan’s OpinionThis season it has so far been amazing to be a Helmond Sport fan. Not only have we collected 20 points from 8 games, the team has also played some outstanding football to go with that: we’ve been the dominating team every game of the season, possession-wise and shots-wise. And that has made me, and many other fans, very happy. I’ve noticed that the stadium is getting fuller bit by bit, and the fans are making more noise, which is nice to see after years of boring football with mixed results. This time the results are good, and the football is also good. But, the most pleasing thing is that we’ve already secured a play-off spot due to us winning the Periodetitel.
One thing that worries me is our home form: away from home we’ve thus far won four matches from the four matches played, but at home we’ve only won one of our three matches. The other ones ended in draws. Our playing style hasn’t been much different, but the finishing has been much worse. I don’t know how this is happening, but I’m sure Bouma will eventually iron that out. The manager has really impressed me so far, as he’s completely changed the changing style, in the space of about 4 months.
The players have all performed very well so far, especially defender Koen Weuts and winger Stanley Elbers. Elbers joined Helmond Sport from ADO Den Haag, where he couldn’t impress, this season. In Helmond, he’s been putting in good performances regularly, resulting in an impressive start for the club: 8 matches, 4 goals, 4 assists. One of the only players who I haven’t been too impressed with is new signing Marcel Meeuwis. He’s a great leader on and off the pitch, but due to his age he hasn’t been able to contribute to the play as much as I’d have liked to see.
The full Jupiler League table