Goalkeeping coach Javi Ruiz has requested that KAS Eupen release him from his contract. The 37-year-old Spaniard has received an offer to work with head coach Paulo Sousa at Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian. The home game against Sint Truiden will be Javi’s last match as a KAS Eupen coach, after which he will begin preparing for next season with his new club. In China, the season kicks off at the beginning of the year.
KAS CEO Christoph Henkel regrets the departure of the goalkeeping coach, but is pleased for Javi Ruiz because of the opportunity he is now getting in China: “Javi joined our coaching team in 2012 and has done a great job developing our goalkeepers. The fact that Hendrik Van Crombrugge and Babacar Niasse are playing at such a high level today is a testament to the talent and performance of our goalkeepers and the good work done by our goalkeeping coach. We are reluctant to let Javi Ruiz go, but we look forward to seeing him take the next step of his career in China. All the best and mucha suerte, Javi!”
Javi Ruiz gets emotional when he talks about saying goodbye to KAS Eupen. “I have had a great time at KAS Eupen over the last 5 years or so and have always been able to enjoy a close collaboration with my coaching colleague, my players, the management and all the staff at the club. I am sad to be leaving the club soon, but I am also really looking forward to my new challenge in China. Sometimes, everything happens very quickly in football, and you have to seize opportunities when they present themselves. So I would like to thank KAS Eupen and the fans very much for the friendship they have shown me and ask them to understand my decision. I will, of course, keep my fingers crossed for my team in its fight to avoid relegation. Thank you, KAS Eupen!”
As a goalkeeper, Javi Ruiz played for the youth division at FC Barcelona and then played for 3 years at Espanyol Barcelona, among other clubs. KAS Eupen was the first stop of his coaching career.
KAS Eupen plans to sign a new goalkeeping coach for the training camp in January and introduce him after returning to Eupen.