KAS Eupen’s press area was packed in the early afternoon on Wednesday. The reason for the presence of so many journalists was the official presentation of Mbaye Leye as a new player for KAS Eupen. The Senegalese responded calmly and confidently to the questions posed by the media and explained why he chose KAS Eupen over numerous offers from Belgium and abroad: “I had a wide variety of different offers, both from Belgian clubs and also from abroad,” said Mbaye Leye. “But KAS Eupen first reached out to my club Zulte Waregem just before the start of the championship, and then got in touch with me. Then I had a very good talk with KAS Eupen sports director Josep Colomer and it didn’t take long before I was convinced that I wanted to transfer to this club. And that was despite Eupen being on the other side of the country and me having offers from clubs that would not have necessitated moving house. But I figured that I wanted to come to Eupen because I really wanted to play for this club. Right from the start, I felt that people really wanted me as a player. So it wasn’t a difficult choice.”
What role will you play at KAS Eupen?
“I’ve already heard and read a lot about that. That I should be an example for the young African players, and a lot more. But you know, I’m here to play football. I need to perform well and get on the pitch. That is the first and most important thing I can give the team. So I hope that I can help KAS Eupen in a sporting sense more than anything.”
What do you think about the fact that KAS Eupen has taken 0 points from 9 at the start of the season?
“0 from 9 sounds pretty rough in terms of the maths and it is not a comfortable situation for KAS Eupen to be in. But there’s a lot of encouraging aspects to their game, which should inspire the team when they consider the games in Bruges and against Kortrijk going forward. The most difficult thing in football is to exploit opportunities. That’s what KAS Eupen has done, so the team can look ahead with some confidence. What’s missing right now is the three points. After that, the team will become more self-confident and a lot of things will then become easier. In any case, a championship is not decided in the first five matches. It is important to get the first win as quickly as possible, and if we can do this against Ostend on Saturday, it would be a great thing for the team.”
What are your impressions of the first training sessions in Eupen?
“First of all, the personal feeling that I have been working hard to stay fit over the past few weeks. Then I also feel that I am playing in a team with a coach who loves football and who trains intensely, always with the ball. I like that.”