Benoit Degruyter

Name: Degruyter Benoit
Current Team: K.S.C.T. Menen
Previous Team: OMS Ingelmunster
Birthday: 12-06-1997

How did you decide to play soccer, especially as a goalkeeper?

Ever since I was a young boy I had to play soccer at home, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a good day. When I was in kindergarten I wanted to play soccer with my buddies at the then SV Izegem (now VV Emelgem-Kachtem). Actually, I stayed until my 14 years of polyvalent footballer/keeper. But I had to make a choice. Keeping was for me much more exciting than playing soccer, you have more responsibility than a fielder. Since my move to Ingelmunster I have become a full-time goalkeeper.

What goalkeepers do you admire?

The great example for many and also for me is Iker Casillas. The Spaniard was the best goalkeeper in the world! Also Manuel Neuer who is actually a bit like the prototype of a modern goalkeeper. Combining very high footballs with very good reflexes. David De Gea is also one of the goalkeepers I look up to because of his reflexes.

How would you define yourself as a goalkeeper?

I would describe myself as a leader in purpose. I’m someone who coaches a lot and helps the defense play better. I play good soccer and do everything I can to keep the 0 every week.

What do you think is the most important quality a goalkeeper should have?

As a goalkeeper, I think it’s very important that you think along during the game. That way, you not only help yourself but also your defence during the game. A goalkeeper should also be able to play football well.

Did you expect your career as a goalkeeper to turn out the way she does now?

I wasn’t expecting this at all. Especially since I never played at an elite, or inter-provincial club. I only played provincial for the first time when I was 16 years old. At my current club I got the chance to develop and grow further. Thanks to their confidence, I got in 2017 at the age of 19 the chance to be in goal in the A-core in the 2nd amateur league. But about 8 games later, after a wild tackle, I was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. After this setback I kept fighting to return to the level I was working on. This season I succeeded and I keep working to keep improving myself.

How do you prepare yourself and your gloves for a competition?

Personally, I prepare myself best by listening to my favourite music in the car on my way to the competition. I wash my gloves manually under lukewarm water after every race.

And how many gloves do you usually wear each year?

Usually I wear around 10 pairs per season.

Which brands did you play with before you discovered Prostar?

Before I started playing goaltending with Prostar I preferred to play with Adidas. You could also find Real in my closet on a regular basis.

Why did you start playing with ProStar or are you still playing with ProStar and didn’t go back to a well-known brand?

I think the most important thing about gloves is that they feel good. You have to be able to move well when you have the gloves on. When I put on Prostar for the first time, it felt good right away. The grip is also a very positive story with this glove. I’m completely convinced of the quality of Prostar, that’s why I don’t go back to a well-known brand.

What’s the hardest thing for a goalkeeper?

I think the hardest thing about being a goalkeeper is that you’re often blamed. You can get 20 balls in a game, and get good with good saves. But if you make one mistake and you lose that game 2-1, it’s invariably the goalkeeper’s fault. People don’t remember the good saves you did before, only the mistake they remember. And admit everyone makes a mistake sometimes, otherwise you’re not human.

Finally, what advice would you give a young goalie?

The advice I want to give to a young goalie is to never give up, never stop listening to tips. You can never learn enough. As a goalkeeper, you have to have a lot of patience, as there is only one on the pitch and it will not be replaced after 80 minutes. As a goalkeeper, you have to keep working to get a place that you want so badly You always have to keep believing in yourself That’s what I’ve done myself. Put your feet on the ground and train! (Sometimes you’re allowed to hover to grab the ball, but then back with both feet on the ground ?).

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