Seppe Van Maele KV Oostende

Name: Seppe Van Maele
Current club: KV Oostende
Previous Club: SV Zulte-Waregem 
Birthday: 19/01/2005

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

Seppe’s daddy has been a soccer player all his life and even today he is still active on the board of a soccer club. It is therefore not surprising that Seppe would soon follow his first steps on a soccer field under the guidance of his daddy. When Seppe was allowed to play at the U7 there was, as is the case today in many clubs, no fixed goalkeeper and everyone in turn has to stand in the goal to experience all the positions on the field and gain the necessary skills for it. However, from the first moment he noticed that being a goalkeeper was the only thing Seppe wanted, because admit it now, being a goalkeeper is super fun.  The following season it was decided to work with a steady goalkeeper as it was very clear that Seppe would continue his future in that position.

What goalkeepers do you admire?

Ter Stegen is a goalkeeper who has everything. He is an excellent line-keeper with good reflexes. He is also strong in 1 vs. 1 situations. He is very athletic and agile. His jumping power is admirable. On distance shots he can sometimes do nice parades. He is boss in his sixteen meter area and radiates a lot of self-confidence. He is a reliable goalkeeper who hardly flutters. He also has very good feet, which is as important for a goalkeeper today as grabbing balls, he stays calm on the ball and if possible always looks for the soccer solution.

How would you define yourself as a goalkeeper?

Seppe is a goalkeeper who always plays in function of his team and prefers a good team performance to his individual performance. That one beautiful save is nice and good for confidence, but he is just as happy when he didn’t have to do this save because of a strong defensive match of his teammates and can also take the victory that way. Seppe himself is a goalkeeper who is well on his line with very good reflexes. Like a good goalkeeper, he always tries to help his defence by coaching a lot and by being as playable as possible by moving and sliding well beside his goal. Not evident that they tilt along, many goalkeepers often play the ball in and then stop their action. Even then, it is our job as goalkeepers to move along and, if necessary, be playable again if the goalkeeper is put under pressure by an opponent.
Seppe’s growth spurt will certainly continue in the future, but as long as it’s not, he’ll do everything he can to limit this “handicap” by training on jumping power, or at home with my jumping rope. In this way we are convinced that for “smaller” goalkeepers this doesn’t have to be a disadvantage and can compensate this by building up the right technique and strength for this.

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

A goalkeeper has to stand in front of his team. Of course, as a goalkeeper you have a huge responsibility because if you make a mistake, it’s usually a counter-goal. A good goalkeeper should therefore be in charge of his own sixteen and never be afraid to hit a high ball You sometimes see a goalkeeper going under the ball once when it is high and then often getting wind of supporters and especially trainers from the front Nonetheless, we should encourage the goalkeepers to do more in this regard Everyone makes mistakes, including us as goalkeepers, but if they are not allowed to make them, of course we cannot learn from them either So even if things go wrong once in a while, which will certainly happen sometimes, as a goalkeeper you have to stand up again and radiate the self-confidence of the past. Only in this way can you motivate yourself as a goalkeeper, but also convince your fellow players that they can still rely on you.

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

No, everyone, whether you have talent or not, has to work very hard as a goalkeeper on whatever level you play and that is what Seppe has done in recent years to grow as a goalkeeper on many levels (technical, mental, physical, …) . Had we asked Seppe 5 years ago if he would still play on the ELITE level he would certainly have said no, but look he still plays on this level and will continue to work hard to keep playing on this level.

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

A goalkeeper (every sportsman/woman) must always build in sufficient recovery moments. Seppe always prepares himself for an early night game (21.30-22.00). The next day he gets up reasonably early so he can wake up quietly and doesn’t have to go into stress mode immediately to get ready to leave. In this way he can work very relaxed towards the match. 3-4 hours before the match a light meal (often pasta) will be eaten to be able to start the match with sufficient strength…

To prepare my gloves for the match, he wets them the evening before the match and then wraps them in a towel. That way I have a good grip the day after and my gloves aren’t dry on the inside.

When wrapping the gloves it is very important to make sure that the latex doesn’t get on top of each other and that there is always a piece of the towel in between. In this way the latex cannot stick together and cracks in the latex are avoided so they will wear faster. 

And how many gloves do you usually wear each year?

5-6 pair

Which brands did you play with before you discovered Prostar?

REAL has been the brand with which Seppe can be found in the goal, just as it has been for so many a long time. After that he also played for a while with the local brand DEMAT. 2 years ago the youth-keepers of K.V. Oostende had to play with Uhlsport from the club UHLSPORT. This year the club stepped away from that and we were free to play with the brand we wanted.

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 got to know ProStar through Wout Meese, a youth trainer from Anderlecht I know. He told me it was a good brand and so I decided to contact Prostar via instagram. Later Andy came by to give some explanation about the gloves. It’s important that as a goalkeeper you feel good with the gloves. A well-fitting glove provides a lot of self-confidence and it is important that you fit different gloves so that you know which one you feel best with.

What’s the hardest thing for a goalkeeper?

Playing high and estimating depth balls are difficult. You should always make sure that you are high enough so that a ball in the back of the defence can be yours On the other hand, you should also not stand too high so that you can be back in your sixteen quickly enough if necessary Coaching with your defence is therefore very important at those times.

Finally, what advice would you give a young goalie?

You always have to have self-confidence, even when things are not going so well. If you make a blunder in a match you can’t let your head hang and you have to turn that button right away. Never listen to what other people say along the sidelines and use those bad comments as motivation to get better!

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