INTERVIEWS What can we expect from the U23's that will start in 1B next season? Willem Weijs, last season assistant manager at Anderlecht, is familiar with youth teams in the second division, warns that it will be a big adjustment. "It's very different from youth soccer," he says.
"You already know that the first season will be very difficult. That's logical and was in the Netherlands as well," Weijs says in the new soccer podcast Het Tussenseizoen. "Those first years, Jong Ajax, Jong PSV and the like always finished in the bottom places. After two, three years, those young talents knew how to stand up to the physical violence and men playing for premiums and points."
"Big man soccer is a different kind of soccer than youth soccer. Different physicality, different kind of pressure, ... The game is just played differently. You have to arm yourself faster. It's going to be a difficult step for all teams, including Anderlecht and Club Brugge. But I do applaud it enormously. It's about the future of Belgian soccer. For those talents, it's going to be good to play against top players from Beerschot or Beveren."
"Guys with talent"
Weijs is convinced that Anderlecht will send a strong team in 1B. "I have seen some matches of our U21 last season and there are also several boys who have trained with us. They are all boys who have real talent," said the Dutchman.
"Who are the next talents coming up? I find that difficult. I'm not going to mention any specific names because then too much pressure is put on them. At Anderlecht, talents always break through."
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