Coach On Why He Let One Of His Stars Join Newcastle

In an interview recently Matz Sels said that the training sessions Rafa Benitez runs at Newcastle United are a lot more intense than those of his former coach at Gent, Hein Vanhaezebrouck.

Matz joked that at Newcastle “My morning forest walks are not there anymore.”


Hein Vanhaezebrouck – Gent head coach

Hein Vanhaezebrouck himself says that Matz deserved his move to an ambitious and traditional club in England – yes that’s Newcastle United.

This is what Hein has told Nieuwsblad:

“As a club we allow players who have made a step forward to move abroad, especially if the club receive an appropriate transfer fee in return.”

“Due to his good performances in recent years, that was the last but certainly not the main reason we let him go.”

“Matz made a nice transfer to an ambitious and traditional club in England.”

Sels was voted the best goalkeeper in the Belgium Pro League last season when Gent finished second top just 4 points behind Club Brugge.

After 5 games played this season Gent have 9 points, the same as Newcastle and are in 6th place in the league

The 24-year-old Belgium international was signed by Newcastle for £4.5M and he was out very first signing in late June.

Matz has so far been holding down the goalkeeper position at Newcastle, keeping 25 year-old Karl Darlow on the subs bench.

Once Rob Elliot is fit again towards the end of the year, Matz will have a tough job on his hands keeping his place, but the Belgium goalkeeper  should also improve as he gets used to English football.

matz sels in training

Matz Sels at Newcastle

Newcastle are well stocked with good goalkeepers these days with young 19 year-old Freddie Woodman also at the club and a great prospect for the future.

Veteran Tim Krul is spending the season on loan at Ajax as he recovers fully from the serious ACL injury he picked  up playing for the Netherlands last October.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Jib

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #1

    Ibiza is it hot where you are ?
    It’s sweltering here and they are forecasting the hottest September for 30 years in Spain.

  • El Sleeve

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #2

    Apart from the 4G pitch, what are the improvements at the training ground?

  • Tsunki

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #3

    This guy looks like he could do a canny turn at belting out a Shirley Bassey classic. Following a burst vessel, he could take a canny turn as well.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #4

    Else Sleeve – the training? 😉

  • Tsunki

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #5


  • Tsunki

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #6

    I don’t think the wheelie bin ice baths are there any more. And the 22mm 8×4 ply sheets have been sold back to Travis Perkins.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #7

    He looks like he’s got the lungs for it.

    “The Phaaaaaantom of the Opera is therrrrrrre,
    …Inside your mindddd..”

  • lesh

    Sep 7, 2016 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #8


    Yi seem t gerrabootabit. Yi said yi wa in North Shields the other week!


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