From tonight you can follow the wonderful season of the Doctoral Student Union from Grade 1 on Canvas and VRT NU every Monday evening for 5 weeks in the documentary series “Allez l’Union”. Documentary filmmaker Bart Aerts hopes to take home a finalist award with the title . “But just as the Etihad season has already been successful, the documentary is great without that score.”
The idea to follow Union for an entire season arose from an earlier project for Watertower Productions. With Zwanzederby, the fun rivalry between RWDM and Union is highlighted.
“When we learned Union would be promoted, we asked the club if we could follow them into their first season at the highest level in 48 years,” says documentary filmmaker Bart Aerts.
“The idea took hold of Al Ittihad immediately, also because they wanted to show the growing pains of the club that had just turned professional.”
“We got permission to follow through on everything: transfer negotiations, scenes in the dressing room, the agreement the players reached not to leave in the winter, … there was no limit,” he added.
“The title will be the icing on the cake of the documentary, but especially for the union”
This openness ensured that it became a one-of-a-kind documentary, which was given an extra bit of sauce when it turned out that Union suddenly competed for the title.
“Of course we didn’t know beforehand that it would end like this,” says Bart Aerts. “However, we felt that self-confidence was low from the start. Last season Al Ittihad lost 0-5 in the cup to Anderlecht and that was a wake-up call.”
“They knew they had to do something different. And then they immediately won their first match in 1A with 1-3 in Anderlecht! After the second match, a 0-1 defeat to Club Brugge, Chairman Alex Muzio resolutely said: We make to the top 3 .”
“At the time I thought: What does all this say? But then he repeated that at the end of the competition he would say to the people – who had always expected the union to fall back – ‘I was wrong at first, I was wrong in the middle and I was wrong at the end.’
“The title would of course be great for our documentary. The icing on the cake. But it would be especially great for Union. And then they would prove that by working in an original way, without spending money on it, you can still achieve success in Belgium, which is why so many People in the football world give it to them too.”
After the second match, there was no point in defeating Club Brugge, the president already said firmly: We will get to the top three.
Because all the doors were opened to them, the documentary filmmakers were present at many of the defining moments during the season.
“I still remember the moment they won the Autumn Champion. Everyone wondered if Union wouldn’t succumb to the pressure, but they won 1-7 in Ostend.”
“Dante Vanzer’s red card is also unforgettable. I saw that he was in danger of falling into the hole, but he coped with it very well, also thanks to the great support of his teammates.”
According to Bart Aerts, this solidarity sets Al Ittihad apart from many other teams. “It was a very emotional moment when coach Felice Matsuo’s mother passed away. Felice is a very important person to him. He places great importance on a friendly and family atmosphere. You can see that the whole club sympathized with him. That bond made them.
We don’t know how the documentary will end yet, because the fifth and final episode is all about the Champions League finale. Or will it not stop there and we will follow the European Union next season?
“As a TV maker, of course I immediately say ‘yes’. Because it is worth it again. I am convinced that the club will do everything possible not to appear on the European stage without their knees. Because that is not the case they are in the Federation.”
You can watch the first episode tonight It’s 9.17 pm a look at Canvas, for an additional time. The documentary will also be on VRT now Progress.
“Allez l’Union” trailer
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