December 1, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Yellow tiger problems?  A number of top players no longer wish to play under current national coach Geert Vande Brook

Yellow tiger problems? A number of top players no longer wish to play under current national coach Geert Vande Brook

National coach Gary Vandy Brooke. © BELGA

He will soon follow the Yellow Tigers’ first selection since national coach Gert Vande Brook has been criticized for his offensive behaviour. But some players have already said thank you, others just want to come back under a different staff. The investigation is now underway and about fifty witnesses have already been heard.

Hans Jacobs

The main target of the Yellow Tigers this season is the World Cup at the end of September, but in a few weeks the women’s national volleyball team will prepare for the Nations League. In short, the first international match since the national team coach Gary Vande Brook was attacked. Players, both from previous generations and from the current generation, accuse him of emotionally and transcendental abuse of power.

He thanked some of the tigers already nominated for selection. It was already known from the former captain Ilka Van de Vyver that she no longer found herself in the situation – she was not talking about pure knowledge of volleyball, but about an emotional approach – and she stopped. She stands by that decision. Still others are leaving (for now?). Some cite special reasons – they want to have a good time after the club season, or they want to focus on their studies. Others, such as Van de Vyver, cite the unfavorable climate in the national team. Still others – including players who are doing well in prestigious international competitions – keep the door open, but no longer wish to work under the guidance of the current national coach and/or some officials of the Volleyball Association.

At the moment, the Volleyball Federation remains loyal to the coaching staff of the national team, but has appointed Jan de Brandt as an additional coach.

So it remains to be seen which Tigers will end up at the World Cup: with a potential team in theory or without some “firm values”. Whether the investigation, which began after public testimonies of former fixed values, among others, such as Valérie Courtois, Freya Aelbrecht, Hélène Rousseaux, Lise Van Hecke or Laura Heyrman, will be completed by then remains to be seen. This does not mean that the Prosecutor’s Office of the Volleyball Federation is in no hurry, but on the contrary. But one testimony leads to another. So far, about fifty witnesses have been heard. It concerns both people who are still active and people who have since discontinued. Some certifications go beyond the national coach’s approach and also target other members of the staff or those responsible for the Volleyball Federation. The investigation is conducted on the basis of indictment and discharge, with corroborating witnesses and fraudsters.

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