How did you decide to go goalkeeping?
Times change quickly. 15 years ago it was certainly not a problem when someone wanted to go straight into goal. After all, many teams were already happy when they found a goalkeeper. Times are slowly changing and a goalkeeper has to be almost the equal of the other fielders. With the added bonus that he or she should also be able to avoid goals. For Joren Op de beeck, his football career started at Putte sk, not as a goalkeeper, but as a fielder. When the goalkeeper of his team wasn’t there once, he was allowed to fill in for him and the goalkeeper microbe soon got hold of him.
Which goalkeepers are you looking at?
The 2 big examples for Joren Op de beeck are actually 2 totally different types of goalkeepers. The names Buffon and Ter Stegen will sound familiar to you and you will understand why we say this. Ter Stegen’s technique is perfect, he is the textbook example of a modern goalkeeper. The reason why Joren admires Buffon so much is especially the mentality with which he stands on a football field and of course his many beautiful saves. In this way, we don’t just come back to what we said at the beginning of this interview, but it is the perfect example of how goalkeepers have developed over the years.
How would you describe yourself as a goalkeeper?
We already hear grandma’s, grandpa’s and parents telling us that participating is more important than winning. But who is often the hardest person to encourage us along the sidelines? Of course this mentality of winning is more important than participating when you want to get higher up in football. Everyone likes to see beautiful and well-groomed football, but at the end only one thing counts for the supporters, the THREE points. As a goalkeeper, Joren always puts his team first in order to be able to score these 3 points. No success of his own, but winning with 11.
What do you think is the most important quality of a goalkeeper?
If the opponent sees a goalkeeper who radiates little confidence, he will grow, but the other way around is certainly true and so it is very important that you, as a goalkeeper, radiate confidence. In this way you will not only influence the opponent, but your own players will take over this attitude and trust you as a goalkeeper when you find yourself in difficult situations. This can be in a one-on-one situation, a replay ball or even when your team is facing a penalty kick.
Did you expect your career as a goalkeeper to be as it is at the moment?
As a small or young goalkeeper you naturally dream of being able to go the same way as your big idols who you see working on television every week. However, it is not as obvious as young guests to be able to start and stay at the highest level. Unfortunately, you see a lot of boys coming and going in this world. One has the willpower to work hard and leave a bit to become a professional footballer “maybe” someday.
Meanwhile, Joren Op de beeck is working at the U16 of Cercle Bruges and he has already come a long way. The road to professional football seems close, but he also realises that far away.
How do you prepare yourself and your gloves for a match?
Before the match everything may be very relaxed for Joren, you have to try to make sure that you have as little stress as possible. For Joren this is done by organising everything as well as possible. This way he won’t have any surprises and he can work his way up to the warm-up and the competition. The line between concentration and atmosphere is a very thin one. For many this goes together to be able to give the stress a place, for others these 2 aspects are very far apart. As a football player you also have to learn to deal with this and figure out your own rituals in order to do as relaxed as possible what you prefer to do ‘playing football’.
How many pairs of gloves do you wear on average per year?
Let’s come back to the past one more time. Not only the way of playing football has made an enormous evolution, but also the material and the fields on which we play. Fortunately almost every elite team trains most of their time on artificial turf, unfortunately the wear and tear of our material is also much greater on this surface. Last year, for example, he used around 10 pairs. So far this season he is wearing 4 pairs of goalkeeper gloves. We already hear you say and Covid then, but also during this period Joren has not been sitting still and he was training regularly to maintain his skills.
What brand did you play with for this?
When you have been a goalkeeper for about 10 years, you have undoubtedly had a lot of brands around your hands. Christmas presents, birthday presents, these are just a few moments when family members or friends come off with goalkeeper gloves, because as a goalkeeper, what do you never have too much? Goalkeeper gloves, of course. Throughout these years you will build up your preferences and when you can choose for yourself the gloves you felt most comfortable with. For Joren these were mainly Reusch and Uhlsport goalkeeper gloves, but before he switched to prostar it was already a long time with adidas.
Why do you play with prostar now?
Joren Op de beeck was one of the lucky ones who won a pair of goalkeeper gloves at the Giveaway of Wout Meese. As a goalkeeper it is often difficult to get rid of something when you feel good about something. Still, I haven’t regretted it for a moment, because the grip is very good and they have a good fit. On top of that, the price-quality ratio is very good, in the past the price used to go up to 120 euros per pair, whereas now I have them for almost half the price.
What is the hardest thing for a goalkeeper?
A setback is not pleasant for any player on the team, yet as a goalkeeper you have to be mentally even stronger than any other team-mate. If you, as a goalkeeper, make a mistake, it is a counter-goal 9 times out of 10. So you have to learn how to deal with this. It will fall 9 times, but you have to stand up straight and come out stronger every time!
What is your advice for young goalkeepers?
That they should continue to work very hard, even if it’s less and they shouldn’t care about negative comments. Also that they should do a lot of goalkeeper training, the more you train the better and the sooner you learn things. Also, they shouldn’t worry if they make a mistake, because a striker doesn’t shoot in every ball either.
Joren does not hesitate and chooses the best affordable quality available on the market. No compromise on quality or price. Among other things, he chose the following models. Do you also want to work with these professional goalkeeper gloves?