Glenn Verbauwhede - Fact File

Verbauwhede Has No Regrets Over Sundowns Switch

Probably every Belgian football fan knows the name Glenn Verbauwhede. However, the goalkeeper has failed to make a name for himself in South Africa since signing for Mamelodi Sundowns last season. The 29 year-old has now moved to Free State Stars after finding himself on the side-lines at the Chloorkop based side. The Belgian goalie explains why he decided to come to South Africa.

Personal Information
Full names: Glenn Verbauwhede
Date of birth: 19 May 1985
Place of birth: Kortrjik, Belgium
Nickname: Glenzito
Position: Goalkeeper
Jersey no: 30
Club: Free State Stars

Previous clubs: SV Waregem Juniors, Club Brugge Juniors, Club Brugge, Kortrjik (on loan), Westerlo (all Belgium), Mamelodi Sundowns

Honours: 2004 Belgian Super Cup winner, 2004 Bruges Matins Winner, 2004/05 Belgian Cup Runner-up, 2004/05 Belgian First Division Winner, 2005 Belgian Super Cup Winner, 2007 Belgian Super Cup Runner-up, 2007 Bruges Matins Winner, 2006/07 Belgian Cup Winner, 2006 Bruges Matins Winner (all with Club Brugges), 2013/14 League Winner with Mamelodi Sundowns

Hi Glenzito, what made you come to South Africa in the first place?
I had interest from Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns. I made a choice and the rest is history. The problem is that after I came into the country, before I could get registered with the team, I got injured. Last season I did my rehabilitation for eleven months.

Looking back, are you happy with the decision you made to play for Sundowns instead of Pirates?
On the one side yes, and on the other no. In every decision you make, there is a positive and a story. In my case I got injured and now I’m back, having won the league. Yeah! I just wanted to play here at Stars. Sundowns still have an option that they can take up on my contract, but just let me first focus on playing for Stars and give as much as possible back to this club. If they want to extend my contract, then we will sit down and talk. But I don’t think it will be a solution for them to extend my contract if I have a good season here. I wouldn’t agree with that because that would be expanding the problem that we had last season. But, yes maybe Pirates would have been a better choice, but that’s all history.

Why did you choose Ea Lla Koto?
Simple. The transfer window was closing and for me it was the only opportunity. You know if you have five opportunities to go elsewhere with a chance of playing, Stars were the last option for me to go and play somewhere else, I was unlucky to get injured. I tore the tendon near the Achilles and there was even a moment when I was told I would not play again, but I recovered and worked hard. I was supposed to be back after eight months, but was only back after 11 months. But okay, at the end of the day, I’m back, I’m playing again and now it’s up to me to prove that Sundowns was wrong.
But you cannot compare Stars and Downs. Sundowns are a big team, they won the league, but Stars is not a small team. Unfortunately the club had a bad run last season. But you will see that in the seasons before that, the club were always in the top half of the table. That’s where we want to be. The Chairman of the club and his son, Rantsi Mokoena, are all moving in the right direction and supporting us. Everybody needs to have the same vision, support the coach, support the players and I think we are on the right track. I also just need to thank the guys in Rosebank and my physio because I was there more than I was at home. They saved my career.

How is the squad shaping up?
Everything is going well and everyone is working hard. The guys have added value.

What do you aim to achieve this season?
To help the team as best as I can do to achieve its ambition wherever I’m given an opportunity.

Thank you so much for your time
Thanks man.