Interview: Tim Smolders
This week we had an interview with a Belgian player who sometimes works as an analyst for a Belgian TV channel: Tim Smolders.
Tims’ career started when he was five years old. He joined FC Netezonen. During his youth he played for KVC Westerlo, Verbroedering Geel and Club Brugge. In Bruges he played from 1999 until 2004. In 2004 he went to RBC in The Netherlands. After RBC relegated he returned to Belgium where he managed to get a tranfer to Sporting Charleroi and he stayed at this club for 3 seasons. In january 2009 Tim Smolders signed for KAA Gent where he played just under the 150 games. The right-footed midfielder ended his career at Cercle Brugge where he played another 3 seasons. Nowadays he sometimes analyses games at Proximus TV, a Belgian TV channel.
You had a long career and played the entire time at a high level but who was your toughest opponent?
It must have been Kevin de Bruyne. He was very difficult to defend because of his smart runs. He’s always 3 steps ahead and he got even better in Germany and England.
You played many games in many stadiums, which one was your favourite?
In Belgium I prefer the Ghelamco Arena (KAA Gent) but the atmosphere in a swirling Sclessin (Standard de Liege) is fantastic, especially when you visit it as a player of Sporting Charleroi, which is their number one rival. Abroad, Nou Camp is the most memorable.
During your spell at Club Brugge you played in Nou Camp against FC Barcelona with Kluivert, Ronaldo, Guardiola, Rivaldo… Can you describe what you felt?
It was unbelievable to play there. I was only 19 years old an my legs were shaking until the game started.
You had beautiful periods at Club Brugge and KAA Gent, do you still have contact with your old teammates?
I am still in contact with many of them but most have already left KAA Gent. Bernd Thijs, Rafinha, Benito (Raman), and Timy Simons are the only guys from my periods still playing there.