The people of Brussels had been dreaming of a new title since 1941. And, facing Ghent, in the final, they showed character and mastery to emerge and crown a season which they nevertheless went through while undergoing certain turbulences.
The playoff finals were like the season for the Ucclois. Abused, shaken and sometimes on the verge of breaking, Craig Fulton’s proteges have, each time, found the resources necessary to react and bounce back when they seemed to be at the bottom of the hole. Facing the Gantoise, they were able to remain calm but above all they managed to show efficiency in reversing the trend and emerging in two fiercely contested matches. Like Tanguy Cosyns, author of a hat-trick in the second round, and who was celebrating his third championship title (after two coronations with the Waterloo Ducks). “This title is well deserved even if we had an extremely difficult season with rotten matches. But we have been great when the circumstances demanded it. We have, each time, been good when we had our backs against the wall, learning from certain disappointments. But we never panicked and with our weapons, we were effective when needed.
An even more beautiful title given the level of the championship
A title with a particular resonance for the former members of the house who have gone through all the emotions with Racing during their career, such as Jérémy Gucassoff or captain Jérôme Truyens. “It’s the character that allowed us to emerge. We often had to adapt our team and we had to grow throughout the season after the arrivals of Tanguy Cosyns and Cédric Charlier last summer. The young people also had to find their marks, while the results did not always follow. We must not neglect this long learning period and all the lessons we have learned from these delicate moments. »
The people of Brussels had started the championship very badly but they remained patient and diligent. They trusted the process put in place by their coach and above all they never gave up thanks, in part, to their executives who supported the team when necessary. “We thought a lot about our identity at the start of the second round,” explained Cédric Charlier, who was celebrating his second title in a row after that won last season in the jersey of the Dragons. “And from that moment, we offered an ultra-structured defensive block. We were sometimes outplayed but that was part of the plan. We knew that at some point in the matches we could manage to make a difference. We also had a good penalty and quality in each line. Beyond that, the championship was raised like never before and that makes, perhaps, this coronation even more beautiful. »
On the Ghent side, he certainly lacked a bit of experience to have a chance against Racing. “We didn’t play so badly during these two games, but we didn’t remain sufficiently calm and lucid when it was necessary”, regretted coach Pascal Kina. “This title was played on details because, in the game, we were more dangerous than our opponents. But I certainly don’t blame my players who still lack experience at this level. I know we are on the right path to win the championship but we will have to learn from our mistakes. »
But this title could also uninhibit Racing in the future. “This success shows that we must also trust the Belgian players with a long-term project that makes sense,” concluded Victor Wegnez, imperial in the Uccle defense. “Of course we’ve been a bit lucky over the whole season. But that’s part of the game. Now we also want to achieve something in EHL next season. I dream of replaying this competition which is magical. It’s the Hockey Champions League and it’s the only title that is still missing from my list. »
After 81 years of scarcity, the Ucclois are therefore hungry for success and new titles. They therefore intend to put the cover back on next season.