Marc van Craen one of the chiefs of the organizational committee of U-19 Elite Round teams, paid a big attention to us while being in Antwerpen. He arranged our accreditation details very well and besides this, he even took us with his private car to Borneme and Westerlo, where on May 24 and 26 Georgian national team held the matches against England and Scotland. We did not ask it to him, just we asked how could we get from Antwerpen to Borneme and then Westerlo and he answered in a short way: I will take the guests from Georgia, journalists from Georgia arrive in Belgium for attending the match very rare. We were surprised and happy, but one of the reasons of his such attention we found out today. He told us that at the end of 1990 he used to play for “Lierse” and he remembered Gela Shekiladze, at the end of 1990 and at the beginning of 2000 Gela was playing for “Lierse” and he used to play for Georgian national team too, then he returned to Georgia and started a coach career. I tried to connect him today from Belgium, but the members of his family sent me SMS that he is abroad now and at the end of the week will return in Tbilisi.
As for Marc van Craen, after a football career, he was a coach in Belgium championship till 2007 in the third and the second division, but now he organizes international level tournaments.
He sent best regards to Gela Shekiladz as well as Georgians, especially Shota Arveladze, he is still remembered in Belgium from “AJAX”.
Marc told us that, Georgia has very talented youth generation and he is surprised why Georgian team is not more successful. It is not surprising only for him, but it is topic of another letter.
Tengiz Pachkoria, Brussels, special for www.worldsport.ge
Photos by Khatuna Gabitashvili