HALF/TIME EP. 4: Sébastien Ronse

In our weekly talk we discuss a relevant football topic with the greatest football professionals out there.
Take a seat, sit back, relax, and level up your knowledge in the world of football

Sébastien Ronse is the Operational Director of KAA Gent, in this HALF/TIME session Sébastien gives a unique view on what's living in the management chambers of a top club. He describes the targets and goals that a club like KAA Gent is trying to reach to get the maximum potential out of their players.


"The far-reaching guidance of young people is of course an important shift that goes far beyond the present physical guidance. Of course, it is still there, but it seems to me that the first important shift in recent years, and certainly with a view to the future, is that we see the development of young people, and young footballers in particular, not only on a physical level but also on a cognitive level. The search for talent is no longer limited to the physical strengths of a player to decide whether they will grow into athletes who can handle professional soccer. They also need to have the technical skills to reach the highest level. Which is the goal of our training therefor they also need to have other qualities which defines a good footballer today become a very good footballer late. And that also includes cognitive skills, which is the ability to see things quickly, to process them quickly and to link the appropriate decisions to them. De Bruyne is sometimes called a very smart player, with a lot of soccer intelligence in addition to his physical and technical qualities. But he can also read a soccer situation just that little bit faster, assess it, know where the ball comes from and where it must go. These are skills that in the past were somewhat underexposed and not measured. A first evolution is that in addition to the physical, we also look for players who also have those technical-cognitive skills. That’s why we’re looking for resources that allow us to measure those skills and then train them further."