Koen Casteels: Having the manager's backing feels good

Since the injury to Heurelho Gomes, Koen Casteels has taken over as the number one in goal for Hoffenheim. We spoke to the Belgian at Schwetzingen Castle for an interview in the stadium magazine. He talked about his early move to TSG and his relationship with manager Markus Gisdol.

Was the decision to move to TSG in 2011 an easy one to make?

I learnt a lot in Genk but it's in Hoffenheim where I've made a decisive step in my career as a professional footballer. I have to thank [TSG goalkeeping coach] Zsolt Petry a lot for that. He's prepared me well.

It can't have been easy for you to leave home and go to another country at the age of 19?

It has given me so much towards my personal development though. It wasn't easy at the start; my parents still lived in Belgium and I'd moved into my first flat, but I still felt settled here very quickly.

In Markus Gisdol, you now have a manager who has openly declared you the number one keeper. Does that faith give you an extra boost?

As a young player, it's important that the manager can rely on you and is convinced that he can achieve something by playing you. It feels good when you get that kind of backing and the manager communicates with you a lot, assuring his belief in you.

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