Emerging Star Julie Vanloo Sets High Goals

01 August 2009

by Paul Nilsen

When you approach the Belgium locker room it is likely that you will hear one voice above any other and it won't necessarily be that of Coach Daniel Goethals.

Every good team and locker room needs players with real character and in the case of the Belgian team, look no further than livewire star Julie Vanloo.

The star is definitely a player who is happy to make a deliberate point of making sure that she not only stamps her unique personality on games, but also influences matters in and around the team off the court.

She explained "I always try to do my best for the team as a team mate of everybody on the court but also off court too which is very important"

"Everyone has to be happy in the team and I know that I can help with this."

"We like it when everybody is playing together and is in the team but also we are a team together and happy away from the court too."

Vanloo fired a tournament high 28 points with a stellar MVP display against Finland to help Belgium to their first won of the competition.

However she didn't want to talk about her own performance but the teams hard work on defence which she feels, along with the opening night defeat against Spain can provide the motivation to bring an already close knit team even closer together.

"Of course it was good for the team because we had a big win and we played very well.

"As a team we played very good defence. The other teams must now be afraid of our defence."

"If we play good defence and play as a team then the rest of our game will always come together."

"Maybe losing against Spain in the first game was actually good for us for this tournament."

"It is never good to lose a game but in our minds maybe it was a sign to make us come even closer together."

Standing in a corridor of the Arena with a wide smile and giving her team-mates a rare few minutes of quiet, the guard was only too happy to explain in her perfect English about her short and long term ambitions.

"My aim is to make it into the top five of this tournament to go into the World Championships but my biggest dream is of course to eventually play for my country at senior level."

One thing is for certain, with performances like she showed against Finland and with her personality around the locker room, you wouldn't bet against her achieving either.

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