Although Deroo started on the bench, he played a significant part in the decisive victory against St. Petersburg. He put two blocks in the fourth inning so that the tiebreak could still be averted. Because the corona rules in Russia are less strict than in Belgium, Sam Deroo was able to celebrate his title firmly. “All brakes were released,” he laughs. “First we shared our happiness with some fans in the hall to have a drink at home afterwards. By about two in the morning we were in the nightclub where we went crazy until the early hours. Yes, I did get some jealous reactions from the Belgian friends ”, says Deroo from Russia.

It was the end of a sportingly brilliant year for the Red Dragon in which he won the so-called triple with a Russian Cup, a Russian title and a European Cup (CEV). “As a player you probably only experience this once”, Deroo realizes. “Although I was not always in the base, I am very proud of that achievement. Especially because I saved the furniture several times at crucial moments. After a 2-0 deficit in the Final 6 against Fakel, I was also decisive and in the final I was also there when I had to. It is a pity that my relationship with the coach was not great this year, otherwise I would have played a lot more. Also in the final I actually got between the lines much too late because the other corner players failed. Fortunately our opposite (Sokolov) had a phenomenal day. ”

Coronavirus and injuries

Deroo looks back on his adventure in Russia with mixed feelings. “On the one hand I won three prizes and that makes up for a lot, but on the other it was a year with lesser periods. I was struck down by the corona virus and had to contend with two injuries. Especially when I was injured, I felt a lot of pressure from Dinamo Moscow’s entourage to be able to play again quickly. And once my rehab was over, I was treated disrespectfully and often had to sit on the couch. Yes, it has become a unique season in which I also learned a lot as a person. I haven’t seen my son Bas for 8.5 months and then you realize that life is much more than just top sport. Especially if you spend such a long time in an environment where you get little assistance.

Back to Poland

Next season, Deroo will again provide fireworks in Poland, where he already won three league titles and two cups at Kedzierzyn. This time he can help Rzeszow with the prizes. “Poland is a lot closer to home”, he explains the transfer to his new team. “There are currently a lot of great transfers being realized in Poland, so I expect a high-quality competition with five title contenders. That will be something to look forward to. ”

Red Dragons

But first Deroo spends another four months on Belgian soil. “What my summer program will look like will largely depend on my physical ailments. I want to have my ankle checked again because I went through it twice last season. Perhaps a surgical procedure is needed and now is the ideal time for it. If I turn out to be completely fit, I will join the Red Dragons for the Golden League. I might go on vacation in the summer, but I want to spend as much time with my son first ”, Deroo concludes. 


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