Belgian Pro League season preview: Eyes on Danny Vukovic

The Belgian Pro League returns this weekend with Aussie interest firmly fixed on Danny Vukovic's second season in the competition.

As the Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper aims to help his KRC Genk break into the top four, he can expect to be met by three ever-present forces at the top of the table.

Here's what you need to know about a league that spawned the stars of Roberto Martinez's FIFA World Cup™ semi-finalists.


Though they wobbled in the championship play-offs, Club Brugge - formerly home to Mat Ryan - held on last season to claim a 15th league title, second in three seasons, and first under coach Ivan Leko.

They can expect to be challenged by Anderlecht, by far Belgium's most successful club and a conveyor belt of talent that has produced the likes of Vincent Kompany and Romelu Lukaku.

Standard Liege, meanwhile, enjoyed a resurgence in 2017/18 to finish as runners-up, suggesting they could be ready to stake a serious bid for their first title in a decade.

Anderlecht are never far from silverware.


Ruud Vormer has broken into Netherlands' national team with his performances in midfield for Club Brugge and earlier this year won the Golden Shoe award for the competition's best player, an honour previously bestowed upon Frank Farina.

Versatile Anderlecht defender Leander Dendoncker, 23, has long attracted interest from Europe's top leagues and did his chances of a big move no harm in appearing for Belgium in Russia.

His team-mate, Ryota Morioka, also looms as one to watch for Australian fans. The midfielder could come into AFC Asian Cup contention for Japan if he maintains the form that saw him net 13 goals and finish second on the assist tally.

Ruud Vormer
Ruud Vormer is a rock for Club Brugge.


Cercle Brugge ended a three-season absence from the top flight by beating Beerschot Wilrijk in the promotion play-offs in March.

They replace relegated KV Mechelen.


Danny Vukovic is Australia's lone representative in the Pro League. The former Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year inherited the gloves from Mat Ryan at KRC Genk and, in his first season, made 38 league appearances. The 33-year-old is firmly established as first-choice.

His club, three-time champions Genk, are looking to improve after a strong end to last season earned them fifth place and a spot in the Europa League qualifiers. They play at the 23,000-seater Luminus Arena and are managed by former Belgium defender Philippe Clement.

Danny Vukovic
Danny Vukovic is out to back up a fine first season.