The Challenger Pro League, Belgium’s second tier of football, is getting very exciting at the top with multiple teams finding some form. SK Beveren hosted KRC Genk U23s in the eleventh match of the season and had an easy night. After just 20 minutes SK Beveren was leading 2-0 and saw Genk defender Ouattara get red-carded. In the second half, Beveren was able to take their foot off the gas a little, just scoring one more goal against their ten opponents.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: French
- Age: 20
- Date of birth: 21/10/2002
- Club: SK Beveren
- Career: SC Toulon (Y), FC Sochaux B, SK Beveren
- Position: Striker
- Preferred foot: Right
Thierno Barry is one of the absolute fan favourites of SK Beveren this season and against Jong Genk he showed once again why he is so loved by Beveren’s fanbase. Just a little bit over a minute into the game the French striker already opened the score for the hosts. After good work from the iconic striker Dieumerci Mbokani, Barry kept his calm and slotted the ball in the back of the net with his left foot. Not long after the 20-year-old caused even more problems for Genk U23s. Barry surprised his direct opponent Ouattara, who then fouled him in the box causing a penalty and getting a red card as result. Barry’s night got even better though, as he scored a second goal late on in the second half. Mbokani, this time from the right side, put in a powerful cross which Barry couldn’t miss.
The young Frenchman played as one of the two strikers, next to Mbokani, in SK Beveren’s 3-4-2-1 formation and had plenty of freedom to roam towards the wings or drop back to link up with his midfielders. Barry played a few matches as left winger/midfielder for Beveren this season and against Genk he also moved towards the left flank quite often.
Most notable about Barry is without a doubt his physique. Standing at 1.95m he is an absolute giant, with a pair of enormous legs and a slightly lanky build. Despite his size, the young striker is still surprisingly quick on the first meters, which he displayed in the 17th minute causing that penalty. He also did well shielding off the ball when needed, causing a couple of more fouls in his favour.
With the ball at his feet Barry was also surprisingly good. His decisions at times showed that he still has to mature a little bit as a footballer, as I felt like he overcomplicated things at times, but he also showed some glimpses of class. Barry did very well constantly scanning his surroundings, which allowed him to play some great passes forward to his teammates. He played some good one-touch passes and looked to be very comfortable using his weaker left foot when needed. His shooting was a bit of a mixed bag against Genk. There were two quite similar moments where he tried to shoot with the inside of his right foot. One of those shots just went over the bar and the other one wasn’t even remotely close to hitting the target.
Rating – A1
Thierno Barry is putting up some fantastic numbers for SK Beveren so far with eight goals in twelve matches and could definitely play on a higher level next season. The battle for promotion in the Challenger Pro League is really tight but if SK Beveren stays on top of the table, Barry has the perfect opportunity to play in the Jupiler Pro League (Belgium’s 1st tier) next season.