Forge FC’s Belgian connection continues to grow as the Hamilton-based club announced the signing of promising attacking midfielder Paolo Sabak on Thursday.
A product of KRC Genk’s storied youth academy, Sabak graduated to the senior team at age 17 and made his debut in a side that featured Toronto FC’s Alejandro Pozuelo and Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi.
Genk’s youth academy is considered one of the best in Europe, having produced players the calibre of Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Benteke and Thibaut Courtois.
A native of Mechelen, Belgium, Sabak’s tenure at Genk overlapped with current Forge assistant coach Peter Reynders and defender Daniel Krutzen.
The 21-year-old appears to be a replacement for Tristan Borges, last year’s CPL Player of the Year who was sold to Belgian second-tier side OH Leuven in the off-season.
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“In Paolo, we are bringing in a young and talented player with a tremendous upside,” Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis offered.
“He comes to us with professional experience in both Belgium and the Netherlands and with a quality education coming through one of the world’s top youth academies.”
Sabak was most recently with second division Dutch side NEC Nijmegen after signing with them in 2018.
He has also earned regular call ups for Belgium’s national youth team from under-15 to under-19 levels since 2014.
With the addition of Sabak, Forge now has 19 players signed for the 2020 season including 17 from last year’s CPL Championship roster.