Last year saw John Bostock finish arguably the season of his career. He guided OH Leuven to promotion and subsequently set about attempting to ensure they remained in the top tier.
The first half of 2015 saw Bostock finish what he had started in 2014 by helping to secure promotion for OH Leuven back to the Belgian Pro League at the first opportunity.
Promotion was secured after Leuven finished fifth in the league, safely securing passage to the promotion play-offs. Bostock’s side then remained unbeaten when it mattered, winning four and drawing two of their play-off matches to top the group and achieve promotion.
The attacking midfielder was integral in the play-offs, with his two goals taking his tally to 13 for the season from 31 games. A very decent return from midfield and even more impressive considering Bostock went the entire 2013/14 season with previous club Antwerp with just one goal.
His goals, assists and all round performances saw the former Tottenham Hotspur man bestowed the honour of being the Belgian Second Division Player of the Year.
Highlights of Bostock’s 2014/15 season with OH Leuven (fast forward to 2:35 for a Bostock beauty).
A new challenge
The rise to the Belgian Pro League for Bostock and his Leuven teammates has been a baptism of fire. Despite making a relatively solid start, Leuven currently sit in 15th, second bottom. An especially tough period came during October and November, where the newly-promoted side suffered six consecutive losses.
However, the signs at the end of the year were more promising as Bostock scored two goals to help his side to take seven points from a possible twelve in December.
Tomorrow sees Leuven return to Pro League action after their winter break and Bostock, who has four goals and two assists so far this season, will be hoping to carry his good form from the end of 2015 into the new year.
Bostock shot to fame in May 2008 when he joined Tottenham from Crystal Palace at the age of 16 for a fee reported to rise as high as £2m depending on appearances. The move came after he became Palace’s youngest ever player the year before.
He then became a regular for England at under-17 and under-19 levels but the talented midfielder never got his chance to shine at Spurs and after several loan spells, he left the London club for Royal Antwerp of the Belgian Second Divsion in 2013, who at the time, were managed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
The move turned out to be exactly what Bostock’s career needed and after a season where he could finally call himself a first-team regular, recently relegated OH Leuven came calling the following season as they looked to bolster their ranks as they pushed to make an instant return to the Pro League – and make an instant return they did.
2015 was the year we all knew Bostock had in him when he first burst onto the scene as a gifted 15-year-old. Promotion and an individual accolade crowned a great year.
2016 will see the 24-year-old continue to battle alongside his Leuven teammates to remain in the Pro League. The signs in December were promising and if Bostock can continue his goal-scoring exploits from midfield, his side should have no trouble surviving.