2016 - 2017
The Northern Irishman Chris O'Loughlin indicated at the end of the 2015-2016 season that he did not want to go any further as the head coach of the Canaries. The club board therefore had to look for a new coach and found it in the person of the Croatian Ivan Leko. Leko made a furore on the Belgian football fields at Club Brugge, Germinal Beerschot and KSC Lokeren as a football player. After his football career, he was coach at OH Leuven for a while, but this collaboration ended prematurely. Leko went to Greece where he started working as an assistant coach at PAOK.
Ivan Leko received a new technical staff. Patrick Van Kets was appointed as T2 and goalkeeper coach Jos Beckx made the switch from Standard Luik. Edward Still and Eddie Rob remained as video analyst and physical coach respectively.
It became clear at the start of the season which kind of football the Croat wanted to bring, attractive and offensive. The results unfortunately did not always follow. After an unexpected squeeze on KAS Eupen's field, Leko took a different approach to his tactics and that paid off. The Canaries scored points and ended up on a nice twelfth place during the regular season. A position that gave them the right to Play-Off II football.
The Canaries managed to convince even more during Play-Off II with the final group win. The 7-0 victory against KV Mechelen was the icing on the cake. The final match of Play-Off II was played on the pitch of KRC Genk. With 20 buses, the Yellowblue Army dropped to the Luminus Arena, the atmosphere was good. But it was KRC Genk that eventually pulled the longest.
Ivan Leko and STVV negotiated a contract extension but the Croatian surprised a week before the start of the new season 2017-2018 with a switch to Club Brugge. Video analyst Edward Still made the same switch. T2 Patrick Van Kets was also mentioned at the Bruggelingen, but this transition did not happen in the end. Van Kets did not start as T2 of the Canaries the following season but was used to closely follow the youth training.
Excellences Stef Peeters and Pieter Gerkens made a step forward with their transition to respectively SC Caen and RSC Anderlecht. Djene Dakonam commented on an offer from the Spanish Getafe and thus became probably the new outbound transfer record holder. Audience favorite Ruben Fernandes returned to his homeland Portugal to get back to work at the club of his heart, Portimonense SC.