Harte and Charlier on the move between Racing and Dragons

Conor Harte and Cédric Charlier will move in opposite directions down the motorway between Brussels and Antwerp following the latest transfer moves between KHC Dragons and Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles.

Harte – capped 256 times for Ireland – has left Racing after seven seasons to line up in their defence following the departure of Luke Noblett back to Australia.

It continues Dragons’ lengthy engagement with Irish players with Stephen Butler, Graham Shaw and Shane O’Donoghue among those to previously line out for the club.

“I am very happy to join the Dragons,” Harte said. “A special club steeped in history and a club that has the conquest for titles in its DNA. The bond between the Dragons and Irish players has been around for over two decades now and it’s great to be able to continue this tradition.”

Dragons were crowned Belgian champions last season and will play in the EHL as a result. Harte is their third addition for the next season along with the return of goalkeeper Loic van Doren and new coach Dennis Dijkshoorn , who takes the place of Gilles Van Hesteren. 

Charlier, meanwhile, has rejoined Racing after two years at Dragons, linking up with fellow international striker Tanguy Cosyns who moved to the club from AH&BC Amsterdam.

“There is an extremely strong emotional bond with Racing where I still have many friends,” Charlier said. “With the Covid, I must admit that this last season was not easy to manage in terms of logistics. 

“The journeys were long and heavy, especially since social relations outside of hockey were not possible. I was not able to enjoy all these moments as a team off the field and it was not easy to manage.

“I have also been the father of a little girl for five months. It made me think a lot about my future. But, to be honest, once I made my decision, I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else in Belgium. 

“It was also very important to integrate myself into an ambitious sporting project. I came to the Dragons to win a title and discover another club culture. And at that level, I learned so much. 

“In the finals, I was keen to finish in style and show my true face because to be completely honest, I haven’t always been at my best this season. But this coronation was the best way to end my adventure in Brasschaat.”