Tubize, or not Tubize, that is the question? (AFC Tubize)

The current AFC Tubize is the result of a 1990 merger between F.C. Tubize and Amis Réunis de Tubize. The former had begun life in 1919 as Athletic Club Tubizien while Amis Réunis appeared on the scene in 1974. The old Tubize club had merged with several other clubs over the years so a merger of the two remaining clubs representing this small Walloon city made sense if the town was to compete at the highest level.

The combined club progressed quickly under the astute coaching of Theo Buelinckx and in seven seasons Tubize moved from the third division of the provincial league to the third division of the national league, a remarkable four promotions.

After Buelinckx retired the club still continued their meteoric rise, promotion to the second tier came in 2002/03 and five seasons later they were promoted to the top division for the first time in their history. 

Unfortunately for Tubize the Belgian FA decided to reduce the top division from 18 clubs to 16 for the 2008/09 season and after finishing 17th the club slipped through the trap door with Dender and Mons, Roeselare surviving in the relegation play-offs. Tubize’s one season in the top flight had required the club to increase the capacity at the Stade Leburton from 5,000 to 8,000 seats and vastly improve media facilities.

The club has remained in the Second Division without really challenging for a return to the Pro League. The most recent time the club caused some headlines was in 2013 when they signed the former Korean international Hwang Jin-Sung. The signing provoked such interest in Tubize from his homeland that in August 2014 the Korean sports marketing firm, Sportizen, bought the club in its entirety.

The Stade Leburton has a modern stand on one side with plush corporate facilities and restaurants. Behind the far end goal is a huge seated stand which has one sector segregated off for away fans. Opposite the main stand is a small well elevated covered terrace where a small band of ultras congregate. Behind the near goal is a smart clubhouse. On the approach to the ground are two enormous statues of a Belgian forward and goalkeeper, they are quite an extraordinary sight.

Something Tubize may have to work on is their customer service. The ticket seller indicated that the seated stand was not available (there were loads of empty seats), and the stewards then said all bags of any type were not permitted into the stadium! There were only 500 people in attendance and they could have easily searched all those with bags but instead insisted that they were returned to cars. Quite what someone unaware of this ridiculous rule would do with their bag if arriving by public transport is beyond me. If that doesn’t rub you up the wrong way enough the insistence of checking your ticket every time you leave or go into the stand is a considerable annoyance. The standing ticket only gets you into one sector and you cannot physically get into another sector, so the checking of tickets is absolutely pointless.

On the field Tubize are soundly beaten today by an impressive looking Lommel side. The hosts’ cause is not helped by the dismissal on the half hour mark of Mamadou Diallo for apparently elbowing an opponent. The defeat had repercussions for the Tubize coach, Thierry Goudet, who after just three months in the job was relieved of his duties in the days after this heavy loss.

Aside from the poor stewarding of the ground the Leburton is a modern venue set in a wooded hollow and makes for a pleasant afternoon. The food kiosk sells a “country” sausage which was extremely tasty. 

With this being the first season of the smaller eight team professional Division 1B, it must be a concern to the club that they only managed to pull in 500 customers for this game. It will be interesting to see how this modest club from out in the sticks will compete with the more traditional powerhouses like Antwerp, Lierse and Union Saint-Gilloise.

AUG 2016 363

Proximus League – 14/08/2016

AFC Tubize 0

Lommel United 4 (Berben 17, Cauwenberg  40, De Bruyn 68, Adesanya 90)

Att: 500

Admission €8 (standing) Programme Free


AUG 2016 375

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Tubize prog

Tubize ticket

Arrogantwerp (Royal Antwerp FC)

Royal Antwerp were formed as Antwerp Athletic Club in 1880 by English students living in the city. It is generally accepted that the club is the oldest in Belgium so when the Royal Belgian FA introduced its matricule system, the revered inventory of registration and hierarchy, Antwerp were awarded the coveted matricule No.1.

The club has won the Belgian Championship on four occasions but since their last relegation from the top flight in 2004 the club has experienced some particularly lean years. One of the last highlights for the Reds came in 1992/3 when they defeated Glenavon, Admira Wacker, Steaua Bucharest and Spartak Moscow on their way to the European Cup Winners Cup Final. They were defeated 3-1 in the final at Wembley by Parma but had the tournaments top scorer with 7 goals by Belgian International Alex Czerniatynski.

Those somewhat distant glory games were of course played in front of packed houses at the mythical Bosuilstadion, home to the club since 1923. Prior to this the Reds played at another substantial ground called the Stadion Broodstraat which had been opened in 1908 and was used as a primary football venue for the 1920 Summer Olympics held in the city.

The Bosuilstadion has held many famous matches including the 1964 Cup Winners Cup final between Sporting Club Portugal and MTK Budapest as well as numerous international matches for the Belgian national team. Markedly there has been no Belgian internationals played at the venue since 1988. The stadium is something of an oddity, the two ends are relatively modern with one being a glazed VIP stand, opened in 1991, for those with enough money to want to watch live football minus any semblance of the atmosphere. The structure has been branded “the fishbowl” for obvious reasons. The atmosphere at the Bosuilstadion is so legendary that it became widely known as the “Hell of Derne” such was the intimidating environment for visiting teams. At its peak the Bosuil (Dutch for “Tawny Owl”) could accommodate some 60,000 spectators.

The two sides of the stadium have ancient edifices, both in some considerable need of renovation. The poor state of repair meant that the stadium was not considered as a host venue for Euro 2000 although the new stand behind the goal is testament to failed plans for a total renovation in readiness for an application. In more recent years the two ancient stands have deteriorated further, signs have been put up that read “do not jump, danger of collapse”. It took an injury to a supporter in the vintage 1923 main stand to provoke some work to the interior of this old leviathan. This is now the most expensive area of the stadium in which to sit, VIP area excluded. The central seats for this game were €60 while modern plastic seats to either side can be yours for €25 a piece. Had I remained in my allocated seat both goals would have been totally obscured by a rail barrier from the old configuration of the stand. A small and unused terraced paddock area has been created underneath the seating but looks awkward and incongruous with the rest of the stand. Typically the renovations look like they have been done cheaply rather than investing properly for the future. The stand is still hampered by a leaking roof, temporary toilet facilities and a lack of lighting on the way out.

The majority of “the Great Old’s” season ticket holders are housed in the magnificent curved Tribune 2 opposite the main stand, replete with original bench seating. It too is in a pretty poor shape the top right hand corner is fenced off due to safety concerns. The noise from this tribune, however, is immense and a veritable sonic boom erupts when the players enter the field or Antwerp find the net.

They do that only once tonight against plucky visitors from West Flanders, KSV Roeselare. The goal came from the most impressive player on the pitch, the tricky little winger, Stallone Limbombe and it was enough to secure a first win of the new season for The Great Old.

So what to make of the Bosuilstadion? Old school stands, massive floodlights (albeit only 3 of them since one blew down in a storm), and terrific support tick many people’s boxes. However, expensive tickets, quite frankly dangerous infrastructure and a lack of direction of the future of the stadium must be a concern. The previous board of the club seemed content to plod knowing they could rely on the unswerving support of the fans yet offering them little in the way of creature comforts. Maybe it was the old board espousing the long held opinion that Antwerp natives are “superior” and often arrogant in demeanour, several locals at the game wore tee shirts with the phrase “Arrogantwerp” emblazoned on them. Clever use of language but the arrogance and presumptuousness of the old Antwerp board could have resulted in a serious stadium incident. Hopefully the more progressive board now in power will provide the magnificent fans of this club with the kind of future they absolutely deserve.


Proximus League – 13/08/2016

Royal Antwerp 1 (Limbombe 59) SV Roeselare 0

Att: 11,118 (at Bosuilstadion)

Admission €25 Programme €2


AUG 2016 181

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Antwerp prog

Antwerp ticket



No Sweat, No Glory (Club Brugge)

Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging is arguably the most well known Belgian club to English football supporters. This would stem from their two European final defeats to that great Liverpool side of the seventies, Club losing both the 1976 UEFA Cup Final (4-3 over two legs) and two years later the European Cup Final (1-0 at Wembley) to the men from Anfield.

Club Brugge were founded in November in 1891 and own the coveted matricule number 3. Only Royal Antwerp and the dormant matricule number 2 of the Daring Club of Bruxelles are above them in the genealogy rankings of the Belgian F.A. Domestically the Blue Blacks have won 13 Belgian League titles and ten Belgian cups. The clubs’ motto is “No sweat, no glory” and anyone wishing to join the club not only has to sign their normal contract but also the following commitment to the football club and its’ ideals:

“Playing for Club Brugge is an honour, something that comes with responsibilities. By signing my contract and this agreement, I acknowledge that I share the beliefs of this club:

In football, hard work pays off in the end. We play football in a team, as a team. Winning is important, but the way you win makes all the difference. The game takes place on the field, but winning is a team effort on and off the field.
I hereby pledge to honour Club Brugge’s belief in commitment and hard work, to prove myself worthy of this spirit and attitude, on and off the field. I commit myself to pursuing the club’s dream and sharing this dream with my team members, the staff, the sponsors and most importantly: our fans. May I never let you down”

The club was originally formed by old boys of two Bruges schools, the Broeders Xavarianen and the Koninklijk Athenium. FC Brugeois merged with Brugsche FC in 1897 and again five years later with Vlasmsche FC. In 1912 the club moved into their legendary home of De Klokke which would later be renamed the Albert Dyserynckstadion in honour of their president who died suddenly in 1931.

The club spent the inter-war years in Division Two but following promotion to the top flight in 1959, Club have remained Pro League stalwarts ever since. RFC Brugeois changed their name to the Flemish version of Club Brugge KV in 1972 and began a golden period which saw five Belgian titles won during the seventies, mainly under the tutelage of Ernst Happel.

In 1975 the club moved into the newly opened Olympiastadion which they share with city neighbours Cercle. The old Klokke ground would survive for many more years, mainly used by amateur teams, before sadly being demolished in 1999.

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The sadly demolished “De Klokke” ground

The new stadium is in the Sint-Andries area of Bruges and is owned by the city. Starkly of its architectural era, all pre-cast concrete and cantilevered roofs it has a capacity just shy of 30,000. The stadium was renovated for the 2000 European Championships and was re-christened the Jan Breydelstadion. Breydel was an insurgent Flemish militiaman who was instrumental in the Bruges Matins, a night time massacre at a French garrison that pre-empted the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. Traditionally Club attract gates of roughly three times more than Cercle to this stadium.

Tonight’s game against a plucky KSC Lokeren side is a tight affair, a 21st minute goal from striker Tom De Sutter opens the scoring and is enough to secure three points for the hosts as Lokeren fail to breakdown a stoic home rearguard.

You will either love or hate the Jan Breydelstadion, some say its already looking dated given its relatively recent vintage. Also with its high sided open corners and uncovered lower tiers, it’s not the most weatherproof stadium around. Others will love it for its audaciousness in concrete design and its twin colouring of blue for Club and green for Cercle. Which ever camp you fall in you have to admire the “No Sweat, No Glory” ethic Club Brugge try to promote as well as their undoubtedly deserved place in European football history.


Jupiler Pro League – Sunday November 3rd 2013 (Kick Off 18.00pm)

Club Brugge K.V. (1) 1 (De Sutter 21)

KSC Lokeren (0) 0

Attendance: 24,000 (at the Jan Breydelstadion)


21. Mathew Ryan; 4. Óscar Duarte; 28. Laurens De Bock; 40. Bjorn Engels; 3. Timmy Simons (c); 32. Valdes Odjidja-Ofoe; 17. Waldemir Sobota; 19. Thomas Meunier; 13. Victor Vázquez; 16. Maxime Lestienne; 9. Tom De Sutter.

Subs: 8. Lior Refaelov (for 17,86 mins); 10. Jesper Jørgensen (for 13,79 mins); 22. Eidur Gudjohnsen (for 9,69 mins); 33. Vladan Kujović; 41. Birger Verstaete; 44. Brandon Mechele; 90. Kehinde Fatai.


1. Boubacar Barry; 13. Georgios Galitsios; 4. Jérémy Taravel; 3. Denis Odai; 2. Alexander Scholz; 8. Koen Persoons; 7. Killian Overmeire (c); 24. Ayanda Patosi; 29. Nill De Pauw; 9. Hamdi Harbaoui; 20. Hans Vanaken.

Subs: 10. Ivan Leko; 19. Junior Dutra (for 7,72 mins); 22. Djordje Despotović; 23. Eugene Ansah (for 24,85 mins); 25.Alexander Corryn; 26. Cédric Mingiedi; 30. Davino Verhulst.

Yellow Cards: Sobota, Lestienne (Club); Galitsios, Vanaken, Overmeire, Harbaoui (Lokeren).


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Brugge ticket

The Golden Spurs (KV Kortrijk)

Sport Club Courtraisien were formed 1901 and are registered with the Royal Belgian Football Association as club number 19 under their matricule system. By 1951 they had changed their name to Koninklijke Kortrijk Sport. A rival team in the city called Stade Kortrijk had been formed in 1923. By 1971 both clubs were struggling badly so the two clubs merged forming Koninklijke Voetbalclub Kortrijk. The club have adopted the nickname of “De Kerels” which roughly translates as “the Guys” or “the Boys”.

The club had enjoyed a spell in the top flight at the turn of the twentieth century which ended in relegation at the end of the 1910/11 season. Little did they know at the time it would be fully 65 years before Kortrijk would grace the elite division again. The club spent much of the 70’s and 80’s moving between the second and first tiers. Disaster struck in 2001 when KVK were declared insolvent and were relegated to Division Three. The club rebuilt and progressed back up the rankings, the club’s current spell in the Pro League has lasted since 2008/09.

The club play at the wonderful Guldensporenstadion which was named after the Franco/Flemish Battle of the Golden Spurs which took place in Kortrijk during July 1302. A relatively small venue with a capacity of 9,300, it has single tiered stands which makes for an intimate atmosphere.

The Reds fans are certainly a hearty and welcoming bunch and they are in fine voice tonight as De Kerels have been in good form this season. Against a struggling KV Oostende the hosts are two up before half time, a great free kick from Benito Raman and a wonderfully powerful run and finish by their burly Senegalese striker Elimane Coulibaly. Heavy rainfall makes playing conditions difficult, particularly in the second half, but the home side win 2-0 with some margin to spare.

If a traditional small town stadium and a club punching above its weight appeals to you, a visit to the Guldensporen comes highly recommended.

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Jupiler Pro League – Saturday November 2nd 2013

KV Kortrijk (2) 2 (Raman 13, Coulibaly 45)

KV Oostende (0) 0

Attendance: 6,604 (at the Guldensporenstadion)


16. Darren Keet; 3. Baptiste Martin; 7. Stijn De Smet; 8. Nebojsa Pavlovic (c); 11. Mustapha Oussalah; 17. Gertjan De Mets; 21. Brecht Capon; 25. Michael Heylen; 27. Benito Raman; 29. Romain Reynaud; 31. Elimane Coulibaly.

Subs: 1. Patrick Deman; 5. Branimir Petrovic (for 5,90 mins) 9. Teddy Chevalier (for 9,68 mins); 10. Robert Klaasen; 12. Gregory Mahau; 15. Dylan Ragolle (for 27,80 mins); 23. Baptiste Ulens.


31. Cederic Berthelin; 2. Xavier Luissint (c); 3. Niels De Schutter; 6. Baptiste Schmisser; 7. Sebastien Siani; 9. Laurent Depoitre; 13. Frederic Brillant; 16. Yohan Brouckaert; 22. Jonathan Wilmet; 26. Jordan Lukaku; 27. Franck Berrier.

Subs: 1. Mulopo Kudimbana; 11. Thomas Foket (for 3,85 mins); 14. Tom Van Imschoot; 19. Denis Dessaer; 23. Nyashi Mushekwi (for 9,52 mins); 25. Fernando Canesin (for 16,63 mins); 28. Adam Vaas.

Yellow Cards: Martin, De Mets, Coulibaly (all Kortrijk), Canesin (Oostende).


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Kortrijk prog

Kortrijk ticket

Union City Blue (Union St.Gilloise)

Royale Union Saint-Gilloise were formed in 1897 (matricule number 10) and were arguably the most successful of all Belgian clubs in the pre-World War II era, securing no less than eleven Belgian First Division titles. Their run of titles included four straight championships between 1903/4 and 1906/7. A hat-trick of title wins came in the 1930’s and with it a still unbeaten Belgian record of 60 consecutive matches without defeat.

The end of the magnificent unbeaten run came when Union lost to city rivals Daring Club of Bruxelles (later Racing White Daring of Molenbeek) and was a key point in the intense rivalry between Union and Daring in the inter-War years. Daring were the older club (matricule 2) but had won less championships than Union. The great rivalry even transcended the football field and was made into a highly successful theatrical play “Bossemans and Coppenolle”, the eponymous characters being fans of either club. Even as late as the 1980’s when both clubs were in the Second Division, 20,000 people would attend the great city derby. Sadly the old RWDM club folded in 2002.

Union were also a force in the early pre-UEFA European competitions, winning both the Coupe Ponthoz (three times) and the Coupe Dupuich. They also competed well in UEFA competitions in the late 1950’s with the pinnacle being a semi-final appearance in the old Inter Cities Fairs Cup. Lokomotive Leipzig and AS Roma were defeated over two legs on the way to a semi-final meeting with Birmingham City. The English side won both legs by four goals to two, before losing to Barcelona.

The 1950’s were, however, to be the last of the golden years for Union, by 1963 they had dropped into the Second Division and only 17 years later they were in the fourth tier. These days they compete in Division Three.

The club derived their name from the site of their original home of St. Gilles, a department of Brussels and also a twin town of Tower Hamlets. The St.Gilles name itself comes from a seventh century Greek Christian hermit, venerated for establishing a large abbey in the Provence region of France, and also for his work in suppressing the spread of bubonic plague.

Prior to the current ground the club played on a number of pitches including a field called La Cambre which was adjacent to the velodrome. In the early 1920’s the club moved to the neighbouring Forest area to take up residency at the Stade Joseph Marien. The stadium and the stadium is set in the pleasant surroundings of Duden Park and had originally been built in 1919 to host some of the football matches of the following years summer Olympiad held in Brussels. At that time it had a modest grandstand and the changing rooms were on the opposite side of the pitch.

The wonderful clubhouse shows the plans for the incredible facade of the present stand and are dated 1922. However, it was not until August 1926 when, in the presence of Prince Charles of Belgium, the new stand was officially inaugurated. It is an absolute masterpiece of design and construction, very much up to the standard of contemporary Leitch constructions at Rangers, Aston Villa and Fulham. In the intervening years the stadium is pretty much unchanged save for the addition of roof mounted floodlights and the annexing of some crumbling old terracing behind one goal. The modern day capacity of the Marien is set at 8,000. The large open terracing opposite the grandstand is truly magnificent and sports a veritable forest of crush barriers. Interestingly one of the flags on display is the Belgian tricolour with the club crests of USG, RFC Liège and Cercle Bruges, two other clubs that share Union’s stance on history and the very fabric of their identity.

The first half of this Third Division encounter was goalless and was probably shaded by the visitors, Sprimont-Comblain, although they could not capitalise on a number of good chances, mainly due to the fine form of home goalkeeper, Anthony Sadin. The home side came out from the break with renewed vigour and within four minutes managed to break the deadlock with a superb strike from the Italian Ignazio Cocchiere.

The game then became the Yahya Boumediene show. The young Belgian of Morrocan extraction, runs the Sprimont defence ragged with a super display of trickery and pace. It is no surprise when he sets up Union’s second goal. He dances into the visitors penalty area yet again and selflessly squares the ball to Esteban Casagolda. He clips the ball around the keeper and slots the ball into an empty net. With just eight minutes left there is no way back for Sprimont and Union run out deserving winners.

As some unseasonably late summer sun beat down on this magnificent arena it really felt like there were few better places to watch a game of football. A great club, fascinating history well preserved and cherished by the current board, and a most welcoming set of staff and supporters. I would say that it Union Saint-Gilloise have got everything just about spot on.

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Belgium Division 3 (Group B) – 29/09/2013

Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (0)2 (Cocchiere 49, Casagolda 82)

Royale Sprimont-Comblain Sport (0)0

Attendance: c.700 (at the Stade Joseph Marien)


19. Anthony Sadin; 4. Anthony Cabeke (c); 17. Steven Godfroid; 21. Robby Vanhamel; 13. Vincent Vandiepenbeeck; 24. Yahya Boumediene; 5. Aaron Verwilligen; 8. Steve Dessart; 15. Ignazio Cocchiere; 9. Esteban Casagolda; 18. Gregoty Bilstein.

Subs: 1. Bilen Mrabet Yousfi; 3. Kevin Dieme (for 4,73 mins); 6. Sadjaliou Sow (for 8,78 mins); 7. Lionel Gendarme (for 18,84 mins)


1. Gwennael Jaa; 2. Pierre Gobiet; 21. Bruno Carvalho-Fernandes; 27. Sebastien Van Aerschot; 5. Gilles Bernard; 16. Michael Wiggers; 8. Alexandre Bury; 24. Jerome Colinet; 7. Jacques Beckers (c); 17. Arnaud Lakaye; 18. Anthony Manfredi.

Subs: 3. Nicolas Birti (for 21,66 mins); 4. Aloys Lambert; 10. Stefano Henrot (for 2,56 mins); 20. Quentin Simonis.

Yellow Card: Lakaye (Sprimont)


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(With grateful thanks to Stéphane Lievens)

A Racing Heart (Racing Mechelen)

The need to watch a game at Racing Mechelen was not only due to their magnificent Oscar Vankesbeeckstadion but also for the fact that my beloved Southend United played a friendly at this very ground in 1953. Racing won the game by a score of 3-2. It is something of an ongoing research/travel piece visiting the still existent venues the club played a game at in their prodigious touring throughout the 1950’s and early 60’s.

In those days they were known by the French version of their name Racing Malines. Racing also visited Southend, at the Grainger Road Stadium, for a friendly in 1951 as part of the extensive Festival of Britain celebrations.

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Racing were formed in 1904, just a few months before crosstown rivals KV Mechelen and were awarded the low matricule number of 24. They were always the senior of the two Mechelen clubs and in their heyday finished in third place in First Division for 1949/50 and 1950/51 and runners ups the very next season. Decline set in, however, and while Racing dropped down to the third tier, FC (now KV) Mechelen assumed the status of the city’s highest ranked club. Worse news still for Racing came in 2010 when they were relegated to the fourth tier for the first time in their history. Mercifully they were promoted back to Division Three after just one season.

The club had become very popular in its formative years as their original ground at Rodekruisplein was in the heart of the working class area around the river and associated industries. Racing then moved to the magnificent Oscar Vankesbeeckstadion which was originally opened in 1923. It commemorates a Flemish liberal politician who also had a six year tenure in charge of the Belgian FA. Van Kesbeeck was also elected the first chairman of Racing Mechelen back in 1905 when aged only 18.

The stadium has a generous capacity of 13,687 (1,900 seats) and is comfortably the largest in the Belgian third tier. Following bombing damage in the war which saw the original main stand destroyed, the stadium was substantially renovated and enlarged in 1947. The glorious main stand was modelled on the “English style” of elevated grandstand and remains a quite stunning edifice. The players tunnel is truly impressive and displays the clubs motto of “Where there’s a will, there is a way”. The Vankesbeeckstadion lies around a mile from arch rival KV’s Achter de Kazerne stadium and is just north of the city centre over the River Dijle.

The ground displays some cracking flags, many in the English language, and several celebrating the Mechelen skyline. The lofty grandstand affords tremendous views across the city, notably visible is the illuminated tower of St.Rumbold’s Cathedral.

This early evening kick off sees Racing as favourites for a win as they had amassed five victories in their opening eight League encounters. Visitors Gent-Zeehaven are in a mid-table position. A goalless first half saw few chances for either side but a more open second period promised some goals. Against the run of play it’s the visitors that take the lead when Munoz netted as Racing failed to clear their lines. The home side pressured for a equaliser while Gent-Zeehaven seemed content to time waste at every opportunity, notably when their goalkeeper limped off injured. It was a ploy that would backfire on them. Mechelen deservedly equalised six minutes from time with a great strike from Mathyssen. Criminally the home side let in an identical goal to go 1-2 down with visiting skipper Criel the beneficiary of some poor defending. However, it was Racing that had the last word, levelling through Hmouda deep in the substantial period of stoppage time.

A very entertaining match in a cracking football ground, just what Oscar Van Kesbeeck would have enjoyed.

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Belgium Division 3 (Group A) – 28/09/2013

Racing Club Mechelen (0) 2 (Mathyssen 84, Hmouda 90)

RRC Gent-Zeehaven (0) 2 (Munoz 55, Criel 88)

Attendance: c.900 (at the Oscar Vankesbeeckenstadion)


19. Lars Knipping; 2. Tom Pietermaat; 4. Morad Gloub; 7. Modeste Gnakpa; 8. Achraf Essikal; 9. Dirk Mathyssen; 10. Kevin Spreutels (c); 11. Megan Laurent; 13. Rachid Hmouda; 15. Arne Naudts; 16. Seppe Brulmans.

Subs: 5. Bert Tuteleers (for 11,46 mins); 12. Jessy Salut (for 4,80 mins); 14. Dylan Carton; 17. Max Beeckmans.


12. Kersten Lauwerys; 3. Jan Criel (c); 4. Othman Felix Kieran; 5. Quenten Schollaert; 6. Mathieu Welvaert; 7. Kevin Franck; 9. Nicolas De Lange; 15. Brecht Van Cauwenberge; 17. Gus Vandekerckhove; 20. Antonio Herrera Munoz; 21. Mackim Joos.

Subs: 1. Nick Heyman (for 12,72 mins); 8. Imad Amazou (for 15,46 mins); 11. Fabio Lo Giudice; 13. Niels Elewaut (for 17,52 mins).

Yellow Cards: Mathyssen, Tuteleers (Racing); Felix Kieran, Van Cauwenberge and Joos (all Gent-Zeehaven),


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A Flanders Field (KSV Roeselare)

The West Flanders city of Roeselare has, unsurprisingly for Belgium, a somewhat convoluted footballing history. Football in the city dates to 1900 with the formation of a club called De Verenigde Vrienden (The United Friends), which soon became Red Star Roeselare and later still adopting the French name of Union Sportive Roulers. By 1909 however they had folded. Two more town clubs, SK Roeselare and FC Roeselare, one catholic and one non-catholic, then briefly formed before disbanding during the war.

The modern day club can date its formation very precisely to July 20th 1921, thanks to the wonderful Belgian matricule system of recording football clubs. The new club, SK Roeselare, were awarded matricule number 134, a number they still keep today in spite of a 1999 merger with KFC Roeselare.

The merger was a resounding success, driving KSV Roeselare to the Pro League in 2005, the first time a club from the city had attained such lofty heights. For the 2006/07 season, UEFA Cup football came to Roeselare and the Macedonian side Vardar Skopje were beaten in the first round before Roeselare were defeated 6-2 on aggregate by Ethnikos Achnas.

Roeselare’s spell in the top flight ended in 2009/10 when they were relegated with a financially collapsed Mouscron. They have competed in the second tier ever since.

The Schierveldestadion is an impressive arena, a large main stand with a bar underneath, covered seating in a large end stand, and a small covered terrace on the far side with seating at one end for visiting fans. There is a curved open terrace at the far with some impressively tall floodlights. The name of the ground is taken from the name of the neighbourhood and does not have a literal translation, although velde means field in the Dutch language. The stadium’s capacity of 8,836 is not challenged tonight as a crowd of under 2,000 gather for this early evening kick off.

It is the visitors, Sint-Truiden, that seize the early initiative and the very impressive Joeri Dequevi nets with aplomb in the 10th minute for the team lying in third place in the table. To their credit the mid-table home side square the scores just four minutes after falling behind when the lively De Rechter equalises. A half-time substitution sees Bram Vandenbussche introduced to the fray and what an impression he makes giving KSV the lead on 50 minutes with a thundering header. The home side begin to dominate proceedings but cannot extend their lead and gradually the visitors get back into the game. Eight minutes from time they have the chance to level the scores again when Borry makes an injudicious challenge inside his own area. Mohamed Aoulad steps up to take the spot kick but the home keeper Gilles Lentz adds to his already outstanding performance with a full length diving stop. The visitors pressurise the Roeselare defence and get their reward in the last minute when Dequevi again demonstrates his clinical finishing when given a chance.

One can but hope that the glory days of Pro League football will not be long in returning to the Schierveldestadion.


Belgacom League Division 2 (Sunday 15/09/2013)

KSV Roeselare (1) 2 (De Rechter 14, Vandenbussche 50)

K.Sint-Truiden (1) 2 (Dequevi 10, 90)

Attendance: 1,680 (at the Schierveldestadion)


1. Gilles Lentz; 2. Yannick Euvrard; 27. Pietro Perdichizzi; 14. Sergiy Serebrennikov (c); 3. Petar Bojovic; 6. Massis Vosanian; 19. Giovanni Delannoy; 15. Kjetil Borry; 33. Dieter Van Tornhout; 10. Sven De Rechter; 20. Anthony Di Lallo.

Subs: 4. Cedric Guiro (for 14, 39 mins); 5. Romain Haghedooren (for 6, 74 mins); 11. Nils Sarrazyn; 12. Louis Bostyn; 21. Bram Vandenbussche (for 3, 46 mins); 25. Yohan Boli; 26. Thom Dorian Mpoto.


13. Laurent Henkinet; 3. Naim Aarab; 4. Ivo Rossen (c); 7. Gregory Dufer; 8. Guy Dufour; 14. Dimitri Daeseleire; 19. Yvan Erichot; 21. Mathias Schils; 24. Giel Deferm; 10. Lauri Dalla Valle; 11. Joeri Dequevi.

Subs: 2. Gonzalo Busto; 12. Timo Cauwenberg; 18. Guillermo Mendez (for 7, 59 mins); 20. Mohamed Aouland (for 3, 52 mins); 22. Edmilson (for 8, 75 mins); 25. Lennart Ghijsens; 27. Erivelton.

Yellow Cards: Borry, Van Tornhout, Borry (KSV); Aarab, Rossen, Dalla Valle (St.Truiden).









Roeselare ticket

The Coast Boys (KV Oostende)

Oostende on the Belgian coast has always held an interest for me, due mainly to its famous seafront building called the Kursaal. So inspired by a stay in Oostende the Tollhurst family returned to Southend and built their own Kursaal at Marine Park which remains operational to this day. The football ground built in its substantial acreage would be home to my beloved Southend United between 1919 and 1934.

So a trip to the Albertpark Stadion was always on my wish list and what finer occasion than when the “Kustboys” welcomed runway leaders Standard Liège to West Flanders.

Koninklijke Voetbal Oostende were formed in 1904 and are registered on the Belgian matricule system as number 31. They were originally called V.G. Oostende but were soon superseded in status by upstarts A.S. Oostende, formed seven years later. The two clubs battled on until 1981 when a mutually beneficial merger saw the formation of the current K.V. Oostende club. Confusingly since the merger a new V.G. Oostende club have been formed and currently play in the fifth tier West Flanders Provincial League. They currently groundshare with K.V. at the Albertpark Stadion after having their historic Armenonville Stadion declared unsafe. The Albertpark Stadion itself was opened in 1934 and is reminiscent of Oxford United’s old Manor Ground with a hotchpotch of stands on either side. One stand appears to be of a temporary nature, no doubt installed to increase capacity to the minimum requirement of 8,000 (with 5,000 seats) for top flight football.

K.V. won the Belgian Second Division by a comfortable ten points last season which has resulted in their first spell in the top flight since the 2004/05 campaign. Sadly for the Coast Boys the new season has got off to a bad start and after six rounds of matches they prop up the Pro League table with just two points, their inferior goal difference placing them beneath fellow slow starters Mons. Conversely today’s opponents have got off to a flyer with maximum points from six games and without a single goal conceded. Indeed, they looked a good outfit when I saw them earlier in the season at KV Mechelen.

Oostende have bolstered their ranks in recent weeks with several loan signings including Frenchman Franck Berrier who had a great campaign at Zulte-Waregem last season. Anderlecht have also sent the Brazilian Fernando Canesin and Jordan Lukaku, younger brother of national team striker Romelu, on loan to Oostende. Even with their augmented roster this was going to be a tough challenge for the Kustboys. Football being the great purveyor of unpredictability that it is saw the Albertpark Stadion burst into delirium after 13 minutes when Laurent Depoitre pierced the Liège defence for the first time this season.

However, Standard soon exerted their authority on proceedings by scoring three times in a 15 minute spell before half time. Firstly Imoh Ezekiel levelled the score before a brace from the prodigiously talented 19 year old Michy Batshuayi, saw the visitors lead 3-1 at the break.

Just be for the hour mark the impressive Batshuayi completed his hat-trick in fine style. Two minutes later though Denis Dessaer headed a corner in at the far post having found himself totally unmarked. The volume was cranked up at the Albertpark Stadion but in truth the home side didn’t really look like they believed they could score a third time. They didn’t, and Standard saw out the 90 minutes with consummate ease.

The Albertpark Stadion is a good stadium to visit, compact and homely and awash with the home side’s vibrant colours of red, yellow and green.


Jupiler Pro League – 15/09/2013

KV Oostende (1) 2 (Depoitre 13, Dessaer 60)

Standard Liège (3) 4 (Ezekiel 24, Batshuayi 31,39,58)

Attendance: 7,000 (at Albertpark Stadion)


31. Céderic Berthelin; 2. Xavier Luissint (c); 13. Frédéric Brillant; 6. Baptiste Schmisser; 24. Jimmy Hempte; 22. Jonathan Wilmet; 7. Sebastien Siani; 19. Denis Dessaer; 25. Fernando Canesin; 27. Franck Berrier; 9. Laurent Depoitre.

Subs: 1. Nicaise Kudimbana; 3. Niels De Schutter; 26. Jordan Lukaku (for 25, 74 mins); 16. Yohan Brouckaert (for 19, 65 mins); 11. Thomas Foket; 21. Gertjan Martens (for 6, 42 mins); 14. Tom Van Imschoot.


1. Eiji Kawashima; 4. Daniel Opare; 37. Jelle Van Damme (c); 6. Laurent Ciman; 11. Frederic Bulot; 21. William Vainqueur; 25. Antonio Kanu Perriera; 44. Ibrahima Cisse; 63; Geoffrey Mujangi-Bia; 39. Imoh Ezekiel; 23. Michy Batshuayi.

Subs: 28. Guillaume Hubert; 10. Igor De Camargo (for 23, 81 mins); 15. Julien De Sart; 33. Medhi Carcela; 36. Dino Arslanagić; 40. Ebunge Paul Mpoku (for 11, 70 mins); 75. Alpaslan Ozturk (for 21, 66 mins)

Yellow Cards: Depoitre (Oostende); Kanu, Ezekiel, Ozturk (Standard)









Oostende ticket