Kings Of A Wild Frontier (Royal Excel Mouscron)

The original Royal Excelsior Mouscron were formed in 1922 as Stade Mouscronnais. They adopted their current name in 1964 when Stade merged with rival town team ARA Mouscron. Mouscron is a French speaking city with the border separating it from the French town of Tourcoing. Mouscron (the “s” isn’t actually pronounced) itself was a French town until the 19th century.

The clubs’ greatest achievement was in 1993-94 when the finished as runners up to Sint-Truiden in the Belgian Second Division. The club were also Belgian Cup finalists in 2002 and 2006 losing to Club Brugge and Zulte-Waregem on each occasion. 

In 1990 Excelsior merged with Rapid Club Luingnois. The club qualified for the UEFA Cup on two occassions, the first was in 1997-98. The “Frontaliers” defeated Cypriot side Apollon Limassol before losing 6-1 on aggregate to FC Metz. The second occasion was 2002/03 when Icelandic side Fylkir were beaten before Excel lost heavily again in the next round, this time 7-3 on aggregate to Slavia Prague.

Just a year or so after their European adventures, Excel hit severe financial problems in 2004 and were forced into a fire sale of their best players in order to survive. It should have served as a warning to the club but in 2009, when the side was managed by former national team hero, Enzo Scifo, the club collapsed. Manchester City offered to by the ailing club as a nursery club but the offer fell through and Excel were forced into liquidation.

In order to preserve professional football in Mouscron and at the Stade du Canonnier, home to Excel since 1930, talks were entered into with nearby club RRC Péruwelz, who themselves had been formed in 1921. Talks were successful and Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz were formed taking the the latter’s matricule of 216. In the time honoured tradition the failing club had their matricule, in Mouscron’s case 224, removed by the Belgian FA.

Some supporters of RRC Péruwelz were unhappy at leaving their own Stade de la Verte Chasse, and formed their own amateur club Péruwelz FC. 

2012 was a great year for the new club, they became champions of the third division and also won the historic Trophée Jules Pappaert. The following season the club were promoted to the too flight having finished as runners-up to KV Oostende. 

In something of a surprise move this season the club has reverted back to the name Royal Excel Mouscron and have dropped the Péruwelz reference despite retaining Péruwelz’s matricule.

Mouscron’s traditional home, the Stade du Canonnier, was most recently renovated in 1999 when a new main stand was opened. The club also own a huge training complex called Futurosport which covers 23 hectares and itself has a show pitch with a seated stand for 1,000 people. Due to its hemmed in location amongst residential streets the Canonnier will never be able to be expanded much beyond its current 11,000 capacity and the clubs’ owners have earmarked the potential development of a new stadium at the Futurosport site in the not to distant future.

This evening’s visitors are mighty Club Brugge sitting on top of the Jupiler Pro League with maximum points from the opening five rounds of games. However, Excel have also made a useful start to the campaign but its Club that attack from the offset of this match. Somewhat against the run of play the hosts were awarded a penalty which pacy frontman Jonathan Bolingi gratefully converted. The lead lasted barely eight minutes when a sweeping Brugge move saw Stefano Denswil drill home an equaliser. However, the 14 time Belgian champions were stung again just before half time when Excel scored again with a towering header from Bolingi. The visitors dominated the second half but could not find a way through a well drilled Mouscron defence. The hosts survived five minutes of stoppage time to record a famous victory.

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Sunday September 9th 2017 – Jupiler Pro League 

Royal Excel Mouscron 2 (Bolingi pen 18,40)

Club Brugge KV 1 (Denswil 26)

Att:9,579 

Admission €12, free teamsheet given away in supporters bar.

Gallery

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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.

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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)

Club:

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.

Lokeren:

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).

Gallery

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Brugge ticket