Vak G. Packed to the rafters.
This is the second part of my Belgian Football Weekend back in July. I had a nice quiet night in Mechelen. For some reason the town was dead. I wasn’t going to pay 20 plus Euros for Mussels and chips, so I queued up for a Mexicana, Chips and chilled beer option, as indeed were a lot of other people who were obviously narked at the prices as much as I was.
On the Sunday I travelled a few miles up the roadto watch 3rd Division Rupel Boom play FCV Dender EH of the 2nd Division in a pre-season friendly at their Gemeentelijk Parkstadion. K Rupel Boom FC is another merged club founded in 1998 from K Boom FC and Rupel SK. K Boom FC have been in existance since 1913 and were the first club of Roger Lukaku who is the dad of the current Anderlecht star forward Romelu Lukaku, who’s since signed for Chelski. Boom FC were in the Belgian First Division last in 1993 but then had massive financial difficulties and by 1998 they merged with Rupel SK and had fallen into Regional League Football. By 2004 they got back into the National 4th division, where they got promoted straight away into the 3rd division only to get relagated and they’ve yo-yo’d between the two divisions until in 2010 they won promotion to the 2nd division but then got relegated again and found themselves back in the 3rd Division.
It’s a funny sort of stadium. One big impressive all seated stand, one covered terrace and 2 open terraces. It’s set in a very leafy suburban area of Boom which is just down the road from Antwerp and about 5 miles away from 1st Division Germinal Beerschot, who have taken over as Antwerp’s largest team from Royal Antwerp. It has a large bar underneath the main stand and the dugouts are completely cut off from the main stand set against a 10 feet wall of bricks. Maybe it’s a tribute to their nickname of the Steenbakkers (Brickmakers), but it’s a surely an excellent blueprint for dealing with the usual simpletons who place abusing the manager high on the list of priorities.
The stadium holds, they’ve been told, 9,470 fans. The views are slightly impaired by rather large and unnecessary fencing which in this day and age is a bit ridiculous. I think the ground would be a lot nicer without them. With about 350 people in the ground watching a pre-season friendly I don’t think that they are needed. The game finished 0-1 to FCV Dender who scored a late winner in a game littered with terrible refereeing decisions. Not satisfied with a string of bizarre decisions he then gave a crap penalty to Rupel Boom which surprised everyone in the ground. The penalty was well saved by the Dender goalkeeper, only for the ref to order a re-take, which the keeper saved again, cue laughter from both teams.
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