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First Team Star
Mar 2, 2018, 5:01 PM
Team(s): Cardiff City, KV Kortrijk, BFC Dynamo
Post #1 of 1
Four of us set off from Herefordshire at 6 a.m. on Saturday 17th. After a breakfast stop a couple of hours into the journey we carried on to Folkestone and were ahead of time so caught a shuttle an hour earlier than booked. Once into France it was a drive of exactly an hour to our digs in Jabbeke just outside Brugge. After checking in we headed off to our first game about forty minutes drive away.
Sporting Lokeren 0 KV Kortrijk 1
Admission : 20 Euros for me, 12 Euros for my son
Attendance : 3,986
No problem getting roadside parking five minutes walk away. Two of us support Kortrijk so once the ticket office opened for away fans we bought tickets for the seated upper tier of the away section. The stand we were in was behind the goal with terrace below and seats in the upper tier. Away fans get about a third of this stand allocated to them. There is a seated stand behind the opposite goal, a main stand to the right and a stand to the left which has seats in the upper tier and terracing in the lower section. Good support from the couple of hundred Kortrijk fans. The loo facilities were rather spartan but the bratwurst and waffles available made up for that.
It was an even game, both sides attacking and decided by a calm finish from Teddy Chevalier about a quarter of an hour from the end.
We couldn't get to the club shop before the game as it was inside a part of the stadium surrounds only accessible with a ticket for the home supporters but we manged to get in after the game once exit gates had been opened so my son could buy a pin badge. No sign of any programmes or teamsheets.
It was back to the hotel for a couple of beers. Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny so we drove down to Kortrijk to look at the stadium and had a very pleasant breakfast at a bakery in the Grote Markt. From there we drove to our 2.30 p.m. kick off
KAA Gent 2 YR KV Mechelen 2
Admission : 25 Euros for me, 10 Euros for my son
Attendance : 17,249
This recent build has been on my 'to do' list. We failed to get tickets for a game v Standard Liege here on our last Belgian trip in October 2016 so was glad to get here this time. Very impressive stadium, facilities and atmosphere. Both sets of fans sang non stop with Mechelen just about filling their section of the ground. Our seats were just about in line with one of the penalty spots and all four goals were scored at that end of the ground. The visitors were bottom of the table going into the game but scored after just two minutes and again after twenty. Cue much displeasure and whistling from the home fans.
Gent improved after the break and pulled it back to 2-2 but couldn't force a winner. Refreshments were available via the card purchasing system. No sign of a programme or teamsheet anywhere but getting away after the game was very straightforward. First time I can remember seeing someone drinking a glass of sparkling wine while watching a football match.
Our Sunday evening game saw us drive on to
RE Mouscron 2 Waasland Beveren 2
Admission : 20 Euros
Again no problem with parking in a nearby street for this. Our tickets were for the seated stand on the side opposite the main stand. Our stand had three blocks with I would guess about 600 seats in each. Our block had around 50 people in it. The block at the opposite end of the stand had a larger number of Beveren fans in it. They also had fans on the terrace behind one goal while home fans were on the terrace at the opposite end, along with somebody dressed in a foam Tyrannosaurus Rex costume. Nobody batted an eyelid at its presence. Waffles and doughnuts were on sale as well as burgers, hot dogs and frites.
There was a small club shop under the stand and a four page monthly newspaper was available but I only saw one pile on the counter of one of the food outlets. I saw one teamsheet which was in the hands of somebody who sat near us and was a late arrival. Kindly he left it on his seat when he left at the end of the game.
This was another good game, the home side took the lead after a move in which Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi played a major role. The visitors equalised right on half time with a thumping header and took the lead in the second half before Mouscron equalised just before the end.
On Monday we took some photos of Jabbeke's ground then did the ten minute drive to the Jan Breydel Stadion in Brugge to have a look round and do some shopping in the club shop. The ground was open as they were clearing up after he weekend's match so we got pitchside for some photos. We then did the short drive to the village of Oostkamp where we caught the train for the 35 minute journey to Gent where we spent some time looking around the city centre. When we got back to Oostkamp we drove off to our evening game at KSV Roeselare
Club Brugge Reserves 3 KRC Genk Reserves 4
Admission : 5 Euros for me, free for my son
Attendance : 65 (h/c)
Another excellent game. Just the main stand open for this one but very welcoming staff on reception who directed us to the bar where hot and cold drinks and crisps were on sale. We had a chat with a German groundhopper and Erfurt fan who approached us on recognising one of our group's hats as he had spotted him wearing it at the Mouscron game. I was given a match specific ticket in exchange for my 5 Euros and a pile of teamsheets were on the counter in reception from about 15 minutes before kick off.
In an end to end game the visitors three times took the lead only to be pegged back each time before finally scoring a fourth which won the game. Stand out player was Genk's Belgian under 21 international Benson Manuel. He set up their first goal and scored their next two but his game finished ignominiously. He was booked for an off the ball clash which could have seen him get a red card. He was about to be subbed before he was sent off but pulled up chasing a through ball and hobbled off in some distress.
So ended an excellent trip. Four really good games and some great places visited.