Wednesday 4 March 2009

KV Mechelen; Mechelen, Belgium

I visited KV Mechelen on Friday 27th February, it was the televised First Division match. It's a cracking little stadium, very tight, but still with terracing, almost like an old English ground, as a lot of Belgian grounds are. The game was against RC Genk, and they pulled off a bit of a shock result, winning by the odd goal in three, much to the delight of the home crowd! The visitors missed a few chances, but if you don't take them you don't deserve to win, and it was an enjoyable match to watch, & a great ground to 'tick off'.

These huge banners were hung up at either end in the main stand.

Here is the main entrance gates.

Fans queue up to get in.

I was standing in section F, at the front of the main stand, ticket cost 17 euros.

Just inside the turnstiles was this mural, painted onto the side of some club offices.

From the turnstiles corner I look into the ground, here is my first sight of the seats behind the goal.

And across to the covered terrace on the far side. It's about forty five minutes before kick off, the empty section is for the away fans, who haven't arrived yet.

And to the left, from this corner, is the terracing in front of the main stand.

I'm not usually a 'floodlights' person, i just wondered what the photo would come out like. Now I know.

By the turnstiles was the club shop. Scarves are quite expensive now that the pound has shrunk against the euro. What is strange about them is that they have them in Flemish-KV Mechelen- & the same in French-FC Malines-even though this is a Flemish area.

Under the stand is a supporters' bar. The crest was on the wall of it.

And this board displaying the league fixtures, & the current first division table on the right.

Halfway down, behind the main stand, is the entrance to the executive areas. Just inside is this plaque. I had to ask a steward for permission to snap it.

But the steward did insist on a picture of himself with the plaque, which I will email to him.

As I moved on behind the stand I saw this brass band, with fans & their banners behind.

This is section F, the part of terrace for which I have a ticket.

From here we look to the two tiered stand behind the goal, seating up top, with terracing in front.

A look at the far corner, with a strange little stand behind the flag.

The band & flags start parading round pre amtch.

Here they go past me

And stop in front of the middle of the main stand, presumably where all the bigwigs sit.

Here we look across to the away section, which is filling up.

The home fans in full voice!

And huge banner!

Another look across, showing both the home & away terraces.

A bit of goalmouth action, there's only a few minutes to go, so I'm going to sneak into that stand, to take some snaps from up there.

From the steps on the side I take a picture of the terrace below it.

And here is the seated area above, including members of the pre-match brass band!

Here we look down the side, with the terrace at the front where I watched the match from.

Another look at the front of the stand, behind the goal.

Looking over to the terrace, from a higher angle.

And across the pitch, to the corporate area.

Game over, the Mechelen team celebrate in front of their hardcore fans.

They continue round to applaud me for coming to watch them from London! ;-)

And milk the applause round the side, before heading down the tunnel.

As the ground empties out I go up into the main stand to get some more pictures of the ground, from this level.

Up in the seats we look down the stand, with the corporate business type seats behind the goal.

Here we get a view of the glass fronted stand.

And also look back to the 'ordinary' supporters end.

These benches & seats behind are in front of the glassed area.

A last glance down the main stand side

Before we go over to take a shot of the now empty away fans terrace.

With the yellow home section past it.

One final look down the main stand, as I hunt for a team sheet, which was only available in the posh areas. Luckily I managed to pick one up, then it was time to go.

Just down the road I spotted this supporters' bar on the corner of the road leading up to the ground.


Jon said...

I'm a big fan of taking pictures of stadiums myself, although not quite in so much detail.

Anyway, have you thought about only including 1-2 pictures on the post that appears on the front page, then having a jump to show all of the pictures? It would be easier for visitors to navigate through multiple stadiums in one sitting.

Just a thought. Cheers!

Rabbler said...

Thanks for looking in. I take your point, but only have very basic computer skills, so wouldn't know how to do what you're suggesting, though I do understand what you mean. I try to get round this by listing all the grounds I've covered down the right hand side, which people can dip into as they choose.

iLL Man said...

Mechelen looks like a wonderful ground. Very bitty and old fashioned. Belgium and Holland are places I'd love to take a ground-hopping holiday in.

As for the photos, I'd maybe cut them by half per post. From my own experience, it's always hard with photos, you don't want to leave something out, each one has it's own resonance.

A few thoughts. My method is to divide each ground report into several posts. It does break things up a little.

Alternatively, stick up the five shots that illustrate the ground best, along with the actual report, then post the rest up on Flikr/Photobucket or similar and stick the link to the photo-site in at the end.

Anyway, great site and one I'll be looking in on again.

Rabbler said...

Thanks for your feedback, glad you like the site. I'll stick to my 'tried & tested formula', as it's what I'm used to, and very basic for me to be able to publish, as I'm not very technical to say the least!

Anonymous said...

This is certainly on my list of grounds to do, having been to their cross town rivals Racing a couple of times. What a great place Mechelin is !!!