Saturday 24 September 2011

KVK Ieper; Belgium

I had a look at the new ground of KVK Ieper in June 2010, when I visited the town of Ypres, to give it it's more well known name to the English. They currently play in the fourth level of the Belgian pyramid. They had a lovely old stadium in the town centre, which I was sadly a few months too late to photograph, as it had been demolished. The new one, hilariously named the Crack Stadium,after the local furniture company, & with no drug connotations, is about a mile from the famous Menin Gate. I got him about 6.30pm in the evening, & just as I was trying to find a way in, having found one unlocked gate behind the main stand, I thought I would be polite & ask for permission to take some snaps first, at the main entrance. Some men were just leaving & locking up. They spoke English & told me in no uncertain terms that they were locking up & there was no way in. Who was I to tell them they'd left a gate open? So I took a couple of snaps through the outer permiter before they drop off, & then went inside. On future forays back to Belgium this isn't a ground I will rush back to, manners cost nothing, & first impressions count!

This simple homemade signage was the only thing that displayed who actually played here!

Before we have a look at the new ground this is all that remained of the previous one in the town centre.

The school in the background has claimed the land, I understand.

All the stands gone. I do have some older pictures of them in a shoebox somewhere, but all pre-digital days,

A pitch rail appears to still be there, down the school side.

It's clearly recognisable as being 'football' from the other side.

Back to the new one. this is the turnstile block.

The Crack factory over the other side of the road.

The ground is on this road. I do like some foreign street signs abroad, not just in Belgium, where they explain who the thoroughfares are named after.

Outside the main stadium are a number of new outer pitches.

To the left is one of them, the large brick wall to the right is the back of the main stand.

Turning left we glance over the swathe of other pitches.

This was taken from outside, by the turnstiles, looking toward the main stand.

Moving along,we see the stand still from outside, as I waited for the locals to drive away.

This was another one from outside...

The cars have driven away now, the ground is deserted, time to dash back to the other end of the ground, past the stand where the unlocked gate is. Thought I'd mention it, on the off chance they ever see this, & they know where to lock up properly next time! ;-)

Through the gate, to our right is an open area of hard standing; but we're going to walk the other way round, clockwise, seeing the main stand first.

Backless plastic seats, very new & 'clinically clean', but still impressive.

Opposite is a covered terrace.

The clubhouse is up above, at the back, with a wide tunnel area.

Moving along, we glance back down the stand.

The end to our right is very open.

As the other goal appears to be too, leftward.

The last section of the stand, past the tunnel area.

Past the seating is open hard standing, leading up to the entrance, & one of the dugouts.

Climbing up into the stand we look down onto the top of the dugout, with the factory end as a backdrop.

Turning the other way we see the seats from the rear.

And then over the pitch, to the covered terrace.

Down at ground leval once more, looking toward the corner.

Behind the dugout, stand behind.

Practically the same picture we saw earlier, this one from inside.

Some high netting, I would guess they might have an outdoor beer & food area here on matchdays.

Looking toward this open end, the first sight you would get as you come into the ground, from the turnstiles.

Completely open hard standing behind this goal, you can see the perimeter fence behind,

through which I took my first snaps. Clearly you don't actually have to pay to get in to watch the match!

From the corner, toward the covered terrace.

The same terrace, behind the goal, through the posts.

The main stand, to the right.

Heading on to the scoreboard corner.

Along the side it's more hard standing, up to the covered terrace, in the centre.

At this corner we are facing into the slowly setting summer sun, and the main stand.

Now we've arrived at the covered terrace, impressive, for a new build.

Going up the steps we turn back to the factory end.

Eyes now to the left, the rest of the terrace.

Straight over the pitch, to the main stand.

Past the terrace is more open hard standing, to the next corner.

Which is where we're continuing to.

But not before a last glance back along the terrace from this side.

This end is also very open, no terracing, with high fencing behind.

The same as the other end.

Behind the goal now, we glance along the terrace side.

The main stand once more, behind the goal.

Another look at it, moving left a bit more, past the posts.

The final corner flag(less) shot, terracing in the background.

On the 'home straight', almost back where we bgan.

The other dugout nearly reached.

Here it is, from the front.

Stepping onto the pitch we look directly at the main stand.

A last picture of it from the pitch rail, before we leave for The Last Post.