Friday 27 April 2012

RFC Temploux-Suarlee; Namur, Belgium

RFC Temploux-Suarlee have just been crowned Division Four Section B champions of the Namur region, which is the bottom rung of the Belgian pyramid, at level eight. The title was clinched on Sunday 15th April 2012, by beating Andoy B 7-0, & I was fortunate enough to be there, hence this extremly large set of photos!

One of their coaches is Nicolas Lucas, a good friend of mine, & I he had invited me over for the weekend, correctly predicting that this would be the weekend that they clinched the title! I'm not sure what the locals thought as I hung up my Dulwich Hamlet flag on the fence, but by the end of the night I went home with Nico & his partner Danuta, & to their son & my godson Arthur, feeling a happy person.

Yes, the game was very one sided, it turned out to be a celebration for a very good side for their level, trying to play 'proper' football, rather than just hoofing it, with a good mix of experience & youth, reminding me a little of The Hamlet, back home.

And on Sunday 5th August they will be coming over to England to grace Champion Hill for a pre-season match against a Hamlet team! Amazing!

The ground is a basic floodlit one, just railed off, but none the worse for it. The hub of the club is the bar, & it was a good night, even for someone like me, who doesn't drink & cannot speak French! I was made welcome by the Temploux crowd, & it was a pleasure, indeed an honour, to 'gatecrash' their big day, hence the huge amount of pictures.

Knowwn as 'The Aviators', sorrt 'Les Aviateurs', due to the proximity of the local airport.

Someone late for kick-off? ;-)

The ground, by the road.

Here is the entrance. The brick structure is not part of the ground. It is an old religious shrine, though this one is empty, & disused. I only know this because there is another further down the road, by the next corner, which we shall see later.

So we are straight in with our first corner flag shot.

The club letterbox on a telegraph pole, and the path leads up to the clubhouse & changing rooms, behind the goal.

A banner on the fencing from the local regional authority.

Getting closer to the clubhouse, with the club name on the side, & the usual Belgian beer football board.

Now we are in front of the clubhouse, and you can now see the need for a chain link fence at this end.

Toward the goal, not the best spot to watch a game from.

That's better, stick the camers through a gap, and we see the dugouts down the left hand side.

Inside the bar. It will get a lot messier in s few hours!

Club sign below the clock behind the bar.

The noticeboard, giving credit to their sponsors.

Further along, a banner of the town council.

Television in the far corner, & various team photos on the noticeboard.

I wish I could nick one of these tables to take home! ;-)

Back outside, looking down the pitch, through the mesh fence.

Past the bar there is some proper hard standing, bar stools brought out for seats.

The hard standing continues along this section, which is in front of the changing rooms.

Between the bar & the changing rooms, just behind us noe, is this patio area, where the barbeque food area is setting up.

The 'tunnel', gap in the fence, for the teams to come onto the pitch. You can pick out the dugouts, along the side.

Here we zoom in on them.

Almost at the corner, moving on past the changing rooms, boot bucket ready for post match scrubbing.

Looking back the path is back to gravel.

Next corner flag shot.

Time to start down the side now, pitch simply railed off.

From the side we see my flags behind the goal, either side of the tunnel!

A tight squeeze past the floodlight pylon.

Trees overhang.

On toward the home dugout.

Spectators can't get past here, during the game, if you want to stand down the other end of the pitch you have to walk round the other way.

This is the home dugout.

Inbetween the two is this sterile area, no fans allowed behind this part of the rail between the two dugouts.

The away one which is here.

The two of them together, during the match.

On the other side of the second one now, looking back toward the clubhouse end.

Managers & coaches by their dugouts.

The rail continues down the side, to the corner.

It really is a squeeze by this pylon.

Very open all the way round, as you can see at the turn.

The ground is not enclosed at all, I was still surprised though that nobody came round with a box to collect any money for admission.

At the corner, I misjudged the light as I got 'above my station' & tried for an 'arty farty' angle!

That's better, 'know your place' & you get the light! ;-)

Moving along behind the goal now, some fans parked up behind it, by their motor.

Plenty of training goals at this end.They wouldn't last five minutes in London before they were nicked!

Past the goal, & the beers are already flowing.

Onto the corner, more goals in the way, so no place to stand here.

At the next corner now.

Another shrine behind the ground, out on the corner of the road.

This one still a spot to stop & offer a prayer.

Down the side, many cars parked on the verge, by the pitch.

Behind us we see the shrine corner.

From here a glance to the multi-goals end.

And onward.

From the road it's clear how the ground is not enclosed at all. almost like a pitch on a village green, back home.

Away dugout opposite.

And the home one, past it.

Almost at the halfway line, regional sport channel televison camera ahead.

Dugouts directly across the halfway line.

Camerawoman on a trailer.

Here we see her at work from the front.

Moving on past here, we're almost done, for our circuit of the ground.

From the side we see the main group of noisier hoem fans, outside the bar.

Almost at the start.

Tour over...but lots more photos!

Starting with the Temploux pre-match routine.

Almost kick off, home fans waiting for their boys to come out onto the pitch.

Visitors ready...

My own flag on the fence!

And out come the Temploux team in blue.

Pre-match lineing up, then we're ready for the action!




Now pay attention..some fun'  starts, I was lucky enough to be standing in the right spot!

Off you go! Both of you..

Oh dear, he's thrown his shirt on the pitch. I don't think he's happy...

No, he's not!

But calming down..

Back to the match!

Penalty to Andoye...oh dear! MISS!

The home 'Ultras' are ready to celebrate...

Final whistle...let the party commence!

They look as though they've been pipped to the title, not finished at the bottom!

Celebrating the traditional European way!

What a man! not just the best player on the pitch by far this afternoon, but champagner, a beer & a cigarette straight after!

The fans are on the pitch!

Time for a team photo!

Champions t-shirts already being worn by them all!

The manager with the local press.

More going crazy for the local sports programme.


Ah, it's that beer again!

More team pcitures!

This is my mate Nicolas!

And his partner Danuta is next to him.

Into the changing rooms.

High jinks on the pitch for some1

And now for the celebratory cigars!

Seven nil!

More beer!

The happy management team.

Party in the changing rooms...

And all outside for yet another team photo, this time in front of the Dulwich Hamlet flag!

Nearly de-bagged!

Still work to do, bringing the flags in.

They didn't last long!

Party moving to the bar, stil lin their kit!

Whoops! The 'championship' tile!

That is messy!

Post match kickabout!

Oh dear! ;-)

Celebrating supporters.

He is drinking Chimay, & is from the town of Chimay!

Laughing at the Spurs badge...'a chicken on a basketball', he told me, in English!

Time for the evening local football show...

Temploux on the telly, everyone wants to see it!

A very relaxed management!

The Belgian-Italian contingent!

Almost time to go. Looks like I've made some friends!

The championship was nice, I had a slice!

Time to leave, as the manager relieves himself over one of the player's motors!
It's almost midnight..not bad for a three o'clock kick off!