GROUND // Andenne Arena - RCS Andennais

In the shadows of Namur you can live your hearts up as a groundhopper. Many ancient teams and interesting teams are all very close to each other. Andenne is no exception, being situated somewhere in the middle between Namur and Huy. The Andenne Arena, until recently named Stade Julien Pappa, is a beauty for the eye.

It all started in 1907 when Andenne FC was founded. Unfortunately it wasn't an immediate success as the team disappeared in 1914. But we have a feeling the start of WWI had something to do with it. In 1916 Andenne FC was revived as Cercle Sportif Andennais. It took until 1923 however before they joined the Belgian FA. Like many of the teams from that period, they too managed to reach the national divisions. This happened in 1929 when they first reached third division. In the beginning they were looking for the right form and they went up and down between the national and regional leagues quite often. But in 1937 a first golden era began. That year they promoted to third division again and in 1942 they won that league, earning them promotion to second division.

A year later they relegated again, but after the war the Belgian FA decided to undo all relegations during the war and RCS Andennais could play second division again. For the second time they didn't manage to stay in and a few years later they were back in the regional leagues. The next two decades would become an up and down period, but in the 70s the team started a second golden era. In 1973 they promoted to fourth division and one year later they went back to third division. Only missing promotion to second division with a couple of points in 1976, they started going down again. By the time the 80s began they were back in the regional leagues.

In 1983 they briefly changed their name into RCS Andenne 60. Not because they had an unbeaten record of 60 games like RUSG, but because the team was 60 years old. By the end of the 80s though the history of the team would change forever. After having earned a spot in fourth division in 1989 they underwent a first merger three years later. Union Sportive Seilloise disappeared and the new team name became Royale Union Sportive Andenne-Seilles (RUSAS). It didn't bring any new successes as they went down the regional leagues in 1996 and even lower in 1998.

By 2004 RUSAS was back in the national divisions, but modern football also brought challenges financially. They underwent a second merger in 2009. After seeing a deal fall though with SC Petit-Warêt and coming close to deciding to start over again in the lowest regional league, they finally merged with FC Coutisse. Seilles Coutisse Andenne yet again relegated to the regional leagues and up until now they haven't been able to return. In 2016 they did took on their old name RCS Andennais.

RCS Andennais already started playing in their current stadium in 1924. During all of these years and decades the look and feel of the stadium would change drastically. Right now you'll see a mix of old and new. The grandstand is only there for a couple of years, but on the other side you'll still see a magnificent oldschool covered stand with some nice terracing. It makes us go back to the good old days. And in those good old days RCS Andennais has made some wise decisions. They will most likely be remembered forever for the fact they discovered the potential of Jean-Jacques Missé-Missé. He had a great career later on playing for teams like Sporting Charleroi, Sporting Portugal, Trabzonspor, Dundee United, RAA Louviéroise, KV Oostende and especially KV Mechelen when they were put back in third division.