GROUND // Burgemeester Van De Wielestadion - KMSK Deinze

Covid-19 shook the football world upside down and that can be seen in all countries all over the world. Here and there it even caused law suits and reformations of the competition. And we don't even have to drive that far as in Belgium there has been a very heated debate on who could or could not start playing the professional leagues. Eventually KMSK Deinze is one of the lesser known teams in the pro leagues.

According to the well known matricule list KMSK Deinze is the oldest team in Deinze. But that isn't entirely correct. The gymnastics team Donza started a football team in 1908, named Donza FC Deynze. They even joined the Belgian FA in 1912, but they never really actively played games. Somewhere between the start of WW1 and 1920 there even is a very dark period in history in which the Belgian FA awarded Donza FC Deynze with a royal title, although the team had ceased to exist in the meantime. Sporting Deynze was founded a little earlier and was recognised as the follow up of Donza FC Deynze according to the Belgian FA, but in 1921 that team disappeared as well.

Fast forward five years. Sportkring Deinze is founded by Emile Torck and the same year they joined the Belgian FA. SK Deinze started playing on a field near the Astenedreef, close by the city forest of Deinze. Throughout the years SK would become a steady team in regional leagues in East Flanders. But again a great war disrupted football in Deinze. This time the team didn't disappear, although the stadium was temporarily used as a car graveyard. During the war SK started hockey, swimming and table tennis, but as of 1946 it was purely football again.

Finally the growth of the team could continue. In 1952 the team was awarded the royal title, changing the name into Koninklijke Maatschappij Sportkring Deinze (let's keep it at KMSK Deinze). Two years later KMSK finally promoted to the national leagues for the very first time ever, fourth division (which had just been created). It wasn't an immediate success, but the team could stay in fourth division for a while. Only in 1959 they relegated back to the regional leagues and one year later they were back again. This team the team from Deinze stayed in fourth division for a longer period. In 1968 they relegated again.

In 1976 KMSK returned and this time they came to fourth division with a lot of extra ambition. In the meantime there was a need for a new and modern stadium and in 1978 the team moved into the newly built Burgemeester Van De Wielestadion, which was leased from the city. Their growth was unstoppable now and apart from a one year return in the regional leagues in 1981 they have been in the national divisions since 1982. By the end of the 80s there was no stopping KMSK. Several years they knocked on the third division door.

Finally in 1992 the team promoted to third division, but they wouldn't stay there for long. One year later already KMSK promoted to second division, a league in which they stay for a number of years. They would become a stable team in second division, sometimes fighting relegation, but every once in a while also itching and scratching the first division door. In 1997 they only just missed out on promotion to the top league for instance. In the end their story in second division would last for sixteen years, right up until 2008 when they relegated back to third division.

But as it goes, once you have tasted success you want it back of course. For six years KMSK fought heavy battles to return and nearly every year they came close. It would only happen in 2015 though. As of then things went fast for the team. One year later the team was put in first amateur by the Belgian FA after the complete football re-organisation of the competition (third level) and again a year later KMSK Deinze bought the stadium from the city of Deinze. Ever since there are clear aspirations to go back to the Belgian second division and become a professional team.

After a few years KMSK Deinze blew away all competition in 2019/2020. Despite the fact the season was ended prematurely by Covid-19, KMSK Deinze deserved the title more than anyone in the league. Finally the team can show their capabilities in second division again. And it doesn't stop there. Apart from a few modifications the stadium pretty still is as it was in 1978 and to continue the growth a new stadium has to come. Plans are already available to change the stadium and the list of players has been made completely relegation-proof. Since a couple of decades KMSK Deinze can enjoy the proximity of teams like AA Gent, Zulte-Waregem, KV Kortrijk, Club Brugge and Cercle Brugge. Many players have made the move to Deinze in the past and now is no difference. The difference now is the quality.

Now all we can do is await the football KMSK Deinze will show us and see if they can become once more a steady second division team. In the meantime we get to enjoy the Burgemeester Van De Wielestadion in its current shape, because it'll change drastically soon. Shame... but very much understandable.