In and around Bornem (Antwerp) you can find quite a lot of local teams. At least now you still can. But we feel a change of movement coming. FC Mariekerke and KVS Branst recently merged to become FCS Mariekerke-Branst and when we look at the youth teams there already is a deeper connection with the other neighbouring teams.
Football started in the smaller village of Mariekerke in 1954. FC Mariekerke joined the Belgian FC immediately and for the next half century the team would lead a very quiet and peaceful existence in the lower divisions. Obviously there was an occasional promotion, but it was usually linked with an occasional relegation as well. That's how football went on in Mariekerke.
At least until 2008. That's when everything suddenly went very fast for the team. That year they won the championship in the third regional league and by the time it was 2010 they were in the top regional league. One year later already they managed to gain promotion to fourth division for the very first time in their history. Four years of regional football followed. In 2016 the team returned to the national divisions, third amateur in the meantime. This time the fun lasted for two years.
Right now FC Mariekerke is back in the regional leagues and recently the opportunity arose to merge with the neighbouring KVS Branst. KVS Branst is a tiny bit older (founded in 1950) and was founded as FC Scheldezonen Weert. By the end of the 60s they changed into FC Scheldezonen Branst and again a couple of years later it became KV Scheldezonen Branst.
Unlike FC Mariekerke KVS Branst never made it to the national leagues. The second regional league (in 1998) is their absolute peak. They mainly play on the lower regional divisions. Both teams hope to relive the vibe of the national leagues now they have merged. The stadium 'De Witte Molen' has gotten used to seeing national football and who know the glory days of Karim Bachar, Kris Mampaey, Cliff Mardulier and Hervé Onana will return. The former KV Mechelen player Kenny Van Hoevelen joined the merger and will use his talent and experience to make sure those glory days will come back.