GROUND // Jules Soetestadion - K Daring Club Blankenberge (lost ground)

For seven years straight now this ground has been abandoned. While it remained in use after the merger of Daring with KSV, in 2013 it was decided to centralize all sports activities in Blankenberge in the old KSV stadium. It's only a matter of time before this beauty will disappear...



But first, let's go back to 1921. Fourteen years after the creation of Sportvereniging Blankenberge, Daring Club Blankenberge was founded. Initially the team was named Cercle Sportif de Blankenberge, but shortly after it was changed to Daring Club to avoid confusion with other teams. Fun fact, while being named Cercle Sportif the team colours were yellow and black. They changed into blue and white when the name was changed, but the company providing the shirts didn't have any blue and white available. Black and white was provided temporarily, but "temporarily" became permanent.




Just like Sporting, Daring managed to go to the national league pretty quickly. In 1926, when they received matricule number 146, Daring promoted to third division - their first appearance in the national leagues. They joined Sporting and encountered their first official derbies. Unfortunately Daring relegated after only one year. Their second opportunity came in 1934 and this time they managed to position themselves well. After five years Daring had to return to the regional leagues.




After the war Daring had to go through some tough decades. While in the 50s they remained in the top regional leagues, during the 60s and 70s the team fell back the lower divisions. In 1980 and 1981 Daring relegated two times in a row and ended up in the lowest possible regional league. Daring would work on a return, but it would take quite some time. By 1999 Daring was back in fourth division and the national leagues, 60 years after their last appearance.



One year later, in 2000, Sporting and Daring decided to join forces and become KSC Blankenberge. Financial problems for Daring and poor results on the pitch for Sporting (who had fallen back to the second regional division and facing relegation) were the main driving factors for the merger. The matricule number of Sporting was kept for the new team, but oddly enough KSC could still play in fourth division. To remember both teams, the black of Daring and the red of Sporting was used to form the new black and red colour combination. After one year already they relegated and up until 2013 the Jules Soetestadion only witnessed regional football.





After 2013 the stadium remained empty and unused. After a while the city of Blankenberge decided to use this as a back up parking lot during school holidays to accommodate tourists. In 2018 the decision was made to transform the whole area into a small park. So far nothing has happened yet. It's sad to see this beauty disappear in the (near?) future. Jules Soete (owner and architect of the stadium, built in 1930) would be ashamed...



Currently Brian Vandenbussche is the most well known player in the team, formerly Club Brugge, Cercle Brugge, AA Gent, Sparta Rotterdam and sc Heerenveen. This is most likely the end of the career which he started in his youth in 1990 at Sporting. But in the past Daring also had Kurt Deltour (KRC Harelbeke) and Cedomir Janevski in the team. Janevski actually started his coaching career at Daring Blankenberge. Ebrima Ebou Sillah was brought to Belgium as a young guy by Daring. Afterwards he would move to teams like Club Brugge, Rubin Kazan, FC Brussels and MVV Maastricht.



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