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GROUND // Parc des Roches - Union Rochefortoise

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Peace and quiet among the trees, hidden deep in the Belgian Ardennes. A lovely beer, some tasty sausages and ofcourse typical Walloon football. Rochefort has quite some things going for it. And they show it on a relatively high level as well.

Still in the province of Namur, even though you'd think you're in Luxembourg, and very deep in the real Ardennes, Rochefort might sound familiar to quite some people. There is lovely nature, lots of green, great cheese and wonderful beer. All of that is covered in an overdose of just horrible cellphone service. Rochefort is one of those tourist places that suffered from the unexpected rainfall in the summer of 2021.

Despite the fact the village is hidden so well, King Football found its way pretty quickly. All in all there was only one team, but they had to be revived a couple of times in those first few years. It all started in 1932 when Cercle Sportif de Rochefort started, but they disappeared just as quickly as they appeared. The same year the team folded. For six years it remained quiet. Until a second attempt was made in 1938, when Football Club Rochefortois was founded.

This time they lasted a full year. But again it went silent for a while as Football Club Rochefortois ceased to exist in 1939. The silence wouldn't last long now as that same year Jeunesse Rochefortoise Football Club filled the gap. And they seemed to have quite the success. Not at first though, as football came to a standstill due to WWII. But directly after that, it went uphill. 'Les Marcassins' marauded the leagues.

In 1963 Jeunesse Rochefortoise Football Club already reached the national divisions for the first time by promoting to the fourth division. For three years they played the national levels and after one year in the regional leagues they added another year of national football. Afterwards they fought their battles in the regional leagues in Namur for almost 20 years. In the meantime they became Royale Jeunesse Rochefortoise FC.

In 1990 Royale Jeunesse Rochefortoise FC was back in the national divisions, again in fourth division. For thirteen years straight they went from "aaah just missed promotion" to "ooph we saved our almost relegated asses". But in 2003 they finally relegated and a difficult time started. Five years after the relegation, Royale Jeunesse Rochefortoise FC merged with FC Jemelle to become Jeunesse Rochefortoise Jemelle Association. FC Jemelle was a younger team, founded in 1968. But they never made it to the national divisions.

The next few years were on the lame side as well for 'les Marcassins'. Eventually they sought and found that deserved promotion. In the meantime that had become the third national league (the fifth level) and since 2019 they are back where they belong. Just before, in 2016, the name became R Jeunesse Rochefortoise FC again and just after the promotion - in 2020 - they merged with FC Eprave (yet another young team (founded in 1967) that never made it to the national divisions). The new name became Union Rochefortoise.

The Parc des Roches gets to see national football again. And rightfully so. It's a fun team with a passionate fan base, playing in an attractive little stadium with a "just wow" backdrop. This just screams groundhopping desire all the way!

If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.


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