GROUND // Stade Bernard Rubay - Jeunesse Sportive Eghezée

It's no secret Belgium has a lot of hidden treasures. You'll find nothing different in the province of Namur. On the way to the city of Namur (at least if you're coming from the north) you'll pass by Eghezée and an experienced groundhopper know immediately it's time to take the exit. But watch out not to mistake yourself with Erezée.



Eghezée and it's neighbouring villages already have quite the football history. Our focus for now will remain on the team(s) that has(ve) had the Stade Bernard Rubay as their homeground. Again a beautiful name for an equally as surprising stadium. And it all started in 1946 when Sporting Club Eghezée was born. Slowly but surely they started their way up in the leagues and in 1974 they managed to get to the national divisions for the very first time, fourth division back then. Sadly enough it was only for one year. But in 1983 they returned and this time they pulled off a nice serie.




One year later their neighbours AS Hemptinne joined them in the same league. Being one of their biggest rivals they only reached national football for the first time even though they are much older. They started as Racing Club Hemptinne in 1927. But no-one would have expected them to have such a difficult history. In 1929 already they changed their name into L'Entente Hemptinne and in 1933 they ceased to exist. Five years later the team restarted as Racing Club Hemptinne and with a new matricule number. Even then it wasn't over. One year before SC Eghezée was founded RC Hemptinne merged with Sporting Club Branchon and Union Sportive Boneffe. Finally as Alliance Sportive Hemptinne the calmer years began.



In 1985 SC Eghezée was all alone in the national leagues again and they would stay alone until AS Hemptinne finally returned in 1989. The intense battles between the two re-started, but it wouldn't be for long. In 1991 Eghezée relegated and shortly after some very drastic decisions were taken. SCE wasn't doing well on the field, but they had a great accommodation. ASH on the other hand had a lot of ambition and was looking for a more suitable accommodation. One and one is two and a merger was the next logical step. Association Clubs Hemptinne-Eghezée (ACHE) was born. The matricule number of Hemptinne moved to the Stade Bernard Rubay.




Ambition became reality. Only one year after the merger the new team promoted to third division for the very first time. Apart from one year they would stay in third until 1998. Unfortunately as the story goes the finance beast caught up on the ambitions and the team couldn't cope with the debts any longer. In 1998 ACHE relegated, but it wouldn't come that far. The team pulled the plug, but there was one big difference with most teams. The matricule number wasn't cancelled, but instead it was put on inactive status for a year. Between 1999 and 2010 it was put on official status for cancellation, but it never happened. In 2015 this still wasn't the case. We're not really sure what the status is right now.



In the meantime both villages started over again. In 1999 Renaissance Sportive Hemptinne filled the football hearts of the people in Hemptinne with joy, one year after the creation of the brand new Jeunesse Sportive Eghezée. The latter immediately started playing in the available Stade Bernard Rubay and is trying very hard to do what their predecessor did before. With players that are trying to do the exact same thing as others before. Others like Ibrahim Tankary (who was brought to Belgium by ACHE) and Serge Kimoni and Joao Elias (who oddly enough played in the higher divisions before coming to ACHE and moved to a club in the higher leagues afterwards). For now JS Eghezée never left the regional leagues. But hey... their predecessor also needed 28 years to get to the national divisions for the first time.





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