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GROUND // Vic Coveliersstadion - FC Belgica & OSTAN

Earlier we already visited "Den Bolhoed", one of the many grounds Belgica Edegem had used in the past. But "Den Belgica" actually played most of its existence in a different stadium; the Vic Coveliers stadium.

We already knew football in this village in Antwerp started in 1908. That's when Edegemsche Voetbalvereeniging was founded. In 1912 they joined the Belgian FA and the same year the name was changed into Sporting Football Club Belgica Edegem; the first use of the name Belgica. That name wasn't derived from their Belgian origin. Not the modern Belgium, nor the old Roman province Belgica. The name rather was inspired by the ship Adrien de Gerlache used to conquer Antarctica. Sadly enough this first club ceased to exist in 1924.

In May 1924 however, Sporting Football Club Belgica Edegem was re-created. A few weeks, later the name changed into Belgica Football Club Edegem. And in 1931, that became Football Club Belgica Edegem. After the historical year 1933, in which they managed to reach to Belgian top division for the first time and the club received the royal title, it became more and more tricky for Belgica. Throughout the next couple of years, the team went down the leagues and the stadium wanderlust of the Old Lady continued. Until 1966 and the big merger. KFC Belgica Edegem joined forces with KVV Edegem Sport. The latter was also created in May 1924 (as Voetbalvereeniging Edegem Sport), but had less successes.

They did manage to reach the national divisions (the lowest there was at the time), but by 1966 they were - just like Belgica - back in the regional leagues. In 1966 finally, Koninklijke Voetbalverbroedering Belgica Edegem was born. One month later that became KVV Belgica Edegem Sport. The merger only happened after promises of a brand new stadium. That eventually became the current Vic Coveliers stadium. The team continued in the regional leagues until they had to cease their activities in 2016. The Vic Coveliers stadium became vacant and FC Belgica saw an opportunity. In 2017 FC Belgica moved to the empty stadium, leaving their home at the Molenlei. But who is FC Belgica?

After the merger of KFC Belgica Edegem and KVV Edegem Sport, a few enthusiastic people missed the real Belgica feeling. It was too strong to be able to let it go. Once Albert Verbeeck (former player and chairman of "Den Belgica") saw internal struggles happening in the merger, that's when he decided to form FC Belgica in 1974. This time they didn't join the Belgian FA, but remained an amateur team in a local FA. After a year, their stadium in the Molenlei was finished and FC Belgica started its way up. Very quickly the club promoted to the second division in the Catholic Sports Federation and by the year 2000 they even promoted to the first division. Afterwards they went up and down a bit.

But FC Belgica wasn't alone. Together with them, OSTAN moved as well. OSTAN is another amateur team in the same FA and they were created as OSTA in 1972. They did have quite the moving experience themselves. After having started in Berchem, they played on various grounds in Edegem, Mortsel, Hove, Hoboken, only to return to Edegem. OSTA began as an initiative from a couple of former students at the Sint-Stanislas college in Berchem. The same school saw a second team being created in 1978; VK Stanislas. In 1998 both teams merged to become OSTAN. That year they also moved to the grounds of FC Belgica in the Molenlei. In 2017, OSTAN moved to the Vic Coveliers stadium as well, leaving the ground in the Molenlei empty. In the meantime it has disappeared.

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


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