GROUND // Vossevelden - KFC Katelijne

Who doesn't know players like Savo Milosevic, Darko Kovacevic, Mateja Kezman and Vladimir Jugovic? But who knows these guys and other stars have played on the modest grass of KFC Katelijne? We believe this is a more select group. And yet, it's true.

Who would have ever thought players like this would play football in Sint-Katelijne-Waver back in 1946 when FC Katelijne was created. It looks like it was a celebration after the end of WWII, but FC Katelijne wasn't the first in the village. A few years before SV Pasbrug (at the border with Mechelen and now known as Groen Rood Katelijne) and Red Boys Elzestraat set the example already. FC Katelijne later on started in the lowest regions and they stayed there for 33 years. The very first promotion finally arrived in 1979.

The next two decades KFC Katelijne would slowly but surely continue to work their way up to the national leagues. The next promotion would follow in 1990 and again eight years later they reached the top regional league. For a few years the team would go up and down between the top regional league and the second highest one, but shortly after there was a gift from god. All of a sudden the Vossevelden stadium was target ground for Yugoslavia.

In the year 2000 Kralj, Djorovic, Dukic, Mihajlovic, Jugovic, Stankovic, Kezman, Kovacevic, Mijatovic, Milosevic and a couple of their friends came to Sint-Katelijne-Waver. There was no financial injection from any oil magnet or a Russian business man. Instead the European Championship was held in Belgium and The Netherlands. The Yugoslavian national team chose the KFC Katelijne grounds as their training ground.

Their passing by lingered some years it seems as in a short time the results of KFC Katelijne went up and up. In 2004 they won the Cup of Antwerp which allowed them to participate in the Belgian Cup the year after. That last season they also just missed promotion to fourth division. The ambition kept growing. In 2010 that final promotion finally happened. The national leagues (fourth division) for the very first time! The first year was a success with a sixth place, but the year after they ended on a spot for relegation. After a debacle with other teams KFC Katelijne could stay, but again a year later it was over after all.

After that everything went down very rapidly. In only three years time KFC Katelijne relegated three times. Ever since the team is going up and down between second and third regional level. These days the derbies against Red Boys Elzestraat still bring a lot of fire in the stadium. Katelijne is working on a solid and financially healthy future and the Vossevelden are undergoing some improvements as we speak. For us the stadium is already more than ready to go back to the national leagues.