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GROUND // Diepensteynstadion - SK Steenhuffel

Steenhuffel is a picturesque place with a beautiful history, mainly because of the famous Palm brewery. However, the Brabant village doesn't have a rich football history.

In 1930, some local enthusiasts started a football team. They played friendlies against teams of the surrounding villages. In 1937 FC Steenhuffel joined the Flemish Football Federation and began to play league football. After the Second Worldwar the Flemish Football Federation was disbanded and the team sought affiliation with the Royal Belgian Football Association. They were assigned the matricule number 6109. To date, they have been a rather insignificant team playing in the lowest regional leagues.

The Steenhuffel ground is charming because of the two wooden stands, a rare phenomenon in Belgium. But that's not the only eye-catcher. The location is memorable: SK Steenhuffel is surrounded by Diepensteyn castle on one hand, and the Palm Beer brewery on the other. The stadium is also commonly referred to as the Diepensteyn Stadium, named after the medieval castle. The other neighbor of SK Steenhuffel, Palm Breweries, sponsors the team and appears on the red and white jerseys. Strikingly, Palm Brewery also owns the Rodenbach brewery, which is also right next to a football stadium: the fantastic Rodenbach Stadium from Club Roeselare.

The first team of SK Steenhuffel plays in the third provincial league but is on track to go up to 2nd. The architect of this success is manager James Van Vaerenbergh. Van Vaerenbergh has a past at Racing Mechelen, where he was working as a youth coach until recently and where he even played in the first team mid-90s. He could never manifest at that level, unlike his father Harry Van Vaerenbergh, who was a key player at Racing Mechelen in the late 70s.

SK Steenhuffel will never be a big team, and probably the national series are aimed too high. But the wooden stand is definitely worth a visit. Make sure to drink a Palm beer after the game!


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