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GROUND // Forestier Stadion - Sporting West Harelbeke

Stadium Forestiers is being used by Sporting West Harelbeke. But the story of SW Harelbeke is in fact not from Harelbeke...

This stadium was originally built for KRC Harelbeke. This team was originally founded in 1930 as Racing Club Harelbeke and grew out to be one of the most successfull teams in the city of Harelbeke. Directly after WWII and in the 70s the team often played in third and fourth division, but the real successes started in 1978. This was the first year they promoted to second division.

During the 80s KRC Harelbeke often went up and down between second and third division and in 1995 they first reached first division. They even had some good results in first division. The team stayed there until 2001, the year teh team started to have financial problems and also the year the name was changed into KRC Zuid-West-Vlaanderen. In 2002 KRC ZWV eventually went bankrupt and in order to save the history they underwent a merge with the neighbouring KSV Ingelmunster.

KSV Ingelmunster was also founded in 1930 (as Sportvereeniging Ingelmunster), but wasn't very successfull. During WWII they didn't even play one match. A big contrast with Football Club Naaipander Boys Ingelmunster. They were very active and when SV Ingelmunster decided to stop all activities FC NB Ingelmunster decided to take over SV ingelmunster and its matricule number. The team name was changed into Sportvereeniging Olympic Ingelmunster. A third team in Ingelmunster, Football Club Molen Sport Ingelmunster ceased their activities in 1961 and SVO Ingelmunster took over that team as well. The name became Koninklijke Sportvereniging Ingelmunster. Up until the late 90s the team never played on the highest level but that changed in 1996. In 1996 they won the highest regional level, followed by another title in 1997 in fourth division. In 1998 they ended second in third division and missed promotion in the play offs. In 1999 however they won third division and promoted to second division. What a change in just a few years time. In their first year in second division they also just missed promotion to first division. Up until 2002 they always played play offs to go to first division but always just missed that promotion.

Since KRC Harelbeke went bankrupt they joined forces, merged, continued playing with the matricule number of KSV Ingelmunster and the name was changed into KSV Ingelmunster Zuid-West. But it seems Ingelmunster not only took over the team and the stadium, but also the negative spirale because in their second season they relegated to third division. The name was yet again changed, now into Sporting West Ingelmunster-Harelbeke. A lot of Ingelmunster fans didn't want to make the same move to Harelbeke and OMS Ingelmunster was founded. In 2006 the sponsor drew back their money and in 2007 the team relegated to fourth division. In 2008 they even left national divisions through relegation. IN an effort to start over the team name was changed into Sporting West Harelbeke. They went a few years up and down and in 2010 the inevitable happened - they encountered OMS Ingelmunster. The whole season OMS Ingelmunster led the championship, but at the end SW Harelbeke jumped over Ingelmunster, became champion and promoted to fourth division again, this time to stay there... Up until now eager Harelbeke fans are longing for the great successes of the 80s and 90s...


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