GROUND // Jos Van Wellenstadion - Cappellen FC

A consistent team in the national divisions, playing in a wonderful stadium, recycling with nostalgic feelings to other teams and other times? It's still very much possible, although it's becoming more and more difficult to find them. One of these remaining teams is Cappellen Football Club. They even renamed their stadium to one of the most prominent people in the team.



Kapellen already has a long history in football, but there haven't been too many teams over the years. Apart from a small local team between 1944 and 1947 there have only been two teams. And these two have a link with each other. Although one of them didn't last for too long. And just like with many of the older teams, the early history isn't 100% clear. Let's go back to 1906. That's when Cappellen Football Club was founded (written according to the old way). But they weren't the first team in the village. Cappellen FC was actually founded out of or thanks to Victoria FC which was already active from before 1906.



A couple of malcontent Victoria FC players, because they felt they didn't get sufficient playing time, decided to create their own team. Together with a couple of students from Antwerp and English soldiers based in Kapellen Cappellen FC was created. But just like Victoria FC they didn't immediately join the Belgian FA. That only happened in 1910. Documents of the FA show the team was founded in 1909. In 1928 Cappellen FC mentioned themselves they were actually founded in 1908, but we even have to go back earlier (to 1906).



With matricule number 43 (received in 1926) the Yellow and Red team started playing official football. A year later they got the company of Sporting FC Victoria Cappellen, but this team already stopped all activities in 1914. Despite the Great War Cappellen FC did manage to survive and it made the team change from a 'spin off' to the only team in the village. In 1926 they also reached the national divisions for the first time, third division back then.



Six years later they promoted to second division and they managed to stay there until 1939. Although they relegated and the competition changed quite drastically (adding a fourth division for instance) Cappellen FC (a royal team since 1937) would mainly play in the national divisions. During the 50s and 60s they spent three years respectively in the regional leagues and especially the 70s and 80s would be their downfall. That's when they disappeared from the national leagues for 12 straight years, of which even a couple in the second regional league.



They're back again since 1989 and between 1995 and 2000 they even played second division again. It's remarkable however they played top of the league in third division for years in a row after the year 2000 but never promoted back to second division. And there's a good explanation for that. In 2015 they won the league for instance and deliberately didn't request a license for second division. Clear ambitions, but also common sense for reality and survival. We can only show respect for that decision. The future of the team seems to be assured with that attitude.



And their lovely Jos Van Wellen stadium, named after the late honorable chairman and head sponsor of the team, gets quite the love and respect from fans and groundhoppers. A great grandstand, terracing all around, a beautiful entrance gate and even floodlights that got a second life make Cappellen FC into a team and stadium definitely worth visiting. These floodlights actually came over from the former Germinal Ekeren whom merged with Beerschot and left their Veltwijckpark to move to the Kiel.





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