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GROUND // Kastanjelaan - Patro Eisden Maasmechelen (former grou

You wouldn't say but Maasmechelen (near the Dutch border) is rich in football history. K Patro Eisden Maasmechelen has almost always been a team in the national divisions and next to Patro there are a handful of other football teams and numerous of other stadiums/pitches. There are even two very interesting abandoned grounds. One of them is not really that abandoned in the sense that the youth teams still use the pitch itself. The terracing surrounding the pitch has been defunct since 2002.

This old stadium, located in the Kastanjelaan in Maasmechelen, is the old stadium of K Patro Eisden Maasmechelen. The team was born during WWII in 1942 and was first called VV Patro Eisden. After only ten years the team already made it to third division and in 1956 they even reached second division. Successes followed up quickly as in 1960 they even reached first division. But after only one year the team already relegated back to second division where it stayed until 1970. That was the year Patro relegated to third division. During the 70s and thanks to Lei Clijsters the team would play in second division for a number of years, but quickly returned to third division. In 1981 they even had to go back to fourth division. But during the rest of the 80s Patro would re-establish their reputation. By 1984 they would return to second division.In 1992 they'd relegate again and Lei Clijsters (this time as coach) was the only one who could bring Patro back to second division, even if it was for a short while. The fans weren't interested anymore and Patro Eisden had to fight hard to come back. In 1998 the name was changed into K Maasland Maasmechelen and in 2001 into K Patro Maasmechelen. The next couple of seasons they would end last on the league, but bankrupt teams made sure Patro could stay in second division.

In 2002 Patro moved from the Kastanjelaan to their current stadium, a stadium that could deliver to the requirements of second division and the Belgian FA. It's very remarkable the team stayed in their old stadium for so long, when you look at the pictures. We're certain however not everything is there anymore. But the end wasn't anywhere near yet. In 2005 ended last again and the team was bankrupt itself now. Due to certain circumstances they had to go back to fourth division. In 2005 the name was changed into K Patro Eisden Maasmechelen. They would spend the next ten years to go back where they belong; second division. In 2014 they finally reached that goal.

We visited this ground by night, but after seeing this and the second lost ground in Maasmechelen (pictures online soon), we decided we have to go back there by day to complete our shoot with better pictures. For now - you can already enjoy these remarkable beauties.


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