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GROUND // Leo de Béthunelaan - VK Breughels

When we say Aalst most people will say carnival. Other people, the more football minded people, will say Eendracht Aalst. But this wasn't the only team in Aalst. There used to be an SK Aalst as well, playing in an absolutely wonderful stadium. But you know, stuff happened and SK Aalst is no longer. Their stadium at the Leo de Béthunelaan was left empty. Up to this day it's still standing and although many people think it's a lost ground, there is actually a team playing there.

SK Aalst started in 1945 (to celebrate the end of the war?) as Voetbal Ontspanning Volharden Aalst. Two years before Ontspanning Adelaars Aalst was also created. Both of them went their own ways in the regional leagues for the first few decades, but in 1967 it was decided to join forces (because VOV had lost the ground they were playing on) and create Sportkring Aalst. The matricule number of VOV Aalst was used (although the one from OA Aalst was older). Afterwards SK Aalst continued to play the same lower league football in the regional leagues.

Things stayed like this until 2002 when SK Aalst decided to undergo another merger, this time with the neighbouring Sporting Lebeke. Sporting Lebeke was a fairly young team, only created in 1981. Both of them were playing in the regional leagues and again the matricule number of SK Aalst was used to continue their activities. Unfortunately this time the team moved to the grounds of Sporting Lebeke, using the stadium at the Leo de Béthunelaan for the youth of Aalst (mainly as there still was a high demand for youth teams in that neighbourhood).

SK Lebeke-Aalst, as that was the new team name, managed to reach fourth division after the merger, but went back to the regional leagues in 2007 unfortunately. To make it even worse for the team, in 2017 - ten years after their last success in the national divisions - SK Lebeke-Aalst had to cease all activities. For once not due to financial problems, but mainly because there weren't enough volunteers anymore to maintain all of the hard work. To avoid all of the history to be lost the team was looking for another merger and at the end of the season in 2017 they found a solution in KV Sint-Gillis.

KV Sint-Gillis was created in 1945 as well as Eendracht Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde. They always played in the lower regional leagues. By the time it was 2003 they merged with Verbroedering Boonwijk-Lutterzele, which on itself already was a merger from 1999 between FC Boonwijk and FC Lutterzele. In 2017 KV Sint-Gillis, which had become the new team name in 2003, took over the matricule number - hereby officially merging with SK Lebeke-Aalst. In reality just the matricule number is existing. All of the rest is still KV Sint-Gillis to the fullest.

So - ever since 2002 there hans't been any A football anymore in the stadium at the Leo de Béthunelaan and since 2017 not even any football at all. But this doesn't mean it's a lost ground per se. When we were there we were amazed to see a game was about to start. It seems VK Breughels is occasionally using the ground for their games. VK Breughels is a fairly young team, although we couldn't immediately find when they started their activities. We did find that Kathleen De Pelsmaeker was the chairman (chairwoman?) of the team for ten years two years ago. Now they have a different chairman. They are originally from Haaltert, part of Denderhoutem, but it seems they made a move last year, playing in the local MTSA league (Mini Tornooi Stad Aalst - mini tournament city of Aalst). Home games are on Saturday at 3PM for everyone that is interested in visiting this absolute gem.


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