Holland has quite some villages with strange names. But Belgium can go just as strange as their neighbours in the north. One of the subvillages of Ninove, Appelterre-Eichem, does hold a football team in the national divisions though.
Football started pretty early in Appelterre-Eichem. In 1937, Eendracht Appelterre-Eichem was created. However they didn't join the Belgian FA immediately. They only did so in 1943, in full war period. In those first years the club played its games in the Flemish football association. Throughout the years they did build up a consistent team. No name changes (apart from the royal titel in 1994), no change in team colours and a steady build up to the top.
Rumour has it Eendracht Appelterre-Eichem wasn't the first team in the village. Around WWI, there already was a certain St.-Louis-Club, but there are no records to be found at the Belgian FA. More than likely, this club only played very locally or were active in a local FA. When St.-Louis-Club was created and when they ceased to exist is unknown. But Eendracht Appelterre-Eichem was very proud of their own base and consistency. By 1972 they managed to climb up to the top regional league.
One year later Appelterre-Eichem moved to its new and current stadium. Sadly enough it didn't bring them the sportive successes they had hoped for. Over the next 20 or so years, the team gradually relegated back to the lowest regional league (which finally happened in 1991). The next years though they managed to climb up to the top regional league again. The new millennium also brought different perspectives. In 2007, Eendracht Appelterre-Eichem managed to promote to the fourth division, the national leagues, for the very first time.
What followed was an up-and-down story. One year national football was followed by the regional leagues again. In 2010 and 2012 Eendracht Appelterre-Eichem promoted to that fourth division. But afterwards they had to wait until 2020 to be back in those leagues. Just before that, the team did merge with the neighbouring SV Voorde. Voorde is another subvillage of Ninove.
SV Voorde was a much younger team. They only started playing football in 1969 and they didn't join the Belgian FA immediately either. That only happened in 1975. Throughout the years SV Voorde also managed to climb up to the top regional league. That's also where they played in their last season in 2018. In that year, SV Voorde and KE Appelterre-Eichem became KFC Voorde-Appelterre. A team which is still active in the third national division - the fifth level.
The most famous former player is definitely former Red Devil Wesley Sonck. He started his career in the youth teams of the neighbours of KVK Ninove. He built a nice career by playing for teams like RWDM, KRC Genk, Ajax and Club Brugge. In 2014 he ended his career after a beautiful last season at KE Appelterre-Eichem, where his brother was playing as well.
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