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GROUND // Ophoven - KFC Nijlen

In 1927 FC Nijlen was founded in the municipality of Nijlen. This was the factual continuation of the earlier founded and terminated Eendracht Nijlen.

FC Nijlen wasn't the only team in Nijlen. There also was Groen Wit Nijlen and Nijlen Sportvrienden. But it was FC Nijlen that had the most success of them all. During the 30s and 40s the two other teams were terminated and FC Nijlen remained. After WWII FC Sportvrienden Nijlen restarted. FC Nijlen reached the lowest national leagues in 1937 and stayed there for a number of decades. It wasn't until 1958 that the regional leagues had to be played again. Since Nijlen is a small city, two teams is too much. In 1965 it was therefore decided the two teams would merge into KFC de Sportvrienden Nijlen. Immediately afterwards in 1966 the new team reached the national leagues again. The next decades the team would promote and relegate between the lowest national league and the highest regional league.

Between 1984 and 1997 a smaller second team existed; Sporting Nijlen. 1997 was also the year the tean changed its name back into KFC Nijlen. After 1999 KFC Nijlen woulnd't see the national leagues again, until... now. Just recently they won the play offs in the regional leagues and gained their ticket to 4th division again.

Currently the team is playing in stadium Ophoven, which is located in the backyard of a number of houses. Very nice stadium to see, completely in the colours of the team. But last year it was decided the ground will be demolished as it has to make way for a big real estate project. The team will move to the grounds of the youth teams where also the new stadium will be built. It will be a stadium for KFC Nijlen, to be shared with FC Vera but also possible to share with other neighbouring teams. The team is excited to go to the new stadium, but we as lovers of stadiums with soul and passion think it's sad to see this 60-year old complex soon demolished. Any groundhoppers that want to visit this; you still have time to go there as the project only will be finalized by 2018 or 2019.

Interesting to know: The well known and respected Raymond Ceulemans (billiards/pool player) also played football at KFC Nijlen. In 1958 he was scouted by the big Beerschot, but since the deal fell through, Raymond decided to quit football and concentrate fully on billiards.


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