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GROUND // Ros Beiaardstadion - KAV Dendermonde

Dendermonde is famous for the Ros Beiaard. Everything there has a link with the great legend. From monuments in the city to local food and beverages. It's nice to see these type of folkloristic stories still exist in these modern ages. The local football team also named their stadium to the legend. No surprise of course. KAV Dendermonde currently plays in 6th league (2nd regional league), but for 46 seasons in the national leagues. For the younger generation this might come as a surprise, but KAV Dendermonde truly has a rich history in football as well.

As mysterious as the Ros Beiaard is, so is the early history of how the team was founded. We are only certain about the fact two teams decided to merge in 1911. Racing Club Dendermonde and Sporting Club Dendermonde (aka Termondia) already existed for a number of years, but due to a big fire in the city of Dendermonde in 1914 a lot of paperwork got lost, amongst others the paperwork of both football teams. Some local newspapers report about the two teams and those show that two great football players at that time both were responsible for creating Racing Club and Sporting Club. In 1911 the two teams decided to merge to become AA Termondoise. The odd colour combination (blue/purple) is believed to come from the purple/white of Racingt Club and blue/white of Sporting. In 1913 AA Termondoise joined the Belgian FA and in 1926 the team would receive the very honourable matricule number 57.

From the beginning AA Termondoise played on a pitch in the neighbouring Grembergen. First they played on an old soldier area, but they quickly moved to the Bakkerstraat where they still play to this day. AA Termondoise started playing competition in 1913 and with great successes from the very start. In 1923 the team reached the national divisions for the first time. All throughout the 20s they would go up and down between 3rd division and the regional leagues. In 1931 the national successes began. That year they returned to 3rd division and three years later they won the championship, giving them promotion to 2nd division. By the end of the 30s the team was back in the regional leagues unfortunately. The 40s and 50s would be a fight in 2nd and mainly 3rd division for them. That's how quickly they went up and down between all the leagues. By the end of the 50s AA Termondoise (As of 1948 officially KAV Dendermonde) played a number of seasons in the newly created 4th division, still on national level.

Free love in the 60s, but it wasn't that great for KAVD. For nine years they had to play in the regional leagues until they promoted back to 4th division in 1972 (thanks to the merger between Lierse and Lyra). During these 70s KAVD played in 3rd and 4th division, but history keeps repeating itself. KAVD would spend most of its time in the 80s in the regional leagues. In the 90s KAVD would experience their last successes. They went up and down between 4th (national) and 5th (regional) division, accidentally winning the championship in 4th division in 1999 (nobody wanted to promote to third division due to the investments that had to be made). They only stayed one year in 3rd division, only winning 2 games and drawing 2. One year later was even more dramatic; after only drawing 2 games KAVD had to go back to the regional leagues. The past 15 years the team mostly played in the 2nd regional league (6th division).

As mentioned before, the stadium is a nice eye catcher. During the 30s, 40s and 50s the stadium was often packed with over 5000 visitors. These decades KAVD often had former 1st division players and former internationals. Some of the most known former players are Jean Mertens, Louis Lambert, Filip Joos, Herman Van Holsbeeck and Vincent Mannaert. In October last year the stadium Ros Beiaard did see international football however. Nigeria choose that stadium to play a friendly game against Cameroon after having faced DR Congo in the stadium of the former CS Visé.


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