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GROUND // Stade André Milquet - Patro Lensois

Not far away from Hannut there is a small village that doesn't have a lot of football history. Don't make the mistake of typing in Lens, France. This Lens is in Belgium. In the 60s CS Lensois was founded, but they never really achieved any high results. The younger Patro Lensois on the other hand did.

Next to the large green fields and a couple of houses we can find Stade André Milquet. This is the homeground of Patro Lensois. Patro was founded in 1970. You can imagine football history here is only very recent. And for about 40 years Patro Lenses wandered around in the regional leagues.

But since 2010 Patro has seen heaven and hell. In 2010 they just missed promotion to the top regional league in Liège and in 2011 they won the play offs, securing their spot in the top regional league. The year after, they relegated back again but in 2012 they gained promotion again. This second time proved to be more successful for the team. Patro ended in the top, earning a spot in the play offs. And they did great as Patro managed to reach the national divisions for the first time ever.

It lasted only three years though we believe as currently they are playing in the fourth regional league, completely in the bottom. They must have had financial problems and had to make a start over from scratch. Sad to see as it's a team that had a lot of potential. Especially looking at the fact Walter Baseggio played here around 2012/2013 and Kevin Mirallas started his youth career here before heading towards Standard de Liège, nearby.

The stadium itself is an absolute eyecatcher. Patro has always played on this ground and it shows the stadium dates all the way back to the 70s and the 80s. Whenever you are visiting a team in Liège, make sure to pass by Lens as well!


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