In the southeast of Belgium, right next to Luxembourg and not that far away from France, the historical city of Arlon can be found. Historical, not only thanks to their own history but also because of their long existing love for football. FC Arlon is the team in the city, but there is more than meets the eye.
Right now FC Arlon is fighting battles in the top regional league of the province of Luxembourg. And the goal is clear: promotion to the national divisions as soon as possible. And it wouldn't be the first time for the team. They have only started playing with their current name in 2018 and they would be eligible to add the royal title to their name in 2022. Most likely the name will change soon to RFC Arlon.
Before 2018 the name was FC Jeunesse Lorraine Arlonaise. And they had more successes back then. Between 2010 and 2018 they played four years in fourth division and one year in the newly created fifth division. Relegation happened in 2017, but between 2010 and 2012 they also had a brief spell in the regional leagues. This followed a huge step the club took in 2010.
The name already kind of gives it away: this is a coming together of two teams. Note: it wasn't an official merger. Royale Jeunesse Arlonaise ceased to exist in 2010 and the board of the team joined the football story of the neighbouring FC Le Lorrain Arlon. The matricule number of RJ Arlonaise disappeared and Le Lorrain underwent a transformation to unite the identity of both teams.
Le Lorrain actually is a fairly young team. They were only founded in 1972, with Jeunesse as their example. During that time, quite some teams were created, most of them were related to corporate football or government instances. They also disappeared just as quickly. But the story of Le Lorrain was a lot more successful. Because only five years after they were founded, they found themselves in the national division already. Up until 2005 they only missed four years which were spent in the regional leagues. They didn't promote either sadly enough.
Most of the time they had better results than their neighbours of Jeunesse. This last team was a tiny bit older though. Matricule number 143 was created in 1919 as Jeunesse Arlonaise. They only joined the Belgian FA in 1921, but very quickly managed to reach the national divisions as well (although we have to say it might have been a bit easier back then). In 1924 they reached second division. Only a year later they relegated again, but the team would be in the national leagues most of the time afterwards. They spent 25 seasons in third division and 22 in fourth division. The last years weren't that great though as between 1999 and 2010, their end stage, they had to be content with regional football.
But 1919 wasn't the real beginning in fact. Already in 1906, there was a football team in Arlon. That's when Racing Club d'Arlon was created, and in 1911 they became an official member of the FA. Two years later the FA deleted their membership. Again one year later, the club ceased activities. A couple of old team players tried to re-institute the old Racing Club, but in the end they decided to join Jeunesse. So Jeunesse can be considered to be the unofficial follow up of the old team. Racing Club was in fact also the oldest team in the city. (R)FC Arlon can call themselves a traditional team including a rich history with great reason!
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