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GROUND // Stade du Pont-à-Biesmes - UBS Auvelais

Wallonia is rich with smaller football teams that have unique stadiums. Near Namur there is a small village with a wonderful stadium. Auvelais won't ring a bill to anyone, but still the football team had a rather great history for such a small village.

It all started in 1922 when Union Sportive Auvelais first saw the daylight. Ten years later they first reached the national divisions, but they quickly tumbled out of them again. The real history began in 1945 when they merged with Amicale Jemeppe-sur-Sambre. Back then mergers had to file for a new matricule number and so a new team called Union Basse-Sambre Auvelais started a great history. Ever since 1945 they went up and down from the lowest national division to the highest regional division. It was at the end of the 50s the successes started. They promoted to fourth division (again) and this time they managed to win the league, making it a promotion to third division. It lasted until 1969 when they relegated back to the regional leagues. This would be repeated in the 70s. During the 80s and the 90s UBS Auvelais went up and down from national to regional divisions again.

But the story came to and end in 2003 when the financial problems became to much to bear. The board decided to cease all activities and the team quit forever.

But the stadium wasn't left empty for long. Back in 1945 a second team in Auvelais was founded after US Auvelais merged. This time the new team was called Union Sarthoise Auvelais (shortened to US Auvelais). After the ceased activities of UBS Auvelais US Auvelais changed their name into FC Auvelais and moved to the Stade du Pont-à-Biesmes. It wasn't until 2013 FC Auvelais changed their name into UBS Auvelais and also changed their colours into the well known black and orange of the former UBS Auvelais. This team never made it to the national leagues. This season they play in 7th division.

Pretty unique for this stadium is the wooden grandstand which forms a great danger if you're not very careful. A beautiful sight! You can also still see the leftovers of their presence in third division, with a press stand on the other side of the grandstand. Also nice to know former Red Devil Daniel Van Buyten was part of the youth teams of the former UBS Auvelais.

Groundhoppers visiting this stadium: also be aware of a possible imprisonment. We visited this stadium when members of the team were present, but when we tried to leave the stadium it appeared they closed everything and we had to find a way to break out. The world upside down in Auvelais.


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