Ground: Freethiel Stadion
Date: 24th February 2012
Match: Waasland-Beveren - Visé 2-0 (2e Klasse)
Attendance: 1 500
After two nights in Brugge it was time for me to move on. Since I was going to matches in the Antwerp/Lier area I decided to stay in Lier from Friday to Sunday. Since Raf lives outside Lier it was easy for him to pick me up if I stayed in Lier as he drove me to our matches. My hotel in Lier (Hof van Aragon) was a 12 minute walk from the train station and by 13.15 I was at the hotel. Lier has a population of around 35 000 and is situated 25 km east of Antwerp. As I walked through the city centre it reminded me about my own home town, a small but nice provincial town.
Our match this Friday evening was in Beveren which is situated just south of Antwerp. Waasland-Beveren against Visé was a 20.30 kick-off and the first match this weekend in the Belgian 2nd division. Raf picked me up at 18.00 and after passing several roadworks and losing our orientation for a while we eventually made it to Freethiel Stadion in Beveren by 19.00. Freethiel Stadion has a capacity of 13 300 and is a mixture of new and old. The club was formerly known as K.F.C. Red Star Haasdonk until they changed their name to K.V. Red Star Waasland in June 2002, when they moved to the nearby stadium of defunct club Sint-Niklase. Waasland refers to the region where the towns of Haasdonk (a neighbourhood in Beveren) and Sint-Niklaas are located. In the summer of 2010, the club merged with neighbour KSK Beveren to form Waasland-Beveren. KSK Beveren, a former Belgian champion and first division regular, had just finished at the last place in the second division and was struggling with financial problems. The club kept the history and matricule number of KV Red Star Waasland but moved from Sint-Niklaas to Beveren to play in a bigger stadium.
We bought tickets for the newly built main stand. This stand looks modern and was opened a couple of years ago. One odd thing is they don´t serve food inside this stand. Raf found where to buy drinks but none of us could find any food, strange considering it is a new stand. The lights in the toilets didn´t work either but I managed to do my business without causing any scandals. As kick-off approached it was obvious the attendance would be quite low. In the end 1 500 turned up including 25 away fans. The open terrace to my left was unused and in the new main stand there were plenty of empty seats as well. With Waasland-Beveren playing quite well and scoring two goals in the 1st half the home fans had something to cheer though. The second half was poorer as Waasland-Beveren controlled matters on the pitch and Visé didn´t have the power to penetrate the home defence. The match ended 2-0 to Waasland-Beveren and they are now 3rd in the table. This means there is still hope for them to gain promotion.
Outside Freethiel Stadion
View of Freethiel Stadion
View of play