Monday, 4 April 2016

Hidden treasure!

Sunday 3 April 2016 - Royal Union Gold Star Liege 0 Warnant 1 - Provincial 1 Liege - Complexe Naimette

An early Sunday morning start and it was off to Belgium for my first Provincial football game, fortunately I was travelling with two giants of the groundhopping world and Belgian football experts.

A smooth journey across the channel then a drive across the country found us in the city of Liege at lunchtime, we went in search of the ground first coming across the large athletics stadium that share the same name of the football ground. This was an impressive arena but surprising both the pitches were set up as Rugby Union pitches.

A quick drive down the hill and we found the home of Gold Star, at first we were not sure, we saw a fence, goal and even corner flags but could this be the ground we were going to see a game on?

A local was opening the clubhouse and we found out we were at the right place. We found a great clubhouse and a remarkable ground - OK it did not have any terracing or even a stand, no cover on a wet Belgian day but what did we care as the sun was out and we could rest against the steep bank because one of the reasons this is a great ground is that it is cut into the hill side with a small pitch cut into the hill above the ground and two clay pitches cut in the hill below the ground. This all added to a great view over the city - what not to like!

The club might seem to be playing on just a basic pitch ( with a great view) but the club has a history may would want as each Belgian club holds a number from when they were formed with Antwerp number 1 and Gold Star may be playing in little more than a local Liege league but they hold the Matricule (registration) number 40 a number couple with Royal in the title that many Belgian clubs would love to have.

The match itself was not the greatest, Warnant are pushing for promotion and took an early lead and could have added two more soon after if it had not been for some great goalkeeping but after that initial bit of excitement Warnant seemed happy to just sit back and break occasionally whilst Gold Star enjoyed the possession they only threatened the opponents goal right at the end.

The neighbouring athletics stadium

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