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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SV Zulte-Waregem

SV Zulte-Waregem 1 Ipswich Town 1 (Friendly)
Regenboogstadion, Waregem, Belgium

[Click here for a full size version of the panorama]

Game two of Town’s mini tour of the Lowlands.

Tonight’s opponents are SV Zulte-Waregem, who finished a very credible sixth in the Belgian Jupiler League last season having only gained promotion to the Belgian top-flight the previous summer. And to top that they clinched a place in this years UEFA Cup by winning the Belgian Cup! The current SV Zulte-Waregem club came into being five years ago following the merger of Zultse V.V. (from the neighbouring town of Zulte) and KSV Waregem (from Waregem), the later having been regular participants in Belgian First Division before their demise in 2001.

SV Zulte-Waregem

Just a short walk from the centre of Waregem, the Regenboogstadion (Rainbow Stadium in Dutch) consists of two stands along either touchline, separated from the pitch by a running track. The main stand has two tiers of seating, while its opposite number is an odd affair with seating in a single elevated tier, flanked by two separately constructed and stand-a-lone sections of terracing. There is no seating or terracing behind either goal, which leaves the Regenboog with a capacity of around 8,500 spectators. This is ample according to one of the stewards I spoke to who said that, with the odd exception, attendances of around the 5,000 mark were typical for most home league games.

SV Zulte-Waregem


It’s a clean and modern ground that has obviously benefited from the funds made available to it by the current owner, a successful, and obviously wealthy, industrialist, although given the average attendance you must wonder why the club has plans for a 500-seater restaurant! Perhaps the success of last season has caused them to get a bit ahead of themselves (you wouldn’t get that at Ipswich, oh no).

SV Zulte-Waregem

Another friendly welcome when we arrived several hours before the game, with the ground staff kindly allowing us to wander around the ground accompanied. Come kick-off it was a different matter though, and the by now 100-strong contingent of Blue’s fans’ were asked to occupy a segregated area in the smaller of the two stands to watch the action. As on Monday, of the two available stands, this was the one that had been subjected to near-40 degree temperatures during the afternoon, while the shaded main stand opposite remained empty! Scorchio.

More pictures here.

Official Website: www.svzw.be

Match Report and Stats: www.prideofanglia.com

Match Number: 1318

posted by chevblue at 11:04 pm






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