Season Review: 2016-2017
2016-2017 has finally come to an end. In a period of 337 days I watched 146 games including 480 goals in 8 different countries and 108 new grounds.
I literally enjoyed every second of this beautiful season and I realise I won't be doing this amount of games never again. It takes so much scheduling, rescheduling, just to reschedule it again the other week. But honnestly, it was all absolutely worth it, because of all the beautiful places I visited and all the great and kind people I met.
A Spanish weekend with my dad covered 4 games visiting Léganes U19, Léganes, Villaverde Boetticher and Atlético Madrid. Estadio Vicente Calderón left me very impressed and it's such a shame it will be taken down in just a few weeks from now. I'm glad I could still watch a game in this amazing ground.
The Belfast Derby during the Belgian winterbreak, it couldn't be better scheduled. Visiting Belfast with another groundhopper we saw a few good grounds and had a beautiful story from Brantwoods' groundsman. Before visiting The Oval, which is an amazing ground, we also went to Dundela FC - Limavady United. We had to leave this game at the break to make it back in time to the Oval for the Belfast Derby. The game was even after 90 minutes but Linfield managed to score in the extra-time, proceeding to the next round of the Northern Irish Cup.
After visiting Wattenscheid, I went to Uerdingen who were hosting SSVg Velbert in the Grotenburg-Stadion. I couldn't keep my eyes of the beautiful stands, terraces and floodlights.. Absolutely worth the visit, especially now KFC Uerdingen is back in the Regionalliga!
Despite the brand new stadium, visiting Athletic Club de Bilbao was one of the highlights in my season. I got the chance to visit the Spanish away with Drughi Genk, a great group of ultra's. Getting to know how these lads experience European awaydays was just great, as I will never experience that feeling with KVK Tienen, I guess.
Another Spanish game, yes.. Spain actually never let me down this season. I had the chance to visit 6 games this season with a combined total of 27 goals! CD Leganes played their first season ever in La Liga. The evening I visited them they even created history as they never before won (and scored so many goals) in La Liga. I also shouldn't forget the fantastic atmosphere their fans created.
Completing the 1st and 2nd division of Belgian football were 2 of my goals this year and by visiting the oldest club in Belgium I managed to complete the 2nd division. Antwerp FC has an amazing stadium and great support, next time I will buy my ticket on 'Tribune 2' as it's a real beauty and I couldn't keep my eyes of it.
Norway is much more expensive than Portugal but as I was on holiday, I had the chance to visit Lillestrom. The visitors took a lot of fans to the capital of Norway and created a great atmosphere. Cristian Gytkjær scored a hattrick before the break (0-4) but the home team also made an unbelievable comeback, resulting in a spectacular 3-4.
As I visited Bilbao, I was lucky to find out that Barakaldo CF played at home. The "Baraka" have a rather new and special stadium but create a rather decent and special atmosphere. The home team managed to equalize in the last seconds, making their fans going crazy. Great evening out in the Bilbao suburbs!
Despite the home team having a terrible evening, I had a great one. RLC Bastogne has a very beautiful ground in the Belgian Ardennes, which is really worth the visit.
Somewhere close to Verviers you will find Petit-Rechain, the hometown of Royal Entente Rechaintoise. The club is active in the 8th tier of Belgian football but was a great find because of their beautiful, little ground.