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football with FC Irlande - Brussels - Irish football club

FC Irlande was set up in 1989 by a group of Irish expats who were playing for a variety of local football teams all over Brussels.

There are six adult men's teams (including two veteran squads) plus a ladies’ side, so there's something for everyone of all ages and ability - not to mention waistline...

Sponsored by De Valera’s pub in Place Flagey and Six Nations in Rue Grétry, FC Irlande train at Nossegem and Melsbroek on Manday evenings.

There is, of course, a social side to the teams with regular events and fund-raising quiz nights. Meanwhile, FC Irlande teams have been known to go on tours as far away as Mexico, so it's fair to say that the lads and lasses are doing their bit for international relations.

If you fancy joining, check out the website.

Brussels Barbarians Rugby Team

Brussels Barbarians - the largest expatriate rugby club in Belgium - was formed in 1968 and runs three teams, two men's and one ladies'.

All three ‘Baa-baa’teams play home matches at the Elephant pitch in Tervuren: the men's teams always play at home and away on the same weekend to maximize what the lads euphemistically call 'socialising opportunities'. For that, read 'getting pissed together'.

The club boasts around 150 members and is proud of its lively social scene, contributing in no small measure to Belgium's position in the top five of the world's beer-drinking nations.

Annual events include captains' cocktails, pub crawls, a Christmas dinner, a Halloween party, the annual international 10s tournament and an end-of-season awards dinner.

The training grounds are also at the British School of Brussels in Tervuren, using top-notch all-weather pitches. Training takes place each Tuesday andThursday evening from 20:00. Just turn up if you want to get involved.

The club welcomes players of all nationalities, especially Belgians, and says it provides "an excellent opportunity to learn English". Bear in mind, though, that some of the words heard on the field are unlikely to be found in any dictionary...

Further details from the website

Anderlecht football club - Brussels in mauve and white

Ever wanted to see a football match? Have you ever been to a stadium? No? You can’t miss
going at least once if you live in Brussels. The most famous club here is Royal Sporting
Club Anderlecht – and here’s why….

Founded in 1908, RSCA is arguably Belgium’s best club, having won 30 Championships (which explains the three stars on the players’ shirts). In second position, FC Bruges has 13 titles, less than half. Anderlecht has also won the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup (twice) and the UEFA Cup (once) with a couple of Super Cups thrown in.

Several former-Anderlecht players have stepped up to the football leagues of England and beyond, with a steady stream also playing for the Belgian national team: the Red Devils.

Located in the western part of the capital, the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium is named after the
father of RSCA’s president. It’s near Astrid Park, and the best way to get there is to take the STIB (subway or bus) and to follow the mauve-and-white wave outside. Going by car can be expensive as you can only park for one hour close to the stadium.

Don’t be disappointed to find that, by modern standards, the stadium is relatively small. Then again,  Belgium is small and so is Brussels. Regardless, the club have so far refused to move to a bigger place, as it would have to be outside the commune of Anderlecht.

Prices range from just €5 for the less-popular games against Division 2 or Division 3 clubs to around €100 for big games against the likes of Standard. These games sell out months in advance but, for normal matches, it’s pretty easy and relatively inexpensive to see Anderlecht live.

Known to be multicultural,  like its host city, the team gathers its hefty Belgian support from the North, from Brussels, of course, and even a some from the South (where the loyalty is mainly to Standard Liege – lately a big rival of RSCA’s).

There’s always a great atmosphere and many fans don’t go home straight after a match, choosing to eat,  have a drink or two in one of the supporters’ bars and generally party – as long as the team has won.

A little advice, though, when heading to a game: never, ever, wear red.

Cedric Dautinger

'Notes on the back of a beermat.'

Bar-related musings from Our Man in the Corner... >=====> Tippler's Corner

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