Getting to know... Arsenal Belgium

Arsenal Belgium
Arsenal Belgium

Arsenal are a global club with fans all over the world.

This matchday, we are focusing on the Arsenal Belgium supporters' group.  Walter Broeckx is part of the fan group and has let us know how and where they watch Arsenal.

Name of supporter club: Arsenal Belgium

Where is your club from? Most of our members are from the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, Flanders. We are spread all over Flanders from the coast to Limburg. We also have a few English and even Danish members. These are people who live in Belgium for their job.

How many members are there in your supporters' club? We have gone up from an average of around 40 members the seasons before to 95 members this season. This was because of the new board taking over and using social media to make our supporter club more known. Now if only we can get all of them to see a match live in the stadium this season. Not getting any tickets for the Anderlecht match was a big disappointment for our members so we hope we can make up for that this season with an extra match at the Emirates.

What is you favourite meeting place? The Emirates of course, but as it is not always possible to get tickets or to travel to London, we try to watch matches together every now and then in Belgium. Because our members are spread all over Flanders, we try to make sure that all our members can watch a match close to home. We then meet in a pub where they show football and have a nice afternoon or evening out. I think most of the meetings however take place in Antwerp.

What is your most memorable Arsenal game? My most memorable Arsenal game was my first one in 1979. Even the fact that we lost at home against Wolverhampton couldn’t stop me from falling in love with Arsenal. I think Liam Brady had something to do with that. What a player he was.

Later that year I saw us winning the FA cup final in the Five Minute Final when we were 2-0 in front, United came back to 2-2 and then in the last minute we still won it.

In recent history I had the luck of being able to be at Wembley at the FA Cup semi-final last season, not the best match ever but what tension and what a great result at the end. Being at the Emirates for the final that took place at Wembley was also memorable.

Being in the Emirates when we finally won something again just felt right. Some of our board members where there when we had some famous victories like in Munich, but some also suffered painful losses like the Champions League final in Paris.

Who is your favourite player? My all-time favourite player is Dennis Bergkamp. From the current team it is Aaron Ramsey. Not just for his football skills but for his bravery to overcome that terrible injury and to come back after all that time like he did.  It takes a very strong character to overcome all that.

What does your match day consist of? When we go to the Emirates, it takes us on a long trip. If we are lucky we can use the Eurostar and be back at a reasonable time at night. If we take the bus it usually takes longer.

So a long trip with the friends of the club sometimes takes up to 24 hours. Nerves settle in when we come nearer to kick off time. We usually have a drink at the pub before the match or at The Rocket. I like to meet my English friends that I have got to know from writing for Untold Arsenal.

Then comes 90 minutes of singing, shouting, sweating, celebrating our goals and then hopefully a win and a good trip back home. For the match against Anderlecht it will be working all day, going home, picking up my wife and then going to see my brother Eric, who is also a board member of our supporters club. We'll have dinner with our wives and then go off to the pub in Antwerp where we will try to support our team from a distance with the rest of our supporters' club.

What are your score predictions for the next game? As it brings bad luck to Arsenal when I do score predictions, I will not tell you. I just always hope for a win. The rest of the board hopes for a good win. A 1-2 win at Anderlecht seems to be the minimum that others hope for.

What are your hopes for the rest of the season?
First of all I hope that the injuries stop. I hope that we can hang on for now and keep in touch with the others near the top. And then I hope that once we get our injured players back, we will see the real Arsenal. The second half of the season we will or should be on top of our game. I still hope for the Premier League title and if possible another cup win.

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