Definitions

BBVA Banco Frances, S.V

Cercle Brugge K.S.V.

Cercle Brugge K.SV. is a Belgian football team from Bruges. Cercle plays in the Jupiler League since the 2003-04 season after they had been relegated in 1997. Its matricule is the n°12. It plays in the Jan Breydel Stadium which the team shares with fierce rivals Club Brugge. Cercle Brugge won its first national title in 1911, and won two more titles before the Second World War (1927 and 1930).

Cercle also won the Belgian Cup in 1927 and in 1985 and has represented Belgium in Europe in some occasions.

History

Early years (1899-1919)

Cercle Brugge was founded on April 9, 1899 as Cercle Sportif Brugeois by former students of the Saint Francis Xavier Institute, colloquially known as De Frères (English: The Friars) in Bruges. Originally, the organisation focused on 5 sports: football, cricket, lawn tennis, running and cycling.

Cercle Brugge became a member of the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1900 and was awarded matricule number 12. This same year, Cercle moved from their football field in Sint-Michiels, which was disposed by De Frères, to a pitch in Sint-Andries because of the better facilities and because it was closer to Bruges' main railway station, which was at that time located at 't Zand square. Cercle achieved their first small success in the 1902 Henri Fraeys Cup, in which they defeated Olympique Iris Club Lillois (the predecessor of Lille O.S.C.) and US Tourcoing. After winning another few friendly cups, Cercle went on towards their first big success: the national title in the 1910-11 season. Cercle ended 1 point in front of their main rivals F.C. Bruges, after their confrontation at the last matchday of the season had ended in a 1-1 draw. Sadly, only three years later, World War I devastated the whole Belgian football competition. Cercle lost two players in the war: Louis Baes and Joseph Evrard. Also former player Alphonse Six lost his life. And the stadium facilities and terrain were also heavily damaged.

Rebuilding (1919-1924)

Cercle restarted the competition in 1919 with an almost completely new team. Louis Saeys was the only player who also had been at the team before the first World War. But despite the bad expectations, Cercle ended up as third that season. Three years after the war had ended, Cercle raised a monument in remembrance of those affiliated with Cercle who had died in WWI. Cynically, the biplane that would fly over the stadium as a tribute, crashed. The two passengers did not survive. The monument still exists and is now standing in front of the Jan Breydel Stadium.

In 1923, Cercle extended their stadium facilities again, moving 100 metres away from their old pitch, to the newly built stadium, later to be called Edgard De Smedt Stadium, where Cercle would stay for more than 50 years.

Two national titles (1924-1930)

First of all, Cercle Sportif Brugeois became Royal Cercle Sportif Brugeois. The two key players that time were Cercle's Belgian record international Florimond Vanhalme and player-coach Louis Saeys. In the 1925-26 season, Cercle were in the lead at the middle of the season. But injuries caused them to finally fall back to the fifth place. As some important players left Cercle after this season, hopes were not too high in 1926-27. This was wrongfully so, as Cercle achieved their second national championship at the penultimate matchday after a thrilling 5-6 win against Daring Bruxelles. This event was tragically overshadowed by two deaths a few months earlier: Albert Van Coile, who had succumbed from injuries sustained in a match against US Tourcoing, and former chairman René de Peellaert, who had died from a pneumonia which he had caught during Van Coile's funeral.

In 1928, a new Cercle star appeared at the firmament: goalkeeper Robert Braet, who had only switched from field player to goalkeeper after an illness. He would become a key player who would spend his whole career for the green and black side and, in a later stage, would become chairman.

Cercle only took a slow start in the 1929-30 season, possessing a sixth place at the mid-season winter break, seven points behind leaders Antwerp. However, at the last matchday of this season, Cercle were only 1 point behind. Cercle defeated Lierse SK at home with 4-1, leaving them an anxious wait for the result of Antwerp against 10th placed Standard Liège because telecommunication facilities were not very common. In the end, the news reached team captain Florimond Vanhalme that Antwerp had lost 3-5. Cercle won their third and (thus far) final title. Because of this title, Cercle were invited to take part in the Coupe des Nations, which is regarded as the predecessor of the Champions League.

Decline (1930-1938)

Cercle could not maintain the results of their championship season, ending 7th in 1931. New title aspirations disappeared completely as Cercle continued their finishes in the middle of the league over the next seasons. The experienced players who had helped achieve the title stopped playing football or left the team, and the youngsters who replaced them were not talented enough. The downward spiral reached a low with the relegation to Belgian Second Division in 1936. Cercle took this event as an opportunity to set the whole situation right, by appointing a new coach and new members of the board. A successful operation, as Cercle promoted back to the highest level after only two years.

World War II in Belgium (1939-1945)

The Second World War made a regular football competition impossible in 1939. Cercle therefore took part in regional championships, in which each team met another multiple times. Due to the Antwerp and Brussels regional championships being stronger than those in West Flanders, Cercle lost touch with the top of Belgian football.

In 1941, a national competition was again organised. Cercle ended last but one, but luckily the KBVB decided that no team would relegate because of the war. This unusual situation had made it tough for players to train, and also youth schooling had become very difficult.

In the 1943 season, a remarkable incident happened. When referee De Braeckel annulated 2 Cercle goals for unclear reasons and validated an Anderlecht offside goal, Cercle supporters were so mad that referee De Braeckel had to flee. Two Cercle supporters proposed to the Cercle Brugge board to give the referee a ride to the Bruges railway station, which the board accepted. But instead of doing so, these two supporters drove towards Zedelgem and threw ref De Braeckel out of their car in the middle of nowhere. As a result, Cercle had to play one match behind closed doors.

Right after the liberation in 1944, an unofficial championship was organised with the teams who were playing at the highest level in 1939. This initiative failed because most teams were not able to take part, and because of the Von Rundstedt Offensive. The end ranking of this competition has not even been archived by the Belgian football association.

Second decline... and back (1945-1961)

Cercle could not avoid relegation in the first season after the war. Despite being favorited for promotion the following season, Cercle could only make their position true in the first two months of their promotion battle. Finally, Cercle only achieved a 7th place. The next 4 seasons did not bring much better news: only mediocre league positions were obtained. In 1951, the KBVB revealed plans about a new division between the highest level and the second division, where Cercle were playing. Ending in the first 8 was the goal to stay at the second level of Belgian football. Cercle ended as 15th that season, thus being even further away from the top flight.

Cercle would remain there until 1956, when they won the league. Cercle started again battling against relegation, with more success this time. But the following season, Cercle started the return matches with only 9 points. However, the green and black side, under the lead of coach Louis Versyp, managed to avoid relegation by a win on the last match of the season. A few weeks later though, Versyp was replaced by the Frenchman Edmond Delfour. This replacement was a direct hit, and it was under Delfour's command that Cercle returned to the highest division in 1961, after missing promotion only by the width of a razorblade in 1960.

Short resurrection (1961-1965)

It took 15 years for Cercle to come back to where it all had started, and it would only last 5 seasons. But it could have lasted only one season, if there had not been the proposition by Antwerp that, for teams with equal points, the team with most won matches would be the higher ranked instead of the team with the less lost matches. This way, Cercle ended before the relegating Thor Waterschei, where they would have ended behind them in any other season. Ironically, Antwerp became victims of their own proposition: Standard obtained the second place, with Antwerp having equal points but less won matches (but also less lost matches).

During Cercle's revival at the top flight, they never stood an excellent chance.

Black years and the five-year-plan (1965-1971)

In the 1965-66 season, Cercle ended last behind Berchem. But worse were the allegations of corruption spread by Lierse player Bogaerts. He accused Cercle's vice-president Paul Lantsoght of bribery. The Belgian football association sentenced Cercle to relegate. This meant that Cercle had to play at the third level of Belgian football instead of the second. However, Lantsoght started a lawsuit against the KBVB, which he won in June 1967. But the damage had already been done, and Cercle remained in Third division. Many players left the team, and Cercle was not able to achieve promotion immediately.

In 1967, Urbain Braems was appointed as head coach of Cercle. He had designed an ambitious plan, which had to bring Cercle back to the top division within the following 5 years. Eendracht Aalst were the most important rivals for promotion that year. Two matches before the end of the season, Cercle and Aalst faced each other, while both counting 41 points, but with Aalst with the most won matches, meaning Cercle had to win to take the lead. Cercle lost the match 0-1... But Cercle's youth teams delegate André Penninck had noticed that the team delegate of Aalst had made a mistake: he had switched the names of the substitutes, which meant that, according to the match paper, Aalst had ended the match playing with 2 goalkeepers, which is forbidden. Cercle made a complaint about this at the Belgian football association. But against their own rules, the KBVB confirmed Aalst's 0-1 win. Cercle appealed against this decision, but the 0-1 was confirmed again. Cercle then made their second and final possible appeal, and this instance ordered the football association to apply the rules. On June 21, 1968, Cercle received the news that they would promote to second division. In July of that same year, Royal Cercle Sportif Brugeois changed their name to Cercle Brugge K.S.V.

Cercle was immediately able to play a role in second division thanks to a successful transfer policy. After 20 matches, Cercle were in the lead, but finally they ended up as 4th, four points behind champions AS Oostende. Next season, Cercle ended again four points behind the champions, KFC Diest. But one year before the end of the five-year-plan, in 1971, Cercle achieved their goal: they won promotion and were back at the top!

Settling at the top flight (1971-1996)

Cercle tried immediately to avoid the relegation battle by signing the necessary fortifications, such as Fernand Goyvaerts and Benny Nielsen. Cercle succeeded in this, managing to get points out of their early confrontations with Anderlecht and Club Brugge, respectively champions and vice-champions that season. Cercle obtained the 5th place and was departed for some carefree seasons. In 1975, Cercle waved the Edgard De Smedt Stadium goodbye and went to the Olympia Stadium, which would be renamed to Jan Breydel Stadium because of Euro 2000.

Cercle had only had two coaches from 1967 until 1977: Urbain Braems and Han Grijzenhout. But Grijzenhout left after a lucrative offer by SC Lokeren. Cercle appointed Lakis Petropoulos as new coach. But injuries of key players and the language barrier with the Greek coach seemed such a problem that it eventually turned out to be disastrous, with Cercle relegating unexpectedly. Han Grijzenhout was again appointed as coach to get Cercle back to the first division as soon as possible. After only one season, Cercle became champions, ending 1 point before SK Tongeren.

Again, some carefree seasons announced themselves for Cercle, with a climax in the Belgian Cup in 1985. Cercle defeated SK Beveren in the final. After 90 minutes, a 1-1 draw was on the score board. 30 minutes of extra time also did not bring a decision, so the match went to penalties. Beveren player Paul Lambrichts kicked the last penalty of the series against the crossbar, and Cercle celebrated. For the first time since 1930, Cercle would play in an official European confrontation. Opponents became Dynamo Dresden. Cercle won the home match 3-2, but in Dresden Cercle lost 2-1, losing the confrontation on aggregate.

After the 1985 cup final against Beveren, Cercle again reached the cup final in 1986, this time meeting city rivals Club Brugge. Cercle lost 0-3, with two questionable penalties scored by Jean-Pierre Papin. A next climax would be the recruitment of the Yugoslav striker Josip Weber in 1988. Despite a difficult start in Belgium, Weber would prove himself to be the best post-war goal scorer for Cercle, being top scorer of the team from 1989 until his departure to Anderlecht in 1994. Weber was also national top scorer from 1992 until 1994. And in the early 90's, another star signed in Bruges: Romanian record international Dorinel Munteanu.

In 1996, Cercle got once more through to the national cup final. The final would be a re-issue of the 1986 final, as Cercle met Club Brugge again. This time, the result was a 1-2 loss. But due to Club winning the double, Cercle qualified for the UEFA Cup, in which they drew the Norwegian side SK Brann. Cercle won the home match 3-2, but lost 4-0 in Bergen. But due to the Belgian cup success the previous season, Cercle had lost some important players and their substitutes could not satisfy. At the end of the season, Cercle relegated together with KV Mechelen.

Second division (1997-2003)

Cercle aimed at an immediate return, but reality seemed very disappointing. A 10th place was achieved, and the next four seasons, Cercle would each time only succeed in ending one place higher than the previous season. Because financial possibilities were going short, the Cercle board aimed fully at the 2002-03 season. A new chairman was chosen, Standaard Boekhandel director Frans Schotte, and a new coach was appointed, former player Jerko Tipurić, who had also been coach in Cercle's 1996-97 relegation season. And finally, Cercle won the jackpot! In the previous five seasons, Cercle had not even won a single period championship.

Settling at the top flight again? (2003-...)

After a difficult season in which the newly signed Harold Meyssen and Nordin Jbari proved to be key players in avoiding relegation, the Cercle board chose not to prolong Tipurić's contract. Harm Van Veldhoven became new the coach. Under his direction, Cercle played three decent, but also unspectacular seasons. A bright spot was the breakthrough of the talented Stijn De Smet. When Van Veldhoven was announced as new coach of G. Beerschot, Cercle chose former Anderlecht player and assistant manager Glen De Boeck as his successor. In his debut year, De Boeck surprised with successful attacking and attractive football. Cercle ended the season as 4th, their best post-war ranking.

Current squad

First team players

Notes:

  1. Has dual citizenship (second citizenship is Belgian).
  2. Has dual citizenship (second citizenship is Russian).

Reserves

This list only includes players who have received a squad number for first team matches.

Current staff

  • Technical director/Manager: Glen De Boeck
  • Assistant manager: Ronny Desmedt
  • Assistant manager: Lorenzo Staelens
  • Goalkeeping coach: Danny Vandevelde
  • Physical coach: Wim Langenbick
  • Chief scout: Patrick Rotsaert
  • Director of Youth Football: Chris Verbeke
  • First Team Responsible: Roland Rotty
  • First Team Physiotherapist: Geert Leys

Player history

Noted players

Most appearances for Cercle Brugge

As of match played 20 January 2007 and according to www.cerclemuseum.be

# Name Career Appearances Goals
1 Jules Verriest 1965 - 1981 492 8
2 Geert Broeckaert 1978 - 1991 375 19
3 Arthur Ruysschaert 1925 - 1944 372 108
4 Roger Claeys 1941 - 1957 362 48
5 Jackie De Caluwé 1951 - 1966 354 32
6 Robert Braet 1928 - 1948 352 0
7 Rudy Poorteman 1979 - 1991 347 7
8 Wim Kooiman 1980 - '88/1994 - '98 339 25
Bram Van Kerkhof 1974 - 1985 339 14
10 Franky Simon 1962 - 1975 334 2

Most goals for Cercle Brugge

As of match played 20 January 2007 and according to www.cerclemuseum.be

# Name Career Appearances Goals
1 Marcel Pertry 1943 - 1955 280 140
2 Josip Weber 1988 - 1994 204 136
3 Dirk Beheydt 1975 - 1984 295 115
4 Michel Vanderbauwhede 1920 - 1932 231 109
5 Arthur Ruysschaert 1925 - 1944 372 108
6 Gilbert Bailliu 1953 - 1966 227 104
7 Louis Saeys 1903 - 1927 305 103
8 Gérard Devos 1921 - 1930 178 100
9 Alphonse Six 1907 - 1912 89 93
10 André Saeys 1928 - '35/1941 - '42 172 55
Eric Buyse 1959 - 1970 265 55

Top league goalscorers per season

According to www.cerclemuseum.be Names in italic means that not all match history of that season could be retrieved.

Season Player
1900-01 Edmond Verbruggen
1901-02 Jérôme De Caluwé
1902-03 Jérôme De Caluwé
Joseph De Wulf
Edmond Verbruggen
Gustaaf Wardenier
1903-04 Joseph De Roo
1904-05 Vahram Kevorkian
1905-06 Louis Saeys
1906-07 Louis Saeys
1907-08 Louis Saeys
1908-09 Michel Nollet
1909-10 Alphonse Six
1910-11 Alphonse Six
1911-12 Alphonse Six
1912-13 Louis Saeys
1913-14 Frans Lowyck
1914-18 No competition organised
due to World War I
1918-19 Louis Baes
1919-20 Germain Alleyn
1920-21 Frans Lowyck
1921-22 Gérard Devos
1922-23 Gérard Devos
Célestin Nollet
1923-24 Michel Vanderbauwhede
1924-25 Gérard Devos
1925-26 Gérard Devos
1926-27 Gérard Devos
1927-28 Gérard Devos
1928-29 Gérard Devos
1929-30 Michel Vanderbauwhede
1930-31 Roger Proot
1931-32 Alphonse Decorte
1932-33 Alphonse Decorte
Roger Proot
1933-34 Arthur Ruysschaert
1934-35 Maurice Blieck
Arthur Ruysschaert
Willy Van Loo
1935-36 Maurice Blieck
Season Player
1936-37 Johan Vandenabeele
1937-38 Albert Naert
1938-39 André De Schepper
1939-41 No competition organised
due to World War II
1941-42 Georges Crampe
1942-43 Albert De Kimpe
1943-44 Marcel Pertry
1944-45 No competition organised
due to World War II
1945-46 Marcel Pertry
1946-47 Marcel Pertry
1947-48 Edmond Verté
1948-49 Marcel Pertry
1949-50 Marcel Pertry
1950-51 Marcel Pertry
1951-52 Georges Debbaut
1952-53 Pierre Roggeman
1953-54 Jozef Vandercruyssen
1954-55 Guy Thys
1955-56 François Loos
1956-57 François Loos
Guy Thys
1957-58 André Perot
1958-59 Gilbert Bailliu
1959-60 Gilbert Bailliu
1960-61 Gilbert Bailliu
1961-62 Gilbert Bailliu
1962-63 Eric Daels
1963-64 Eric Daels
1964-65 Gilbert Bailliu
1965-66 Eric Buyse
1966-67 Roger Blieck
Eric Buyse
1967-68 Roger Blieck
1968-69 Geo Carvalho
1969-70 Willy Van Acker
1970-71 Raf Lapeire
1971-72 Benny Nielsen
Season Player
1972-73 Raf Lapeire
1973-74 Franky Vanhaecke
1974-75 Franky Vanhaecke
1975-76 Dirk Beheydt
1976-77 Dirk Beheydt
1977-78 Gerrie Kleton
1978-79 Dirk Beheydt
1979-80 Dirk Beheydt
1980-81 Jan Simoen
1981-82 Søren Skov
1982-83 Dirk Beheydt
1983-84 Bernard Verheecke
1984-85 Paul Sanders
1985-86 Edi Krncevic
1986-87 Patrick Ipermans
Didier Wittebole
1987-88 Kalusha Bwalya
1988-89 Josip Weber
1989-90 Josip Weber
1990-91 Josip Weber
1991-92 Josip Weber
1992-93 Josip Weber
1993-94 Josip Weber
1994-95 Christophe Lauwers
1995-96 Christophe Lauwers
1996-97 Gábor Torma
1997-98 Zbigniew Świętek
1998-99 Ernest Konon
1999-00 Fabio Giuntini
2000-01 Giovanni Dekeyser
2001-02 Stéphane Narayaninnaiken
2002-03 Ole Budtz
2003-04 Nordin Jbari
2004-05 Dieter Dekelver
2005-06 Dieter Dekelver
2006-07 Darko Pivaljević
2007-08 Stijn De Smet
Tom De Sutter
Oleg Iachtchouk

Pop Poll d'Echte

This price is awarded by the fans. It's an election held by d'Echte, a Cercle Brugge supporters association. The election is held in two rounds. At the last home game before the winter break, and at the last home game of the season, supporters can receive a paper and vote for 3 players. The player who has most votes after the second round, wins the Pop Poll. The main criteria held into account are the performances on the pitch and their love for the team.

Season Winner
1972-73 Morten Olsen
1973-74 Morten Olsen
1974-75 Morten Olsen
1975-76 Dirk Beheydt
1976-77 Dirk Beheydt
1977-78 Jules Verriest
1978-79 Jules Verriest
1979-80 Kees Krijgh
1980-81 Filip Schepens
1981-82 Alex Querter1
1982-83 Paul Sanders
1983-84 Leen Barth
1984-85 Geert Broeckaert
Season Winner
1985-86 Zoran Bojović
1986-87 Kalusha Bwalya
1987-88 Kalusha Bwalya
1988-89 Geert Broeckaert
1989-90 Geert Broeckaert
1990-91 Josip Weber
1991-92 Josip Weber
1992-93 Josip Weber
1993-94 Dorinel Munteanu
1994-95 Yves Feys
1995-96 Yves Feys
1996-97 Yves Feys
1997-98 Isaac Asare
Season Winner
1998-99 Philippe Piedfort
1999-00 Mohamed Kanu
2000-01 Giovanni Dekeyser
2001-02 Bram Vandenbussche
2002-03 Mohamed Kanu
2003-04 Ricky Begeyn
2004-05 Denis Viane
2005-06 Darko Pivaljević
2006-07 Christophe Grondin
2007-08 Tom De Sutter

1 Alex Querter never received the award because of his move to city rivals Club Brugge that same season. The organisers of the award found that Querters choice didn't match the criterium love for the team.

Managers

History

Notes:

  1. Ruysschaert replaced the suspended Versyp for a few months.

Chairmen

History

Honours

European cup history

External links

Further reading

  • Roland Podevijn, Cercle Brugge 1899-1989, K.S.V. Cercle Brugge, 1989

References

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Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1985/86 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1 Dynamo Dresden 3-2 2-1 4-4
1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1 Brann Bergen 3-2 4-0 3-6