K.A.A. Gent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
KAA Gent
KAA Gent logo.svg
Full name Koninklijke Atletiek
Associatie Gent
Nickname(s) De Buffalo's (The Buffalos)
Founded 1864; 151 years ago (1864)
Ground Ghelamco Arena,
Ground Capacity 20,000
Chairman Ivan De Witte
Managing Director Michel Louwagie
Head Coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck
League Belgian Pro League
2014–15 Belgian Pro League, 1st
Website Club home page

Koninklijke Atletiek Associatie Gent (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋkləkə ˌɑtləˈtik ˌɑsoːˈʃaː(t)si ˈɣɛnt], English: Royal Athletic Association Ghent), often simply known as Ghent or by their nickname De Buffalo's (English: The Buffalos), is a Belgian football, track and field and field hockey club, based in the city of Ghent, East Flanders. They have been playing in the Belgian Pro League since the 1989–90 season. They won the national league once, in 2014–15, and they have won three Belgian Cups. Ghent played their home matches in the Jules Ottenstadion in Gentbrugge from 1920 until 2013, when they moved to the Ghelamco Arena. They play in blue and white. The principal sponsor is the financial institution VDK(Volksdepositokas)NV.

The field hockey and track and field divisions were founded in 1864, making it one of the oldest sporting clubs in Belgium. The club was then known under their French name La Gantoise (and they are still referred to as such by the French-speaking part of Belgium). They changed their name to the present Dutch version in 1971. The football division opened in 1900. The nickname of the club is De Buffalo's, a term coined after a visit of the original Buffalo Bill and his Wild West circus to the city in the early 20th century. Gent enjoyed a first spell at the highest level in Belgian football between 1913–14 and 1928–29, and a second one from 1936–37 to 1966–67. In the 1970s and 1980s, the club had several promotions and relegations between the first and second divisions, to come back at the highest level in 1989. The club reached the 1991-92 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, which is their best achievement in European competitions.


In 1864 already, an association, called the 'Société Gymnastique la Gantoise', which was an association in order to promote gymnastics, was founded. Afterwards, some branches became independent and in 1891 the team merged with the Association Athlétique, which was in itself a merger of younger teams, such as Racing Club, Running Club, Red Star, a.o. The new merger team was called Association Athlétique La Gantoise, and next to gymnastics, the activities were broadened to athletics, boxing, cricket, cycling, fencing, hockey, swimming and tennis. Also the athletics team KAA Gent was founded.[1]

1914 logo of La Gantoise

In the last decade of the 19th century, organized football was introduced in Ghent. Different small teams came into existence and some merged into Racing Club Gantois on 1 April 1899, which would become later the biggest challenger of KAA Gent. Only in 1900, a football section was founded by the students of the College of Melle, which is a place close to Ghent. The first president and also leader of the team was doctor Hector Priem. The games were played on the Carpentierplein, which was situated in the middle of the Kortrijksesteenweg, the Clementinalaan, the Oostendestraat and the Astridlaan. The players could change clothes in the pub "La Demi-Lune". Initially, the colours black and white were chosen, but by 31 October 1900, when the team became an official member, the colours were changed into blue-white. On 15 November 1900, the first regular game was played, against Omnium Sporting Club. In January 1901, the team played against the team Racing Club Gantois, which was at that time larger and had more members. KAA Gent lost the game with 10–0. Nevertheless, already at the end of the 19th century the team was member of the UBSSA (Union Belge des Sociétés de Sports Athlétiques or the Belgian Union of the Athletic Sports Society, and although Racing Club Gantois was an older team in the city, KAA Gent would receive a lower basic number than Racing Club, which would receive 11. From 1901 on, AA La Gantoise played its first games in the lower divisions.[2]

The team played its first years mostly in Belgian Second Division, later on in the First Division. In 1904 the team moved to the Mussenstraat. In 1913, the World Exposition was held at that place, and the team moved to the Albertlaan. Over there, a football pitch, training fields, tennis courts, an athletics court, galleries and other accommodation was being built. At 9. December 1915, during the First World War, the stadium burned completely down. In 1912–13, AA La Gantoise became champion in the First Division. Already in 1914, the team received the royal title and was called Association Royale Athlétique La Gantoise, which was abbreviated to ARA La Gantoise. During the world exposition the team organized several sport activities. The first season in the First League, 1913/14, was nevertheless very difficult for the team and only by means of a test match against Standard Club Liégois, degradation was being avoided.[3]

In 1920, the team moved again, this time to Gentbrugge, where the Jules Ottenstadion was built. at the end of the 1920s. La Gantoise fell back to the Second Division and only in 1936, it could win its series and return to the First Division.[4] In the mid-Fifities, the team has known its strongest period. In 1953–54 it ended third with an equal total of points as KFC Malinois and at only one point of the champion RSC Anderlecht. The next season, La Gantoise was alone on the second spot, this time at three points.[5] In 1964 it took the Belgian Cup (Beker van België), which was the first important price for the team and it became in this way the first Belgian team to participate in the new Cup of Cupwinners. La Gantoise was defeated in the first round by West Ham United.[6] 1967 was sportively spoken a bad year for the team. After three decades it fell back to Second Division. The team was able to win its series the next season and could come back to First Division in 1968.[7]

Results from 1970 until 2011[edit]

In 1971 the name of the team was translated into Dutch, it became "Koninklijke Atletiek Associatie Gent" (commonly known as KAA Gent or AA Gent). The 1970–71 season was the start of a bad decade for Ghent. They were certain to be relegated to the Second Division six games before the season's ending, after the defeat to Club Brugge. In 1974, they even relegated to the Third Division. Ghent had ended last and couldn't assure its place in Second Division in the final round.[8] After one season, they would return to Second Division, lasted there until 1980, when the team returned to First Division.[9] The 1980s would become a much better period for the team. Supporters returned to the stadium, and the team achieved good results. In 1984 they won the Belgian Cup again, and during that period the team played in European competitions four times.[10] In 1986–87, Ghent reached the Third round in the UEFA Cup. In 1988 the team fell back to Second Division for a short while, but thanks to the final round, they were able to return to First Division after one season.[11] A crucial role was played by a member of the Board of Directors, Marc Mortier who consulted the Prime Minister of Belgium, Wilfried Martens, in order to establish an organisation named Foot Invest, to get the team financially back on track. Marc Mortier gathered more than 50 million Belgian francs (1.25 million euros) in sponsoring in a couple of months and introduced VDK Spaarbank as the main sponsor of the team.

During a 2010 game against SV Zulte Waregem

In 1990–91, the team played at the top of the standings for a long time, under the guidance of René Vandereycken and players such as Frank Dauwen, Eric Viscaal and Erwin Vandenbergh, but finally it ended on the third spot. So instead of competing in the UEFA Champions League, the team played in the UEFA Cup in 1991. After defeating Lausanne Sports, Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Dynamo Moscow, Ghent played the quarter finals against AFC Ajax.[12] The following years, Ghent fell back to the lower places in the standings. From 1994 until 1997, they finished just above relegation the places in the league.[13] By the end of the 1990s the results improved again, and with coach Trond Sollied, KAA Gent qualified for European football again in 1999–2000.[14] In these series, Ghent lost heavily against Ajax, under new coach Henk Houwaart. The next season, Ghent reached the UEFA Intertoto Cup, where it would reach the semi-finals against PSG. The following seasons, league results varied between lower sub-top places and top four finishes.[15]

In 2004, Ghent signed coach Georges Leekens. In his first season, he ended at the sixth spot in competition. With Leekens as a coach, KAA Gent made some impressive performances, such as the 4–1 victory over the ever-lasting rival Club Brugge on 1 April 2006. In the season 2006–07, despite a weak start of the competition, the team managed to reach the fourth place in the Belgian Pro League. It repeated that achievement the following year.[16]

After a drawn-out transfer soap, coach Georges Leekens left in the interval of the next season for Sporting Lokeren. Trond Sollied, the Norwegian trainer who had been very successful seven years before, succeeded him. Under his guidance, KAA Gent played its third Cup Final, in which it only lost at the end from RSC Anderlecht. Sollied left Ghent again after one season, this time for SC Heerenveen.[17] Michel Preud'homme, who had just become champion of the Jupiler Pro League with Standard de Liège, signed, together with his colleagues Manu Ferrera and Stan Van Den Buys a contract for three seasons. In the season 2008–09, the team ended at the fourth spot, after a strong comeback in the second part of competition, with an equal number of points as Club Brugge, which had won one game extra and ended third.[18]

In 2009–10, there was a heavy battle for the second place in the Belgian Pro League between AA Gent and Club Brugge and the Champions League ticket that comes with it. They played each other on 8 May 2010, Ghent won with a convincing 6-2 score and won second place by that victory.[19] One week later, Ghent also won the Belgian Cup for the first time in 26 years, defeating the other Bruges Pro League team, Cercle Brugge.[20]

On 17 July 2013, the club officially inaugurated their new home, the Ghelamco Arena, with a 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart in a gala match.[21] On 21 May 2015, Gent clinched their first ever Belgium League title by defeating Standard 2-0 at home, also qualifying to the group stage of the Champions League


European record[edit]

Competition GP W D L GF GA
European Cup / UEFA Champions League 2 0 0 2 1 6
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 4 1 1 2 2 6
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 34 14 6 14 36 60


  • Q = qualification round
  • R = round

Current squad[edit]

As of 10 January 2015.[22]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Belgium GK Matz Sels
2 Serbia DF Uroš Vitas
4 Brazil DF Rafinha
5 France DF Karim Belhocine
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Nermin Zolotić
7 Belgium FW David Pollet
8 Belgium DF Mustapha Oussalah
9 Belgium FW Laurent Depoitre
10 Brazil MF Renato Neto
11 Belgium FW Benito Raman
12 Serbia MF Marko Poletanovic
13 Croatia DF Ante Puljić
14 Belgium MF Sven Kums (Captain)
15 Israel MF Kenny Hasan Sayef
16 Albania MF Enis Gavazaj
17 Belgium MF Hannes van der Bruggen
No. Position Player
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Haris Hajradinovic
19 Belgium MF Brecht Dejaegere
20 Republic of Macedonia GK Damjan Shishkovski
21 Ghana DF Nana Asare
22 Cameroon FW Serge Tabekou
23 Denmark DF Lasse Nielsen (on loan from NEC)
25 Belgium GK Brian Vandenbussche
27 Nigeria FW Moses Simon
28 Denmark FW Nicklas Pedersen
32 Belgium FW Thomas Foket
55 Israel DF Rami Gershon
70 Ivory Coast FW Yaya Soumahoro
77 Switzerland MF Danijel Miličević
Belgium GK Kristof Maes

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Ervin Zukanović (at Chievo Verona)
Belgium DF Wouter Corstjens (at Waasland-Beveren)
Belgium MF David Hubert (at Waasland-Beveren)
Belgium MF Jari Vandeputte (at Roeselare)
No. Position Player
Belgium MF Rik Impens (at Roeselare)
French Guiana FW Sloan Privat (at SM Caen)
Belgium FW Jinty Caenepeel (at Cercle Brugge)

For recent transfers, see List of Belgian football transfers summer 2014.

Coaching history[edit]



Years President
1901 Hector Priem
1902–08 Adolphe Dangotte
1908–12 Adolf Gaeremijnck
1912 Hector Priem
1912–13 Jacques Feyerick
1913–29 Pierre Van Bleyenberghe
1929–39 Adrien Stassart
1939–64 Achiel Delongie
1964–67 René Hoste
1967–76 Freddy Mastelinck
1976–85 Albert De Meester
1985–88 Robert Naudts
1988–99 Jean Van Milders
1999–present Ivan De Witte

Technical staff & management[edit]

Name Position
Hein Vanhaezebrouck Belgium Manager T1
Peter Balette Belgium Assistant Manager T2
Bernd Thijs Belgium Assistant Manager T3
Franky Vandendriessche Belgium Goalkeeper Coach
Stijn Matthys Belgium Physical Coach
Manu Ferrera Belgium Youth Coordinator
Gunther Schepens Belgium Technical Coordinator
Gilbert De Groote Belgium Head Scouting
Ivan De Witte Belgium Chairman
Michel Louwagie Belgium Managing Director


  1. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 1: The Pioneers". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 10–25. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  2. ^ "Een stukje clubgeschiedenis" [A little piece of the club's history] (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Een stukje clubgeschiedenis" [A little piece of the club's history] (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Een stukje clubgeschiedenis" [A little piece of the club's history] (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 2: The end of the golden years". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). p. 14. 
  6. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 3: To fall and rise with youthful talent". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). pp. 21–31. 
  7. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 4: Shot at tittle ends in... second division". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). pp. 38–49. 
  8. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 6: Travel to Hell". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). pp. 73–88. 
  9. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 8: After Hell and Purgatory... finally Heaven!". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). pp. 117–139. 
  10. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 9: Three phenomenal seasons". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). pp. 140–171. 
  11. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 7: The post De Meester era". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 134–147. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  12. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 8: The Vandereycken boys". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 148–171. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  13. ^ Rombaut, Heli (1998). "Chapter 13: The demise of a rich football tradition". Bruilofstraat 42 (in Dutch). pp. 235–253. 
  14. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 10: About bombers and rubble removal". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 186–209. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  15. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 11: The transition years". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 210–229. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  16. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 12: Georges Leekens". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 230–251. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  17. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 8: Trond Sollied is back in town!". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 252–267. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  18. ^ Rombaut, Heli (2009). "Chapter 8: Michel Preud'homme: a worthy ambassador of the club". De Buffalo-bijbel [The Buffalo Bible] (in Dutch). pp. 269–272. ISBN 978-90-9024650-5. 
  19. ^ "KAA Gent 6-2 Club Bruges: match report". Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Cercle Bruges 0-3 KAA Gent: match report". Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "KAA Gent opent Ghelamco Arena met zege tegen Stuttgart" [KAA Gent opens Ghelamco Arena with victory against Stuttgart] (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "KAA Gent current squad (2014-2015)". Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Beknopte geschiedenis van KAA Gent". Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2007. 

External links[edit]