FCL Rapide Wezemaal have won the last four Belgian women's championships and have started to make progress in European competition.
With the second qualifying round of the UEFA Women's Cup starting next month, uefa.com is taking a detailed look at each of the 16 clubs looking to progress to the quarter-finals and beyond. Today, Belgium's FCL Rapide Wezemaal, who host Group B3.
Wezemaal's women's team were founded in 1983 and was somewhat of a family affair, set up by chairman Ferdinant Mertens and his daughter and team captain Petra Mertens. Within five years the club, based around 35km from Brussels, had risen from provincial football to the national second division.
Second division title
They remained there for three years before taking the divisional title in 1991, Mathieu Noben’s side winning all 22 of their fixtures, scoring 168 goals and conceding just 20. Since then they have never fallen from the top flight under successive coaches Noben, Ann Noë (now in charge of the national team), Philippe Desamory, François Van Nerum, Doy Peraziç, Alfons Moons, Ernest Willekens and now Vic Crabbé.
Wezemaal lifted the Belgian Cup in 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2003 but had to wait until 2003/04 to win their first national league title in almost as spectacular fashion as their second division triumph - of their 26 games they won 25 and drew one, with a goals record of 161-9. They also lifted the cup for the fifth time to complete their first double with a penalty shoot-out win against RSC Anderlecht.
The next season they made their UEFA Women's Cup debut, but lost two of their three fixtures. However, they successfully defended the league title, again scoring more than 100 goals, and under new coach Crabbé also won the first Belgian Super Cup. They again picked up three points from three games in Europe, but completed a championship hat-trick in 2005/06, averaging more than five goals per game, though they lost the cup final to Standard Fémina de Liège.
They began 2006/07 by making progress in Europe for the first time, winning their opening qualifying round matches against ŽNK Pomurje, Pärnu FC and ZFK Mašinac Niš. In the second qualifying round they picked up three points against AC Sparta Praha, though lost to 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam and Saestum, but with the domestic double in the bag returned to Europe this season and won their three opening stage games without conceding a goal.