Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Monday, March 7, 2016

SG Sacavenense (Portugal)

Sport Grupo Sacavenense is a sports college from the town of Sacavém, on the north east outskirts of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, by the Tagus River. The club was formed on the 19th March 1910, with football being introduced a year later.

Over the years SG Sacavenense added sections for athletics, cycling, handball, basketball, volleyball, hockey skates, rugby, table tennis and futsal since 2002. However, their name has been most prominent through association football.

On several occasions the team found themselves playing in the second tier of Portuguese football. In 1977-78 Sacevenense won the Nacional da III Divisão title to gain another promotion up to Segunda Divisão.

For many years the Taça de Portugal was only open to teams in the top two flights. SGS played in it on many occasions. A fine run in the 1980-81 season saw the team reach the fifth round stage as well as playing in the second tier once again in 1981-82.

Records are unavailable online for the next decade, but in 1990-91 the Segunda Divisão had become the third tier, with the team playing its football at that level. The following season saw SGS relegated to the fourth tier Terceira Divisão.

The 1993-94 season saw the club relegated from the Série E division down to Lisbon Distritais football. Promotion back to the fourth tier was achieved at the first attempt. For several seasons SGS finished just a few places above the relegation zone.

The 2000-01 season saw another fine campaign in the Taça, as victories over Serpa, Padernense in the preliminary stages along with a couple of further wins set up a fifth round tie away to Belenenses. The underdogs went down 5-0 at Estádio do Restelo. The team were demoted in 2003-04 after a second bottom finish.

The club would remain in district football until they achieved promotion back to Série E of the Terceira Divisão for the 2010-11 season. Portuguese football was re-organised at this stage. The Terceira Divisão ended, with district football becoming the fourth tier.

SGS were placed in the fourth tier Lisbon Distrital Divisão Honra at the completion of the 2012-13 campaign. Once again the club and the football section would show its determination. Promotion to the third level Campeonato Nacional de Seniores came in 2013-14, where the team were placed in regional Série G.

SG Sacavenense will play in the Campeonato Nacional de Seniores Série G in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Friday 12th February 2016

Having landed just an hour or so earlier, I was on my way to my second venue in and around Lisbon. The home of Desportivo O Moscavide had been a pleasant surprise, had had the architecture, tight streets and small cobbled stone pavements. I felt like I was getting to the heart of the district.

My twenty minute walk from Moscavide took me along R Francisco Marques Beato and then over the roundabout past a new retail outlet onto R Cidade de Goa. The motorway appeared overhead in the foreground, which confirmed that my directions were correct. Soon the towering floodlights of Campo do Sacavenense came into view.

I was delighted to find the ground open. It was an absolute beauty. A sort of a cross between a traditional old rugby league ground and some cracking non-league grounds of the past. The second pitch with a small seating area was below the overhang of the motorway. Both this and the main pitch had artificial surfaces.

Both sides had good covered stands. The steps were steep enough to sit on, or offer a great view for those wishing to stand. The nearside stand was a bit shorter, with the rest of the side made up of open terrace. The far end was curved behind the goal and had all the club facilities in the style of a cricket pavilion all in white. A large sports hall stood alongside.

Ticket booths and a restaurant were in the car park at the town end. It really was a ground that I’d have loved to have watched a game at. It oozed atmosphere. However, despite my enthusiasm I was about to hit problems.

My IPhone battery was very low. It had the code details for me to gain access into my self contained apartment in the old town of the city. I turned it off to try and preserve power. I somehow got lost on the way to the station and when I tried to turn my phone back on it was no good.

After going the wrong way and ending up by the Forte de Sacavém I was getting a bit worried. Finally I followed a path and saw the station. My earlier plan to tick off Oriental Lisboa on the way to my digs was now obsolete as I couldn’t take any photos. I hoped for the train to have a plug somewhere for me to kick the phone back into life.

Two policemen greeted me as the doors opened! I wasn’t sure if I’d scanned my Viagem travel card so I was apprehensive. The train didn’t go to Santa Apolonia which came as a shock. I jumped off at Moscavide and wandered round the metro station. It took me far longer than I anticipated to reach my terminus.

Fortunately a lounge for passengers at the station had power points. A kind fella using one of them let me use his plug so that I could grab the vital info required for me to access my accommodation. I eventually found the room in the hybrid of narrow Alfama streets and got myself prepared for the evening’s match between SL Benfica and FC Porto.

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