Groundhopping – BVSC Zugló

Vasas were (losing) away again this Sunday, so once again we used our free day to visit another of Budapest’s storied lower league teams, this time heading north to District XIV to see BVSC Zugló.

Szőnyi úti Stadion: built in its current form in 1952. Home of BVSC Zugló

Unlike Csepel, BVSC have no major achievements to their name, and are only notable for the 3 year period of 1995-97, where they somehow managed to come 2nd in the league to Ferencváros and runner up in the Hungarian Cup twice (to fellow Budapest teams Honvéd and MTK). They were formed in 1911 as the Railway Workers club – the V stands for Vasutas (Railway) – and like many Hungarian teams, they seemed to change their name every few years. There was also the usual merging and splitting from other local teams that’s common in the lower leagues, including a merger with the Postal Workers team Postas, and BKV Előre (who I believe were the roadworkers union team).

Hungarian Railway Workers (credit http://www.szgv.atw.hu/)

Like Csepel, the team’s glory days are a distant memory. BVSC are in the third tier (NBiii) and their stadium – while retaining a 1950s socialist charm that stands in contrast to the shiny new sports buildings around it – is near empty at kick-off. A smattering of ultras (the Blue Boys are the local diehards) have turned out for this league game against Diósgyőr II (Second XI) and – as the sun is shining – the bleached wooden benches opposite the main stand are an idyllic place to watch Sunday football. The Hungarian winter is still a few months away mind, as I doubt I’d have the same feeling as the winds whip through this ground in January.

Tickets are the usual 1000 forints (£2 and a bit quid) and a quaint little wooden hut doubles as the bar. The young barman clocks my halting Hungarian immediately, waiting patiently for me to butcher my order before switching to flawless English.

In comparision to the one-sided Csepel defeat we sat through last week, this is a much more even game. Diósgyőr II consists of hardened B-teamers and ridiculously babyfaced youth players. There’s time on the ball and space for the game to breathe in comparison with the hit-and-run we’ve been subjected to recently.

Within a few minutes an Peter Enckelman-like howler from the visiting keeper sees BVSC take an 1-0 lead, before a great run and shot from a busy, shaggy-haired Diósgyőr midfielder squares things up at 1-1 in the 16th minute. The home team respond with a well-worked second, the ball laid off perfectly for fine finish in the lefthand corner to make it 2-1 at half time.

View from the main stand.

In the second half we strolled around to the main stand (we tried to sneak into the almost deserted upper tier to no avail – Hungarian stewards may be lacking in speed, but they make up for it with volume), and are rewarded with a few more goals: a towering header makes it 3-1 to BVSC before a slightly fortunate penalty award allows Diósgyőr to leave with a little pride intact. There’s even time for us to head into the (very modern looking) bar/restaurant to watch Jamie Vardy score a hat-trick against City before the train back.

BVSC Zugló 3 – 2 Diósgyőr II

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