In France there is no Boxing Day. Especially in the Alps where the football season takes a break from December to March for people to go skiing that’s for sure, but also because of the snow that cover the pitches. Even though the artificial grass appeared around 15 years ago in the region and helped the teams to be able to practice more, the winter is stronger than the footballer. We wanted to make the most of our holidays spending our time skiing, but the Hackney Marshes Sunday League had an other plan for us. An ankle destroyed after a bad tackle, and we had to find new activities to kill the time between two Christmas feasts. Doing a bit of research about the different divisions in the region, we found out that three of the teams playing on the most unique pitches of Haute-Savoie were actually in the same league this season. We didn’t wait a minute more and jumped on a car to explore the roads around Annecy to go to Menthon Saint-Bernard, Villaz, Dingy Saint Clair and Nâves-Parmelan. Small but beautiful villages, with unique stadiums amongst the mountains. Quite a special experience that we are pleased to share with you guys on Football Campagne.
Menthon Saint Bernard – ES Lanfonnet
Less than 2000 people live in this village stuck between the shores of the Lake Annecy, Dents de Lanfont and Mont Veyrier mountains. A sublime scenery for the stadium Jean Dutour. From there, you have a panoramic view on the Menthon Castle, the lake and the mountains. Not an easy thing for a striker to find the target when there are so many things to contemplate.
Villaz – AS Parmelan Villaz
Founded in 1967, the football team of Villaz is famous in the whole Haute-Savoie having developed a revolutionary approach in training and fitness. More than intense workouts, what really matters at the ASP Villaz is to spend time together. Having a drink, eating a choucroute or playing pétanque is much more fun than running hours around the pitch and much more efficient for team building. Louis Baud Stadium is used not only for games, but also as the main HQ to encourage this family spirit at the buvette. Villaz pioneered once again moving from grass pitch to 3G before anyone else in the area. A bold choice at the time, but which paved the way to lots of other teams. Surrounded by the forest and with a unique sight on the Parmelan mountain, there is no doubt this is the kind of pitch many players would dream to play on before retiring from football.
Dingy Saint-Clair – FC Dingy Saint Clair
Besides what you might be thinking, Bob Sinclair never played at Dingy. Thanks god. Dingy is a small and typical village surrounded by mountains, with 1,380 people living the good life. It is not possible not to find the stadium. Straight at the entrance of the village, on the main road, it catches attention of any player coming there for the first time. The pitch isn’t really flat, as there’s an elevation of pretty much 2m from the two sides of the pitch. And that is when the grass isn’t covered by snow. Weather conditions are tough, but who cares when it offers such a spectacular scenery?
Nâves Parmelan – no team
Teenagers come there to do skateboarding as the dogs make the most of the pitch to take a shit. The thing is in Nâves there is no affiliated football team to give a real meaning to this playground. No top bins, just a top view. A beautiful panorama on the city of Annecy, especially at the sunset. You know that time of the days when all the locals do that thing called ‘apero’.
When the season will start again in March, the teams of Menton, Villaz and Dingy are going to give it all on the pitch to reach their objectives. While playing away on one of these fields, we doubt they’re going to take the time to admire the landscape. That’s kind of a shame, really. But fair enough we are giving you the chance to do so. Let us know in comments what stadium should be awarded as the most beautiful one at the end of the season.