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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SCH (Holland)

SCH, or Sport Club Voorhees to give them their full moniker are an amateur football club from the city of Nijmegen in the Gelderland region of The Netherlands. The club were formed on the 23rd January 1921 as Nijmegen Voorhees Combination (NHC) in the village of Voorhees.

The club changed their title in December 1926 to SCH, beginning the season at their new ground Sportpark De Biezen on Rivierstraat in the north west of the city. In the 1930’s the club spent time in the second tier of amateur football before being promoted in 1934-35 following play off victories over Hengelo and Vitesse.

Following World War Two new housing was built in the nearby Waterkwartier district allowing the club membership to grow. However, ‘De Blauwe Jungskes’ gradually went down the divisions over the years.

Eventually a promotion was won from the Nijmegen regional league to the Derde Klasse (third class, and fifth tier of amateur football) in 1990-91 through the play offs. 1996-97 saw the Derde Klasse title delivered to SCH and they went one better by claiming the Tweede Klasse (second class) title in 1997-98, regaining their place in the first class for the first time in sixty three years.

However the joy was not to last for SCH as they suffered double relegation's in consecutive seasons. Worse was to follow as they went down all the way to the Vijfde fifth class. Promotion came at the first attempt but the end of the 2008-09 ended in another demotion back to Vijfrde Klasse following a 2-2 play off draw against Eendracht Arnhem.

Several mergers for SCH were mooted over the years without fruition, before Wim Wouters team won promotion back to the fourth Vierde Klasse in 2010-11 and then went up another level.

SCH will play in Derde Klasse Zontag Oost (Third Class Sunday – East) in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Sunday 19th January 2014

While I think my pre planning is pretty good before I head off to ventures new, it is natural that at times that a visit to a club can be a disappointment. On the other hand, a club can appear without previous knowledge, as with how I came across SCH.

I was Nijmegen primarily to go to the NEC game that lunchtime against ADO Den Haag, but after dropping off my bag at the De Prince B&B I decided to do some exploring on the way to help bring me around from the hangover I’d incurred the previous evening while socialising in Zwolle. The Joris Ivensplein bus stop at the bottom of the street displayed that the no.85 would take me near to my intended target; the home of SV Blauw Wit.

I was trying to concentrate on where we were when a decent looking venue caught my attention. I rang the bell hoping that the bus would stop soon, but it continued along Industrieweg, before stopping around half a mile further up at Sluis Weurt. Not to be deterred I headed back, using cycle tracks and then crossing a new road that didn’t even exist on my map app, just to confuse matters.

Eventually I found myself on Rivierstraat and at the entrance, where I first discovered SCH. A Sunday morning match was taking place on the second pitch at the other side of the car park. I went to have a look at the main arena.

De Biezen had a substantial cover down the far side, with the rest of the neat venue having hard standing around the pitch with grass beyond.

I was leaving when my presence had been noticed by a club official. I explained that I was from England visiting stadiums and then heading to the NEC match. He seemed delighted with this. I ventured on taking a look at the match going on I was walked. It reminded me of Sunday mornings on Olivers Mount Scarborough!

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