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

Sunday, February 9, 2014

De Treffers (Holland)

De Treffers is an amateur football club from the Gelderland town of Groesbeek in the east of The Netherlands, a few miles south east of Nijmegen. The club were formed in 1919, around the same time as their biggest rivals Achilles ’19 on the other side of town, with Jan Piepenbreier appointed as the clubs first chairman.

After playing in Nijmegen regional football, De Treffers joined the ranks of the KNVB in 1930. In 1935-36 and 1936-37 the club lifted the eastern region Eerste Klasse championships, going on to compete in the national championships.

Following World War Two, De Treffers had a period of struggle as they were relegated on a couple of occasions to find themselves in the Derde (third) Klasse. Promotion came thanks to a title win in 1961-62. Back to back championships elevated the club to Eerste (first) Klasse football in 1963.

De Treffers suffered a relegation in 1971, but they were promoted at the first attempt. The Hoofdklasse was created in 1974 and De Treffers were placed in the Zondag (Sunday) C. The club won the Sunday championship in 1987-88 for the first time before repeating the feat in 1990-91, going on to lift the national amateur title by defeating Quick Boys.

1997-98 saw another national crown as Saturday champions IJsselmeervogels were defeated in the decider. The club also lifted the C Division title in 1986, 1990, 1998 and 2005 making it one of the foremost amateur outfits in the whole of Holland.

De Treffers will play in Hoofdklasse Zondag (Sunday) C in the 2013-14 season.

My visit

Monday 20th January 2014

I found myself in the football mad town of Groesbeek on a bleak winters day on the fourth day of a football adventure across The Netherlands. Having walked from the home of rivals Achilles ’29 along Hulsbroek and then Nieuwe Drulseweg past and industrial estate and then housing I saw the floodlights of Sportpark Zuid down Nijerf.

The entrance to the ground was at the far end and through a large car park, with the magnificent club buildings behind half of the near end of the ground with a few steps of open terracing in front. The far touchline had a cover for standing spectators, with the road side a seated stand across the half way line. The rest of the ground had hard standing and grass, with raised advertising boards at the far end offering an enclosed feel to the arena.

Originally I had intended to head for the home of Groesbeeke Boys, but it was time to prioritise as I was feeling the effects of my exertions and needed to get to my evenings destination of Eindhoven as quickly as I could to have a rest before the evening’s match.

A free small local bus gave me a tour around the houses before dropping me in the town centre, next to where the railway once ran, so I could take a bus back into Nijmegen.

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