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

London

September 2015

Saturday, February 8, 2014

FC Eindhoven (Holland)



FC Eindhoven is a professional club from the city of Eindhoven, in the east of The Netherlands. The club were formed on the 16th November 1909, five years before neighbours PSV, as EVV, or Eindhovense Voetbal Vereniging, starting out playing in the regional Brabantse Voetbalbond.

Within a couple of years EVV had progressed to the NVB national competition. In 1921 the club merged with local side Gestel to become EVV Eindhoven. 1937 saw the first honour arrive at the club as they lifted the KNVB Cup by defeating De Spartaan 1-0. Two years later they ended fourth in the league play off.











Throughout this period EVV were the biggest club in the city as they competed in the Lichtstad, or City of Light Derby.


In 1954 EVV were the last champions of the old national league before the introduction of professional football to Holland. However in 1957 the club were relegated to the Eerste Divisie. Things were to get worse as they went down to the third tier Tweede Divisie in 1969, before climbing back in 1971.








1975 saw Rinus Gosen’s EVV Eindhoven team reach the Eredivisie, but there spell in the top flight lasted just two seasons. A decade later EVV took the decision to become an amateur club, but a new professional club SBV Eindhoven (Stichting Betaald Voetbal Eindhoven) was formed to replace them, changing their name to FC Eindhoven in 2002. Two years later the club set up a deal with PSV to allow the swapping of youth players between the clubs.

2009-10 saw FC Eindhoven under head coach, former Dutch international Jan Poortvliet, reach the end of season play offs, but they were defeated 3-2 on aggregate by Willem II. In 2011-12 they narrowly missed out on promotion as they ended in third place.











Jean Paul de Jong arrived at the Jan Louwers Stadion in the summer of 2013 after a poor previous campaign saw the team finish third from bottom of the table.

FC Eindhoven will play in the Eerste Divisie (First Division) in the 2013-14 season.

My visit

Jong PSV 0 De Graafschap 2 (Monday 20th January 2014) Eerste Divisie (att: 250)



I was on the fourth day of a most enjoyable journey around The Netherlands visitng clubs and watching games. I’d already been to visit grounds in Groesbeek, Nijmegen, Uden and Veghel. Fortunately buses were on my side and I arrived in Eindhoven earlier than schedule, so although the light was closing in I decided to head down to FC Eindhoven.


A kind lady invited me in to take photos and comment that she'd maybe see me later for the match? It turned out that had been moved from Philips Stadion, which was a shock and a disappointment as I had it down as one of the highlights of my visit. However, these things come to test us, so I headed to Philips Stadion to collect my ticket and book into my digs for a much needed siesta.

After a bite to eat it was time to catch the bus back to the south of the city. After a mix up I found the right stop, with the no.171 dropping me at the Theo Koomenlaan stop, just a short walk away. I was slightly perturbed to see only a couple of others getting off and then see an empty stadium under the lights through a gap in the corner.


 








I entered the ground by the corner of the Main Stands with my €10 ticket. It was the only side apparently open. A kind steward by the players tunnel went to get me a free teamsheet, as no programmes had been printed. I climbed up the steps at the front to survey the scene.

The Jan Louwers Stadion, named after a former player and businessman, was a perfect size for a club of FC Eindhoven’s status. The original Main Stand was a raised seating deck, with two newer additions on either side filling the whole of one side. Similar newer stands were behind the south goal, which half of which was segregated by a basic electronic scoreboard for away fans, and along the far touchline. The north end had no spectator facilities, but the large sports centre had windows facing the pitch.











It’s fair to say that there wasn’t much of an atmosphere inside the sparsely populated stadium. The away section had just seven De Graafschap fans in it, with four stewards looking after them!

The first half was really poor, and it was cold. De Graafscap were coached by ex Aberdeen boss Jimmy Calderwood, while Bolo Zenden was Jong PSV's second it command. The head coach was Darije Kaleziæ who had a disastrous two month spell in charge at Stockport County a year or two previously.











I managed to talk my way into the immaculate club bar at the top of the stand for the second half. It was like the member’s area of a cricket ground with free nuts on the bar and an area to watch the game through the glass. I did my bit for league sponsors Jupiler over the following hour or so. Indeed, I did my best to remain a fine diplomat. There were no cash transactions, so I had to purchase tokens, or munts as they’re called. I miscalculated how many I needed, but managed to return some of them. The beer was excellent.

After the break the poor affair came to life when PSV were awarded a penalty, but Alex Schalk's effort just about reached the keeper. The game looked certain to be a draw before defender Vlatko Lazik broke a challenge near the half way line and went on a run before slotting the ball through Benjamin van Leer's legs into the net with five minutes to go. A few cheers went up in the bar from those visiting from Doetinchem who'd used common sense and avoided the cold. Nathan Kabasele made it 2-0 with a minute to go.











I retired to the highly recommended De Gaper pub, which had eight beers on draught and 185 whiskies. The fifteen year old Bowmore malt ended the day well. It was over the road from my budget hotel near to the Philips Stadion. Local fans seemed amazed at my adventures. I lasted until closing time as my new pals insisted I hung around while we picked each others brains talking about the beautiful game.

To read about Jong PSV’s senior team, go to:

http://worldgroundhoptwo.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/PSV%20%28Holland%29








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