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

SV Orion (Holland)

SV Orion are an amateur football club from the city of Nijmegen in the east of The Netherlands, who were formed on September 19th 1938 by a group of boys of the Young Guard who wanted their own club, with Chaplain Tychon being one of their founders.

The club played at De Ark, but didn’t initially join any league as they struggled for players. By 1941 the players came of age and others joined up to enable entry into Nijmegen league football, playing home games at OBIOD on Kopse Hof. The following year the club moved to a ground on Groesbeekseweg.

Following World War Two, Orion moved to a new ground at Kwakkenberg in the south east of the city as Orion Boys. The club collected some championships and promotions in KNVB eastern competition. By 1960 Orion found themselves in Vierde (fourth) Klasse football, before reaching the Derde (third) Klasse in 1971, when the club’s name was changed to SV Orion.

By then a clubhouse had been built in 1968 at Dommer van Poldersveldtweg, but by the turn of the millennium the facilities at Kwakkenberg became too small because of the increase in membership, particularly at youth level. Close neighbours vv Trekvogels were also growing and only had two pitches, so Orion moved to new premises on the corner of Nijmeegsebaan and d'Almarasweg with the agreement of the club’s General Assembly in 2003. Nijmegen City Council also gave the plans the go ahead the same year.

This period saw an upturn in on the field fortunes with championships arriving at the club as well as two promotions which saw the first team in the Derde Klasse by 2005. A year later after many obstacles, Sportpark de Driehuizen was finally opened. By 2010 Orion had over one thousand members and around sixty youth sides.

The club continued to develop and were rewarded with two promotions which saw Orion progress to the Eerste (first) Klasse for the 2015-16 campaign, which was the fifth tier of Dutch football.

SV Orion will compete in Eerste Klasse Zontag (First Class – Sunday) in the 2016-17 season.

My visit

Monday 20th January 2014

Occasionally when I set out on a days groundhopping I come across somewhere totally unexpected. I was heading out to Groesbeek to visit three of the senior clubs in the football heavy town onboard the bus when I noticed a decent ground on the way out of Nijmegen. I noted where it was on the map app on my phone for later.

The no.5 bus dropped me at the Panovenlaan stop and crossed the road to investigate. I found the notice advising me that I was at Sportpark de Driehuizen and the home club was SV Orion. The gate was open in the corner of the ground, which had an artificial pitch and hard standing and high fencing hemming it in with adverts. The stand was a fine structure decked out in orange seats, to reflect the clubs colours. The site also had another couple of pitches and tennis courts.

I continued down d'Almarasweg as I saw further signs of other clubs across the railway level crossing, but they turned out to be the home of NMHC (Nijmegen Mixed Hockey Club) and the Hortus Arcadië botanical garden.

Orion had been a bonus venue for me as I went to catch the no.5 back to Nijmegen station where I realised that I’d had a lucky escape. I thought that I’d secured my rucksack in a locker on the railway platform. The door pulled open, but all my belongings were still in tact. Thanking my lucky stars I went across to the buses to await the no.99 to Uden.

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