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

VV Germania (Holland)


VV Germania is an amateur football club from the town of Groesbeek, which is located a few miles south east of the city of Nijmegen, close to the German border. The club were formed on May 1st 1936, in the Stekkenberg part of town, playing at a ground called ‘het Vlak’.

Within a year Germania had won the Nijmegen Tweede Klasse winning promotion to the first division. In 1947 the club were crowned as Nijmegen champions and progressed into the eastern department of the national set up. Over the following seventeen years, a couple of championships and promotion were collected, but by 1964 they found themselves in the Vierde (fourth) Klasse as Germania relocated a few hundred metres to Sportpark Noord.












The move was celebrated a year later with a championship win, with Germania going on to lift Districtsbeker Oost (East District Cup) in 1967. A further championship and promotion was celebrated in 1974 to the second Tweede Klasse. Following a win in the final of the play off against AWS in 1976, Germania won promotion to Eerste Klasse.

In 1987 the club collected their second Districtsbeker Oost, after several demotions. It took until 2002 for Germania to regain their first Eerste Klasse position. Two years later the club rose to Zondag (Sunday) Hoofdklasse C, while the Saturday side played at a lower grade.











Despite suffering relegation, Germania regained their position in amateur footballs highest level, the Hoofdklasse position in 2008.

VV Germania will play in Zondag (Sunday) Hoofdklasse C in the 2013-14 season.


My visit

Monday 20th January 2014

My weekend sojourn was down to its last full day, and I was keen to see as many clubs as possible while heading to Eindhoven for the evening’s match. It was a typical January day, with a grey sky and low temperatures. After a fine breakfast at the Prince B&B in Nijmegen, I wandered around to the bus station to jump onboard the no.5 to take me to the Stekkenberg stop.


 








Having already passed Sportpark Noord I was able to soon locate the ground up the lane behind Nijmeegsebaan. I arrived at the grounds entrance past another pitch to find the small railed gate locked, so I hopped over.

The venue was much like many others at Hoofdklasse level. Three sides had a small bit of hard standing, with banked grass behind backed by high advertising hoardings and a scoreboard. The final side had some open terracing either side of a fine raised seated stand. The club offices and clubhouse were just behind outside the ground. It was very neat and tidy and everything required without entering the ridiculous regulations imposed on clubs of a similar standard by the English FA.











I saw a gap in the hedge in the corner and tried to get over the fence at that side to no avail. Cars were arriving and I felt a bit embarrassed at being inside. I walked all the way round to find a gate open by the stand and spoke to some friendly club officials. I followed one out as he walked down the bank and to the advertising board on the main road to change the fixture information for the following week’s game.

I continued heading downhill and then along for over a mile to my next port of call: Achilles ’29.















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