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

Monday, February 8, 2016

Amsterdamsche Football Club (Holland)


Amsterdamsche Football Club, or AFC as they are more commonly known, is an amateur football club from Amsterdam. The club was formed on the 18th January 1895, boasting a rich history.


The club was formed as Amsterdam FC following an inaugural meeting in the basement of a house on Koninginneweg. It was decided to adopt the Amsterdam city colours of red and black, with home games being played between the ponds at Vondelpark and Oranje Nassaulaan.

In 1897 the club became members of the Amsterdamsche Voetbal Bond (AVB), with the team playing in the second tier of Dutch football by 1900. In 1906 AFC moved into a new home; Watergraafsmeer.


The team won their league in 1908-09 but failed to win promotion after a play off game against Ajax Leiden. Eventually promotion was achieved in 1916-17 following wins in the play-off round against 't Gooi, Feijenoord and SVV.

In both 1917-18 and 1918-19, AFC won their division but finished in third and then fourth place in the final round in their search to become national champions. In December 1920 the club moved to Amsterdam-Zuid, at a time which would prove to be difficult for the team.


Relegation to the second tier Overgangsklasse came in 1921. Worse was to come as AFC went down again the following season to the Tweede Klasse. It was a long wait before fans of the club had anything to celebrate, but it came in the 1945-46 season.

The deciding championship game against KFC was played at Olympisch Stadion in front of a huge crowd of 43,000, which AFC won 4-2. However, promotion was not achieved as the team missed out in the final rounds. The club membership had grown to 727 by this time.


In 1954-55 the club suffered a further relegation to Derde Klasse, but the leagues were re-organised at this point as professional football began in the Netherlands. The club was placed in the national third tier Tweede Klasse for amateur clubs. The title was secured in 1961, with AFC moving into their new home, Goed Genoeg a year later.

Three Erste Klasse titles arrived at the club in 1963, 1967 and 1969. The middle title was the closest AFC came to being crowned national amateur champions, but they lost out to Middelburg over two legs in the final. Membership in the club had doubled from the 1946 figure.


Further re-organising of the leagues took place over the years, with AFC going down to Erste Klasse in 1997-98, before returning to Hoofdklasse in 2000-01. The team finished as Zondag Hoofdklasse runners-up in the 2006-07 season.

In 2010 AFC won their Hoodklasse division but could only draw games against De Treffers and Gemert in their bid to be crowned Zondag Hoofdklasse champions. However, promotion was sealed to the Zondag Topklasse, the third tier of Dutch football, which has two divisions; one for clubs playing on a Saturday, and one for Sunday’s.


Amsterdamsche Football Club will play in the Zondag Topklasse in the 2015-16 season.


My visit

Wednesday 27th January 2016

My morning was getting better after a good walk and plenty of fresh air. From my last stop off at the Olympisch Stadium, I’d taken a tram and then the train to Amsterdam Zuid. A quick walk past the headquarters of ABN AMRO took me to Beethovenstraat. I was most delighted to see the entrance to Sportpark Goed Genoeg over the car park.


I’d grabbed a quick glimpse the previous afternoon as my host Dave Kenwery collected me from Schipol Airport and drove me to his apartment along the raised A10 motorway, which bordered the northern side of the ground.

I found it to be a very neat ground. The far side had a modern looking cantilevered stand straddling the middle third of the pitch. The near side had three rows of steep terrace with wooden bench seating, before giving way to a large clubhouse and facility block taking up the far half of the touchline. Either end had a mixture of hard standing and shallow grass banking.


All open areas had raised advertising to give the ground a real enclosed feel. At the rear of the main pitch there were several artificial pitches, with them main one having dug outs and a single rail fence around it.

As ever on such a day, I was keeping a close eye on the clock. If I got a move on it meant that I could catch a direct train to Arnhem, where I was heading for that evening’s match between Vitesse and PEC Zwolle.


My path back along the side of the railway and underneath the railway got me back with enough time to top up my OV Travelcard, which served all of the Netherlands and to grab some snacks for the train. I left Amsterdam with a far better opinion of it than when I had arrived.









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