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 their maintenance.

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 fortunate 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 heightens 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 try today. They'll be delighted 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. Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby as he grows into a young man!

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


November 2018

Monday, February 8, 2016

RKSV Leonidas (Holland)

RKSV Leonidas is an amateur football club from the Hillegersberg-Schiebroek district of the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The club were formed on the 30th October 1909.

The club played Zondag Derde (Sunday third) klasse football until the early 1960’s. From then to 1987 the team played between that level and the higher Tweede klasse. However, the team was relegated to play fourth Vierde klasse until 1991, when they went back up.

The upward curve was to continue as another promotion came in 1994. Leonadis spent four seasons at this level before going up to the Eerste klasse in 1999. The team spent the next twelve seasons in division 1B.

In 2010 the club reached the Hoofdklasse, the fourth tier of Dutch football, and the second tier of the amateur level. In 2012 Leonadis won the KNVB Amateur Beker with a 2-0 victory over FC Chabab.

The team were promoted to the Topklasse in 2012-13, where they remained until 2014-15, when they returned to the Hoofdklasse. Manager Koos Waslander was given the task of trying to regain the top level status.

RKSV Leonidas will play in Zondag Hoofdklasse A in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Friday 29th January 2016

Originally I had intended to visit Leonidas the previous day, but I figured that it would be a nice idea to start the last day of my four day trip to the Netherlands. I was still struggling with my sleeping pattern after night shifts, so I decided to head to the ground and then go back for another nap before vacating my room at midday.

Fortunately enough for me, I could catch a tram outside the hotel at the Schiekade stop all the way to Melanthonweg, right by the ground. A path through Melanchtonpark led me to Erasmuspad, which took me to the ground entrance, which turned out to be locked.

As with other venues I was coming across the grounds were protected by small dikes and rivers to prevent flooding. This was not idea for getting close to the venue for photos, but I improvised as well as I could.

A nice walk took me round to the other side. The Leonadis ground had two pitches alongside the main ground, which had an artificial surface. It had a small seated stand with many stanchions holding up the roof and the clubhouse next to it towards the entrance. The rest of the pitch was surrounded by hard standing and raised advertising boards at the rear to give it an enclosed feel. Trees also added to giving the place an ambience.

To take my best photos I had to be really alert as I was stood on the tram lines! Once done I pondered with the idea of heading to another venue, but sleep seemed a better option. I took the E line Metro went to Centraal station, but I got out a stop earlier at Blijdorp. The walk back to my room confirmed my thoughts that Rotterdam was a pretty soulless place with convenience stores being extremely scarce.

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