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

Monday, February 8, 2016

TSV LONGA (Holland)

Tilburgse Voetbalvereniging Lichaams Ontwikkeling Na Gedane Arbeid; or TSV LONGA as they are more commonly known is a football club from the Dutch city of Tilburg who were formed on the 8th April 1920.

The club had connections with the Hanseatic Bank, through their founder Harry van Loon, who was the deputy manager of the company. In 1921 they joined the Brabant Football Association, entering two teams. Both won their division.

This led to a promotion to the 3e klasse of the KNVB, which they won in 1922-23 after finishing as runners-up in their first season. In 1926 LONGA lifted the KNVB Cup after a 5-2 win over Amsterdam club, De Spartaan.

In 1927-28 LONGA were promoted to Eerste Klasse. When professional football was introduced in 1954, the club were placed in one of the four Eerste klasse divisions. The Dutch champions were decided by play-offs between the four champions.

The league was restructured further for the 1956-57 campaign, with LONGA being placed in Tweede divisie B. They finished in third position in the inaugural season, which was the highest ever finish for the club.

In 1963-64 and 1964-65 LONGA finished in bottom position before they returned to amateur football to play in Hoofdklasse C. They remained there until 1995 before they were relegated, with further demotions following before LONGA found themselves playing Derde (third) klasse football in 2006.

Promotion was won at the first attempt back to Tweede klasse, where they remained for just one season as yet another promotion was achieved with a second place finish. The run continued with Hoofdklasse status being recovered for the 2008-09 campaign.

Unfortunately, the higher level football only lasted one season at the Sportpark TSV LONGA before they were demoted again to Eerste klasse. The 2014-15 season ended in relegation meaning Tweede klasse football once again.

TSV LONGA will play in one of the Tweede klasse Zondag divisions in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Friday 29th January 2016

It was the final day of a four day trip to the Netherlands and I had one last venue to tick off before relaxing ahead that evening’s Eredivisie clash between Willem II and Heracles Almelo. After visiting city neighbours TSV NOAD I took a walk along the paths at the side of the Lovense canal.

I crossed over to the east bank at Kapitein Nemostraat and continued past the transporter bridge at Bosscheweg and under the railway bridge to find myself at the open gates of the Sportpark TSV LONGA complex.

Like several Dutch venues that I had previously called in at, the venue had several pitches. On this occasion there were at least five other pitches as well as the one for the first team. This had a fine raised seated stand called the Henk Pellikaan Tribune. Changing rooms were located past the stand towards the south goal. The final three sides were open flat standing, being backed by advertising boards to give the ground an enclosed feel.

Having completed my task it was now time to head into town for some well earned relaxation time. It certainly turned out to be an eventful end to my Dutch adventures. You can read about them here on the Willem II page.

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