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

VV Capelle (Holland)

Voetbalvereniging Capelle, or VV Capelle is a Dutch amateur football club who were formed on the 20th February 1930, who are located in the town of Capelle aan den Ijssel, which is on the Hollandse Ijssel river, on the eastern outskirts of Rotterdam.

In 1963 the club moved into Sportpark ‘t Slot with its three pitches. Capelle began to collect some titles in the late 80’s as it looked to encourage young players to come through the ranks. After four runners up places in the Zaterdag (Saturday) Hoofdklasse, the team were promoted via the play-offs in 2009-10 to the Topklasse.

That same season Capelle reached the third round of the KNVB Beker following victories over VV UNA and then RKVV Westlandia. Their reward was a tie away to FC Twente at De Grolsch Veste, which the home side won 4-0.

The team achieved three mid table finishes, before becoming a bit too close for comfort from the relegation berths in 2013-14, before stabilising again the following campaign. Theo de Boon’s side finished the 2014-15 season in eighth place, as well as defeating EHC Hoensbroek in the KNVB Beker before going down to  FC Volendam at t’ Slot in round two.

Over recent years Capelle managed to arrange several attractive friendly games against professional neighbours Sparta, Excelsior and Feyenoord. International sides Rangers, Galatasaray also sent teams to t’Slot as well as a Newcastle United team with their manager Sir Bobby Robson, with monies being raised going to the Breath Foundation charity.

VV Capelle will play in the Zaterdag Topklasse in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Thursday 28th January 2016

My morning in Rotterdam had gone very well, having got access into all three previous venues. I had taken the B Metro line from Nieuw Verlaat after calling in at XerxesDZB back to Capelseburg where I changed to the C line for two stops down to Slotlaan.

It was just over ten minutes’ walk down Slotlaan and then onto Da Costasingel for a few hundred yards before arriving at Sportpark ‘t Slot on the right hand side. 

The initial signs were not good as the main driveway behind one goal down to the clubhouse was locked up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find access any other way either. The small dikes surrounding the ground also stopped me getting too close for photos. I did the best that I could.

‘t Slot looked a smart enough place. There was a neat cantilevered stand on the far side with bench seating, and more club buildings towards the entrance end. A small TV gantry was opposite, with the rest of the ground made up of hard standing with a tall hedge enclosing the arena. Some open terracing was on the side of the seated stand. As was the case at many Dutch amateur grounds, raised advertising boards also surrounded the ground.

Once I’d done the best that I could, I walked back to Slotlaan station as it was time for an interesting discussion over left luggage lockers and hotel check ins, which can be found here on the Feyenoord page.

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