My Time In Holland

Well I am in Holland and not long back from my first ever Eredivisie match. The game closest to my hotel was the NAC Breda Feyenoord game in Breda and I enjoyed it.

Before getting to the game, I will let you know about my travels before had. We arrived at the ferry in Newcastle by the skin of our teeth, I burst out laughing when my step mum told my dad not to panic if we missed the ferry as ‘We are all on the same boat’, haha that was the problem, we were minutes away from not being on the same boat. The ferry crossing that night was uneventful as the ship was full of teenagers filling up the bar and limited internet access.

My first two days were spent on my feet for at least hours as I went around the RAI (Not named after the Brazilian footballer) which is the exhibition centre in Amsterdam. I was there working, filming and taking photos on the IBC show aimed at broadcasters for my dads blog. Thankfully it had a lot of products aimed at sports broadcasters and the football industry. I will write up an article later on in the week about all you need to become Sky Sports. I also managed to have a sneak peak at Super HD footage, which is eight times better than HD and the pictures were amazing. I also loved the 152″ Panasonic TV, ideal to watch your football on.

Now I arranged all of this trip with NAC in terms of getting a ticket and they were very helpful. They told me to collect it at the S&I desk which would open from 12.30pm, be warned you need your passport with you for them to give you the ticket as they need to verify who you are. I took a look inside the club shop, who had sold out of the clubs home strip, a yellow and black number I wouldn’t have thanked you for anyway. So I had my ticket by 12.45 the surrounding area was extremely quiet and the turnstiles were not open yet. I thought that this was odd considering that kick-off was only 45 minutes away. I was starting to think that maybe this was not the game I should have chosen and that the fact the game was on TV was going to put people off!

Now I sometimes struggle for luck and it didn’t seem to be my lucky day on this occasion as I couldn’t find my gate to enter the Rat Verlegh  Stadion. I walked around it twice, but not fully as I was restricted at one end as the away fans were there, unfortunately I was near that part too and the two stewards I asked were one their first days and could not understand what I wanted. Thank the lord I then found their supervisor who said it was actually through a small walkway hidden behind the medical area. I was then frisked by security as I came in, with the boy very interested in my camera and failing to notice my insulin injection which was in my jacket pocket. It turned out I was in a neutral stand which was a bit odd. I then noticed that I had no seat number on my ticket and was told to sit anywhere I wanted. As I entered the stand I seen and more accurately heard the Feyenoord away support who were enclosed at the top of my stand with plastic sheets keeping them apart from the rest of us, well at this time it was just me and another guy. I looked at my watch it was quarter past one, still the stadium was extremely quiet. I was thinking that I knew the Dutch were relaxed but there was probably not much more than a thousand in fifteen minutes before kick off. As the minutes ticked down to half past I was thinking that the Dutch fans were terrible for staying away from a good game because of live TV or that Breda only had a stadium this size to meet certain Dutch FA or UEFA requirements. Then It was gone half past I was then thinking that this was the first game ever to be delayed until the stadium at least had a few thousand spectators in to enjoy it. I thought wait a minute has the game been delayed for TV, checked my ticket and there it was 14.30 hrs! I then realised the fault was my own, as I checked kick off time online I didn’t make sure that it was in continental time not British!

As the picture above shows thats was like at kick off time and the after shot is what actual kick off time looked like. Once I knew I had an hour to kill before kick off I relaxed. Took lots of photos and then got a pre match sugar free Red Bull, hot-dog with what that young girl described as ‘special sauce’ which turned out to be a mild mustard. I then went to the toilets, which seemed fine until I stepped away from the huge urinal and noticed their were no sinks to wash your hands!! Now thankfully I only did a pee but still I always wash my hands so that was very off putting.

Back at my seat and the stadium was certainly beginning to fill up, but the home fans just couldn’t get louder than the away support stuck in the corner who sang all day and also banged on the plastic wall relentlessly… They were very, very loud and very proud of Feyenoord. Their song repertoire was full of English songs and chants such as ‘We love you Feyenoord, we do!’. Now a word of warning for football lovers I certainly have had ENOUGH of one song so can we all stop singing it thank you. I strategically sat at a position I thought that if the Feyenoord supporters were to throw thing it would go past me, I picked well as I noticed people in front of me were being attacked by the visitors with paper aeroplanes the weapon of choice.

The home support tried their best to out sing the Feyenoord fans and seemed to get really excited by the circus music played just before that match got underway, which was amusing.  Also funny was the sight of a blow up woman getting thrown around by the Breda fans as the circus music hit the tannoy, I never seen her after kick off, hope she was ok. In the picture below its more a case of wheres Dolly than Wally. To play click on the image below to enlarge… Hint middle and right a little bit.

The stadium has two safe standing areas for the NAC support to stand and I don’t think it was by coincidence that these two areas were the ones that were filled first. Supporters just love to stand. Also their is not a smoking ban in Holland so the person beside me smoked constantly for the first half and that was annoying for me.

Now for the game itself. Well the game ended in a 3-1 victory to Feyenoord. The hosts Breda took an early lead after six minutes when a shot from outside the box from Robert Schilder swerved past the helpless keeper. Just before half time fan favourite Otman Bekkal headed Feyenoord’s equaliser. After the break a shot from distance from Feyenoord’s Karim El Ahmadi gave them the lead before a John Guidetti penalty wrapped up all three points for the club from Rotterdam. In fairness it was a deserved result as Feyenoord were better in possession and worked harder. Plus I was glad for their away support although they did get a bit too annoyed by a home fan giving them a wave in the vulgar variety.

I was tipped off about John Guidetti from Pras Murukesvan, who like John is Swedish. John is a loanee form Man City and his pre-match warm up had me captivated as he was showboating better Ronaldinho. After seeing Guyon Fernandez have a terrible game up front by himself (He was very ineffective) on the hour mark he made way for John. Guidetti was more intelligent and put himself about the pitch, he had already became a fan favourite. Five minutes from time he cooly slotted home a penalty.

NAC Breda also had a forward who failed to impress was Anthony Lurling who twice failed to kick the ball, his shots were more like back passes and he lacked pace. Certainly not a player Breda could rely on.

Two other players deserving of a mention were Feyenoord’s Jordy Clasie and Jerson Cabral. Twenty year old Clasie had a classy game in the middle of the park breaking up play and running around the pitch like Rino Gattuso. Dutch U21 international Cabral was a typical winger who at times used his pace and tricks to attack defenders but then at other times the youngster just couldn’t get into the game and was eventually subbed.

I totally forgot Ronald Koeman managed Feyenoord, so it was a nice surprise to see him in the dugout. I loved his free-kicks from the early 90s.

I had a fantastic day watching my first Dutch league match. It was so loud and the game itself was entertaining and very cheap at €15 which was cheaper than the Partick Thistle game I went to last month. Going to a game abroad is a wonderful experience and at the moment my next one is planned for February  in Paris between PSG and Evian but maybe I can get to another game on the continent before then.

3 Responses to “My Time In Holland”

  1. Sounds like a good day mate. Don’t worry there will be no time issues in Paris 😉

    Glad that Clasie stood out, I watched him a few times for Excelsior last season and he looked a very good prospect.

    Another good report mate. 5 days to Lille 🙂

  2. Haha thats right you are going to see Lille next week, you lucky dog. Hope its great for you.

    Yeah Clasie had a very good game, always worked hard and sat well in front of his defence.

    Cheers glad you enjoyed it.

  3. […] first became aware of Jordy Clasie in 2011 when I was in Holland taking in a match between NAC Breda and Feyenoord. I gave the midfielder a special mention in that report for his tenacious […]

Leave a Reply