Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
The first day of the European jaunt began in The Netherlands and the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, which is about 80km south of Amsterdam (which was the base for the first few days) and took around 58 minutes to reach by train.
The Stadion De Vliert, the home of FC Den Bosch was the destination for the first game of the week. The team are currently mid table in the Eerste Divisie, having been relegated in 2005, and the opposition tonight, FC Emmen, are near the foot of the table.
There is usually a club card policy to buy tickets in Holland but, after e-mailing the club, the tickets were reserved and waiting at the club's reception. There was a promotion on tonight where all tickets were €5 in an attempt to get more fans through the gate. I don't think it worked as the crowd was only 3,788 which seemed pretty sparse in a ground that holds 9,000. Emmen only brought 21 fans, I know that because I counted them!
Pre-match was spent in a great little bar called Le Duc (which is the French translation of Den Bosch) where all the 'Kolleke' beers on draft were brewed on site. This meant details of the match were pretty sketchy!
Seriously though, even through glazed eyes it was fairly obvious that Emmen were a poor side and the homesters ran out comfortable winners. At least 3 of the goals were wholly preventable.
Paco van Moorsel tapped home after 25 minutes to give 'The Blue White Dragons' the lead. A defensive mix up led to Danny Verbeek scoring right on half-time and the game was over within 6 minutes of the re-start.
Tom van Weert bagged a brace inside two minutes. The first after 49 minutes was another defensive mix up and his goal after 51 minutes effectively put the game to bed.
Verbeek added his second on 87 minutes firing home after a great run and cut in before Randy Wolters grabbed a consolation for the visitors a minute later. Emmen's misery was completed in stoppage time when John de Vries was sent off.
It was a very routine win for Den Bosch, but this was actually only their first home win of the season. Maybe that explains the reason for the stay away fans but they missed an enjoyable goal-fest.
The Emmen fans...all 21 of them.
Monday 31st October 2011 Eerste Divisie FC Den Bosch 5-1 FC Emmen Attendance: 3,788
Here is a link to the Jupiler league website where you can view the goals, how long this will remain I don't know...