‘Some people believe that football is matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude, it is much, much more important than that.’
Sunday, November 2, 2014
– business as usual. The slight decline was not entirely noticed
yet, but the Dutch clubs were clearly not the dangerous predators
they were in the first half of the 1970s. At home everything appeared
as it used to be – the three famous clubs dominated. Ajax seemingly
was able to rebuild, but the new squad was not all that strong. PSV
Eindhoven maintained their position with the same familiar team –
starting to age, but still strong. Feyenoord was starting their
rebuilding. Still, these three clubs were much stronger than the rest
and were relatively equal, despite their different situations.
Perhaps the best thing about Dutch football was the high scoring:
2.85 goals per game average in first division and 2.73 in the second.
That was the professional football, of course. Bellow it was the vast
separated amateur football – little was known about it outside
Holland and nobody really cared. So, a brief glimpse at it:
Quick – one of the many, often old
Quick – one of the many, often old, Dutch clubs, which did not
become professional clubs and slipped out from spotlight. Standing,
from left: G. Visser, A. v/d Tuin, H. Oosterveld, J. van Winsum, D.
Osinga, A. Oosterveld, A. Hulzenbos.
R. Jellinek, R. Boerman, T. van Dorst, Fr. Vogt, G. Janssen.
likely not really amateur, but separated from the fully professional
clubs in the second professional division – most of them small and
modest. Like SC Cambuur (Leeuwarden).
from left: Nol de Ruiter - coach, Andries Roorda, Rudy Metz, Gerrie
de Jonge, Klaus Roosenburg, Johan Groote, Andre Roosenburg, Gerrie
Schouwenaar First row: Jan Ferwerda, Ronald Lepez, Wim Goozen,
Wiepie van Leijen, Eltje Hazelhof, Gojko Kuzmanovic, Herman Vreeburg.
club was formed in 1964 and there was nothing more to add to it in
1979: they finished 15th.
Leo Beenhakker coached them in 1972-75 – back then the name meant
absolutely nothing. They also had a foreign player – obscure
Yugoslavian named Gojko Kuzmanovic, who apparently settled well and
spent years with the club.
clubs had glorious past, but no presence – FC Amsterdam were 9th.
to believe that they were champions of Holland once upon a time.
Well, not FC Amsterdam, which was found in 1972 after a merger of DWS
and Blauw Wit, but still the merger brought the history of original
clubs as well. History was all FC Amsterdam had. Heinz Stuy, the
goalkeeper of the great Ajax, played his last two years of
professional football for them, but he quit in 1978 – another bit
what really can be said about the second division was the battle for
promotion. The champions were directly promoted. The season was
divided into four parts and the 'winners' of each competed in a final
round-robin tournament for the second promotional spot. Four clubs
fought for the highest place this season – FC Groningen came
closest with 50 points. They were bested by Excelsior (Rotterdam) by
were old – founded in 1902 – but insignificant. They were and are
the smallest club in Rotterdam, but have historic significance: back
in the 1950s they were the leading club pushing for
professionalization. Ironically, getting what they wanted helped them
not – they played mostly in the second division and their greatest
success until 1978 was winning the second division in 1973-74.
1978-79 was their second most successful year – they won second
division for a second time.
FC Groningen was joined by Willem II (3rd),
Fortuna Sittard (4th), and Telstar (10th)
for one more try. Small clubs, but all four had stronger years in the
past. The mini-league was competitive, except Telstar – they won
only one match: 3-0 against Willem II.
(Velsen) – obviously, the club named after a commercial satellite
had not a team for first division. Standing, from left: Piet van
Deudekom – verzovger, Hans Glas – physio, Jan Nederburgh, Hans
Muls, Frans van Essen, Colin Ayre, Rob van der Meer, Coen Akersloot,
Paul Stam, Rogier Krone, Martin van Vianen – coach.
Fred Bischot, Joop van Toor, Koos Kuut, Harry Hegeman, Ab van
Oorschot, Koert de Groote, Chris Knoop.
young English winger Ayre did not help Telstar – as he did not any
other club he was part of. At the end, two clubs finished with 8
points each and goal-difference decided the lucky winner. Fortuna had
7:4, Willem II – 9:5. Plus 4 vs plus 3 – a single goal won the
day. The tournament was marked by 'exotic' incident: FC Groningen was
leading 2-0 against Telstar, when a knife was thrown on pitch and the
match was abandoned. It was finished later – 3-0 for Groningen, but
they were not to go to first division. Willem II won, despite their
loss from Telstar.
Willem II (Tilburg) clinching a promotion was important success. They
were ancient – founded in 1896 – and had glorious past: three
times Dutch champions (1916, 1952, 1955). Good times apparently ended
with the introduction of professional football... since 1955 their
record mercifully can be called patchy. Relegated from first division
in 1967, they just stayed down... after 12 years they were going
finally up to top flight. Kind of ironic to be named after a king
with military inclinations...
I am Vesselin Vesselinov, born in Bulgaria and living in Canada. Football is my hobby since childhood – not the most important part of my life, but lifelong addiction nevertheless. Playing, watching, talking and collecting football. Now I am sharing my addiction with you. Hope you enjoy it.