Archive for the 'Eredivisie' Category

Feb 18 2011

Podcast Debut – FC Den Haag

Published by under Eredivisie

Excuse another promotional post here, but readers who are not such frequent users of social media may be interested to know I made my podcast debut last week.  I’d consumed a few beers after ADO Den Haag beat PSV Eindhoven and then proceeded to challenge the many football podcasts out there to give some much deserved coverage to the team from my current town of residence, The Hague.

I felt ADO deserved a mention not only because of that result, but also because of their performances so far this season which see them currently sitting in 5th place in the Eredivisie.

One podcast responded; Gib Football Show is always worth a listen and I was delighted when Mr Gibney himself contacted me to ask if I wanted to appear on the show to talk about ADO.  [FC Den Haag if you prefer ;-) ]  After my rant the previous weekend, I could hardly refuse, and this is the result – my interview starts 13 minutes in:

Also available for download on Itunes.

Andrew Gibney is a top bloke, as you can see – giving coverage to teams like ADO, and air-time to normal fans like myself. You can follow him on Twitter here and check out his website here.

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Nov 10 2010

Feyenoord Uit – what is the fuss all about?

Published by under Eredivisie

ADO fans are in the headlines again tonight as they in conjunction with the club, have decided to boycott the away match against Feyenoord.  The boycott is a result of the decision of the Mayor of Rotterdam to reduce the contingent of away tickets to 650 which has led to a 30% price increase on last season.

You can read more about the story on the Eredivisielife blog (which does a great job on keeping us updated on issues in the Dutch game ).

For my part, I am devastated about this.  For those wondering what all the fuss is about, last season ADO equalised in the last minute of injury time.  This video clip gives an idea of the scenes that followed:

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Nov 08 2010

ADO fans force motorway closure

Published by under Eredivisie

Yesterday afternoon in Den Haag there were unbelievable scenes as hundreds of ADO Den Haag fans turned up at the stadium to welcome the players home from their trip to Ajax.  No away supporters are allowed to travel to this fixture, so ADO fans were left watching at home, in their local pub or in the supporters club at the stadium.  Pre-match odds of 15.00 on an ADO victory were extremely generous and bookmakers may well be regretting that decision after this result. We didn’t exactly see an ADO victory coming, but it is not completely surprising given the recent form of both sides.   I think odds of 15 on a team like Willem II would be fair, but ADO are a team to be reckoned with this season, a statement backed up by their current 7th place in the league with a haul of 21 points in from 13 games. 

 The 1-0 victory to the green + yellows was the first away against Ajax since 1986 and led to celebrations more reminiscent of winning the Dutch Championship.  A potentially dangerous situation with fans on the motorway was very well handled by the police who closed the A4 for around an hour as ADO supporters carrying huge flags mobbed the bus on it’s arrival back in town.   Others (myself included) watched from the motorway bridge and several hundred supporters took over 1 hour to escort the bus the 1km back to the stadium.  This must have caused huge disruption on one of Holland’s busiest motorways, but little did we care!  Apparently Ajax coach Martin Jol was also delayed on his way back to The Hague after the match – happy days! 

In the meantime, hundreds more supporters had arrived outside the stadium and coach John van den Brom and the players were literally mobbed when getting off the bus.  Each player was led into the supporters club and the atmosphere inside was absolutely manic. Players took turns to stand on the bar to lead the singing and you were left wondering what ADO could possibly achieve with such a bond between players and fans.  The club is working hard to improve it’s image but there is still a real passion amongst the fans.  The song ” Wij gaan Europa in” is gaining credibility with each positive result and what a dream it would be for Den Haag to return to European football after years in the wilderness. 

On a Slovak note, Frantisek Kubik, still on loan from Trencin remains a key feature of the ADO starting line-up.  He seems to alternate attacking flanks with yesterday’s hero Wesley Verheok, and although his form in the last couple of matches has dropped, van den Brom is using him as a key part of his tactics and he does pose a constant threat to defenses.  If only he didn’t give the ball away so often!  The passing move leading to Verhoek’s goal was started on the right by Kubik, masterminded by Ricky van den Bergh and beautifully finished by Verhoek.  Kubik has a long way to develop but as long as he keeps offering me beer in the clubhouse he’ll remain a firm Britski Belasi favourite!

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Oct 17 2010

ADO Den Haag 2-1 Excelsior

Published by under Eredivisie

Dmitry Bulykin sent the ADO Den Haag fans into raptures with an 89th minute winner against an Excelsior side who proved very tough to break down, even when reduced to 9 men.  ADO really should have done better in terms of goalscoring but this vital win moves them into 6th place in the Eredivisie, heady heights for a team who aren’t fancied much in Holland.

The teams emerged to dramatic scenes at an officially sold out ADO stadium.  When things are going well ADO is a fantastic place to watch football!  For the first time in my experience of football in Holland we could even drink a beer at this match! Political moves from the controversial Geert Wilders now mean football fans can enjoy a beer while watching the ‘non-risk’ games.

Shock news: ADO fans enjoy beers!!

Excelsior brought a decent (by Eredivise standards) away following with them from down the road in Rotterdam and they were the ones celebrating a surprise 0-1 lead at half time after an unnecessary penalty was conceded by ADO.  On this showing, Excelsior ought to have enough to stay up this season which is surely their objective, as it was for ADO just a few weeks ago.  How things have changed!

Excelsior fans, complete with Germany flag!

ADO’s Slovak winger Frantisek Kubik levelled things shortly after the break with a fine finish to a good move started by Ricky van den Bergh but ADO took all of the half an hour that remained to finally secure the winner.  Kubik & Bulykin keep themselves moving in the goalscoring fronts and it doesn’t matter how you get the points, this was a vital win for ADO, one worth celebrating! (the place went mental!)

You can see the highlights here.

ADO smokey!

This is a Slovak blog: Kubik getting attention!

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Sep 29 2010

One to Watch: Frantisek Kubik

Published by under Eredivisie

ADO Den Haag have got off to their best start to a season for 31 years.  This season’s ‘new-look’ ADO have been a revelation, not only to their own fans but also to the wider Dutch football audience, playing an exciting brand of attacking football.  A key addition to the squad this season has been the little-known 21-year-old Frantisek Kubik, brought in from Slovak 2nd Division side AS Trenčín.

So when I realised that the club I support in Holland had brought in a new Slovak player, I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to drop ADO a line and see if we could meet Frantisek.  I was thrilled with the response.  Our well-phrased Slovak email found it’s way into Frantisek’s hands and we were told that he’d be more than happy to meet us and have a chat in his own language.

So that’s what we did; went down to Zuiderpark in Den Haag, ADO’s training ground and former stadium, and were given plenty of time to get to know ADO’s new-boy from Slovakia:

BB: This is your first season as a pro, how are you enjoying it and how does it compare with last season playing for Trenčín?

FK:  Football here is not at all comparable to the game in Slovakia, everything is on such a different level here, I don’t even know where to start, it’s such a different world.

How did the move to ADO come about, how did they find you?

I moved from Prievidza to Trencin because the club in Prievidza fell apart, so I got an offer to play in Trenčín.  I was there for a year and a half and we went to a tournament in Holland as the owner of AS Trenčín is Dutch.  He said to us “let’s go there and you might get seen, besides it’s an opportunity to compare Slovak and Dutch football.”  We ended up winning the tournament and the Dutch scouts started to be interested in us.  Just when we played the final, John van den Brom [now ADO's head coach] was there.  He expressed his interest in the Trenčín lads, especially myself.  So after that he was observing me for 2-3 months, visiting matches in Trenčín.  At the end of the season he invited me to Holland for a trial.  I was there for a week, then he extended it for another week and told me “go home for a few days, sort everything out, then come back to play for us here”

Did you have any contact with Cszaba Horvath to discuss your move here?

I was in touch with him only over the phone, as were just missed each other here in Den Haag.  He was leaving [to Poland] and I was arriving.  He assured me on the phone that I made a good decision and that it is really great here at ADO.

Do you have any contact with Miroslav Stoch?

Not much, we played together for the Slovak U20 team but since then we have lost touch.

Horvath & Stoch represented Slovakia in the Eredivise last year.  To our knowledge you’re the only Slovak player here this year, can you confirm that?

There was one more, called Andrej Rendla at FC Twente, but I think he went somewhere on loan.

[We researched this, Rendla is apparently on loan at Heracles Almelo this season, thanks Frantisek!]

Trenčín have started the season exceptionally well, especially David Depetris is making a real impression [13 goals in 10 games for the Argentinian striker]

Haha, well I have left Trenčín, so now they are doing well! [laughing]  Depetris was also in Holland, I think in Almere City, FC Omniworld was the name?

[We also researched this, it does seem as though Depetris went on loan to Omniworld - now Almere City - but is now back at Trencin]

Do you miss Trenčín?  Do you still have contact with the players over there?

Well I come from Prievidza and I was in Trenčín for over a year, I did get used to it there, so of course I miss it.  Well, now it’s better because my friends are coming to visit.  Last week one friend came to visit and also saw the match.  Next week another friend is coming, so they are slowly making the effort to come over to see me.

Youth coaching in Slovakia must be quite strong because a lot of young Slovaks are performing very well around European football at the moment, also for the National team.  How was your development as a young player in Slovakia?

I always had a dream to play abroad, I have tried my best to achieve this, with the full support of my parents.  In the youth team I already had some offers to go abroad, but I was just not ready.  So I was working hard on myself and I feel that the results are starting to show, harvesting the fruit of my hard work.

How is the team spirit at ADO?  How do you communicate with the other players?

The atmosphere here is great, especially after the good start to the season.  We are in a kind of ‘euphoria’ right now, and it also helps that we had an almost full stadium in the last match [3-2 against Heracles].  When we do well, people also dare to come, and that means a lot to us as players.

I watched most of the Slovakia World Cup matches in the hotel.  Then for the Holland v Slovakia match Pascal Bosschaart invited me and a few of the other players to watch the match.  That was a lot of fun, there is a good spirit in the team!

What do you think of the ADO fans?  How do they compare to Slovak football fans?

Oh the fans here are really passionate and enthusiastic. Compared to Slovak fans, what can I say?  Slovaks just come to swear at you and here the people really live for football.  Whole families come to the stadium in their ADO shirts to support us, it is really alive here.

How are you enjoying life in Den Haag?

When I was on trial here, I stayed in a hotel by the beach [in Scheveningen].  That was really great!  Now I have an apartment by a shopping centre, so I am close the stadium and training ground.  I am slowly starting to feel at home here.

When I first arrived I didn’t know anybody here.  Since then, I have met a few Slovaks, people have contacted me via facebook, people who study here, or via the club – translators etc..

Do you think ADO can maintain their current position [6th in Eredivisie] ?

Why not?  If we are there now, anything is possible [smiling].

What are your personal targets?  Would you like to stay at ADO or can you imagine returning to play football in Slovakia?

At the moment I am here on loan for 1 year. I still have a year on my contract at Trenčín, so normally I have to go back.  But for sure I would love to stay in Den Haag and they said they would like to keep me here as long as possible .. apparently other clubs are already interested ..

Have you been involved with the Repre [National team] in Slovakia?

I played for the U19 and U20 team.  To be involved in the European Championships?  That is my dream …

Do you know any young players we should look out for coming out of Slovakia?

The coach went to see some matches in Trenčín and he does like 2 or 3 other players, so there is a potential there.

Do you like Bitterballen?

Haha bitterballen is like our fried pate [not really on the menu for a professional footballer].  The food here took some getting used to, it is nice, but perhaps not every day.  I like Italian and Greek cuisine, and I noticed they don’t eat many soups here like we do at home.

What is the daily routine for an ADO player?

Training morning and afternoon, resting as much as possible in my free-time.  The club probably think I mostly sit at home, but I do manage to socialise a lot as well ..

Britski Belasi, also a Trencin fan!

Frantisek has had a great start to the season, scoring 4 goals from the left-side of ADO’s attack.

We here at Britski Belasi sincerely hope both he and the team continue their fine form and would like to thank Frantisek and also Nathalie Nuiten at ADO Den Haag for making this interview happen.

I would also like to thank my wonderful girlfriend Andrea Zatoriova for her invaluable translation skills.  You can find out more about Andrea’s VA business here.

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