My first continental trip of the season began in the delightful city of Deventer. Situated in the Overijssel provence on the banks of the river of the same name, Deventer is a one and a half hour train ride from Amsterdam Schiphol airport although I had earlier set up base in the town of Hengelo, a further 30 minutes eastwards and close to the German border. A couple of beers in a cafe on the Grote Overstraat, bathed in late afternoon summer sunshine, proved to be a pleasant way to pass a few hours before walking the 20 minutes northwards to the De Adelaarshorst Stadion, home of first division (Jupiler League) Go Ahead Eagles.
De Adelaarshorst is a fascinating old venue and world away from the new Dutch stadiums which are rising up all over the country. In many ways it's a very English ground and reminiscent of Boston United's York Street. However work is afoot on new club buildings behind the main stand and complete modernisation of the stadium is imminent. Surrounding the stadium is an old turreted brick wall with dilapidated ticket booths at regular intervals (now unused) and looming up over the relatively low stands are four huge English style floodlight pylons which can be seen for miles.
Go Ahead had won their opening fixture and coupled with the fact that this was their first home game of the season, the crowd numbered a healthy at 3,850 – nearly twice last season's average. The excitement as the flag wavers took up their positions and the teams came out onto the pitch was tangible. And a very colourful setting it was too with the Fortuna fans resplendent in their green shirts and Go Ahead in their traditional yellow and red. The visitors from south-eastern Holland shocked their hosts early on with a goal from the towering Taiwo but parity was restored early on in the second half when the impressive forward pairing of Ars (pronounced Arse, ho ho) and Ax combined for Ars to score his first of two goals. Go Ahead ran out easy 3-1 winners to continue their impressive start to the season.
Admission was 16.50 euros whilst a decent programme sold for one euro.
FGIF Rating: 4*