European groundhopping thread

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eujin
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:46 pm

Did you ever get your trip to Denmark Mipo, or does it have to wait until the book comes out?

I'm off to Amsterdam in a few weeks, looking for a decent place to go and watch some football. I know there's at least one regular commenter on here who knows a bit about the Dutch football scene. I'm looking for a nice cosy place, not too big, new and impersonal, with reasonably priced tickets. Somewhere with some real character, preferably not too far from Amsterdam, doesn't have to be top league. I went to Volendam last year and it was a real beauty, so something like that. I see the old Ajax ground has been turned into a housing estate. I used to go past it on the bus when I was a kid but never got to a match there, and it doesn't sound like there are many matches in the Olympic Stadium anymore. Anyone got any ideas?

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Piggy » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:18 pm

Does anyone know much about Icelandic football?

I'm going for a week at the back end of May and there seems to be plenty of games on across a few divisions. I'll probably take in a game involving David James' team, although it's a shame that they are playing away whilst I'm there as their home ground looks very picturesque. If anyone has any suggestions as to interesting stadiums I'd be grateful.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Rothesay Saint » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:38 pm

Piggy wrote:Does anyone know much about Icelandic football?

I'm going for a week at the back end of May and there seems to be plenty of games on across a few divisions. I'll probably take in a game involving David James' team, although it's a shame that they are playing away whilst I'm there as their home ground looks very picturesque. If anyone has any suggestions as to interesting stadiums I'd be grateful.


I went to Iceland last summer and saw Þróttur Reykjavík play in the cup. Good crowd and atmosphere, but they were a second tier team winning a quarter final tie in the cup so no wonder they were all enjoying themselves so much. They play at the auxillary pitch of the national stadium and its certainly easy to get to if you are staying in the capital.

Not sure where their stadium, is but I reckon Snæfell is the team to see in Iceland. Last year they lost 31-0 in the first round of the cup and apparently all the fishermen in the village try to make sure they are out at sea on Saturdays so the manager doesn't drag them out their houses to play in the team. Bring your boots and you'll probably get a start up front. :)
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby sjc_three » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:40 pm

eujin wrote:Did you ever get your trip to Denmark Mipo, or does it have to wait until the book comes out?

I'm off to Amsterdam in a few weeks, looking for a decent place to go and watch some football. I know there's at least one regular commenter on here who knows a bit about the Dutch football scene. I'm looking for a nice cosy place, not too big, new and impersonal, with reasonably priced tickets. Somewhere with some real character, preferably not too far from Amsterdam, doesn't have to be top league. I went to Volendam last year and it was a real beauty, so something like that. I see the old Ajax ground has been turned into a housing estate. I used to go past it on the bus when I was a kid but never got to a match there, and it doesn't sound like there are many matches in the Olympic Stadium anymore. Anyone got any ideas?

Apologies. Only just seen this post. It's not lower division, but have you been to Utrecht before? Easy train ride from Amsterdam and a cracking little city, very pretty with canals, etc and with a small stadium and passionate support base. The only issue with Dutch 1st division games is that you (always used to) need a club card (basically one of Thatcher's ID cards) to buy tickets (and as far as I know you still do). If you do decide to go, let me know and I have friends there who could hook you up.

Sparta Rotterdam would be a nice 2nd choice. 2nd div at the moment, vying for promotion. Again, small little stadium - used to be a friendly family style club, but lord knows how many fans are turning up in the 2nd div.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:35 pm

Thanks for the tip. I have been to Utrecht years ago and up the tower (I've also been up the life sized copy in Japan). I've not been to the football there though. They're away the weekend I'm there, in Zwolle, but I was thinking that might be an option. Eerste Divisie/First division football's a bit of a nightmare as most of the matches are on Friday nights which makes them harder to get to. I don't know how long they've been doing that for, seems a bit mad to me. Sparta's ground looks nice though.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby sjc_three » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:45 am

Appreciate you probably want something a bit more obscure, but if you haven't been to De Kuip before, Feyenoord are at home if you want to catch their season fizzling out - could also help with a ticket for that. Other than that, Den Haag is an interesting one in terms of atmosphere. Have a friend in the Hague again who must know someone who could help on the clubcard front. Would agree though, it's not a great weekend in terms of fixtures. Groningen is another good one (although further to travel), but they're away. Tilburg's nice too, but Willem II are away also. If you could make the Friday night, then Sparta are actually in something of a derby against Excelsior, which would be a good one to be at - but appreciate could be tricky in terms of work. If you do decide on Zwolle, then let me know. I will almost certainly know Utrecht fans that will be going to it who may well be able to help with a ticket. Unless things have changed considerably, which I doubt, any game involving Utrecht would require clubcards again.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:56 am

Both Den Haag and Zwolle are requiring ClubCards for that weekend. Feyenoord curiously not, but I don't think that's what I want. The Saturday Topklasse has an odd off-weekend that weekend, which would've worked well for me as we'll probably end up staying in Leiden now and there are quite a few clubs round there. Both the Sunday Topklasse Amsterdam teams are playing at home though, one of them in the "Good Enough Sportpark" so you can't really ask for more than that, can you?

It's funny the split between Saturday and Sunday football at the amateur level. It was a bit like that in New Zealand. The Saturday leagues were completely separate from the Sunday leagues, even had different cup competitions. There's quite a few Dutch people in Christchurch too, I wonder if there's a link.

I also like how promotion from the Topklasse (tier 3) is officially optional and has already been politely declined by a couple of clubs. That's another thing to add to the "Korean football ahead of the world" list.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby sjc_three » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:18 am

Sounds like you've got it all covered. Didn't even think about the amateur stuff. Good call. Only ever did a couple, but had a great time with both. Not too dissimilar to equivalent set ups in England, I suppose. Leiden's lovely too. Have a good trip.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Piggy » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:17 am

I went to Iceland last summer and saw Þróttur Reykjavík play in the cup. Good crowd and atmosphere, but they were a second tier team winning a quarter final tie in the cup so no wonder they were all enjoying themselves so much. They play at the auxillary pitch of the national stadium and its certainly easy to get to if you are staying in the capital.

Not sure where their stadium, is but I reckon Snæfell is the team to see in Iceland. Last year they lost 31-0 in the first round of the cup and apparently all the fishermen in the village try to make sure they are out at sea on Saturdays so the manager doesn't drag them out their houses to play in the team. Bring your boots and you'll probably get a start up front.


I'd love a 31-0 game. At the moment I'm looking at a Reykjavik derby at Fjolnir, a trip out to the Blue Lagoon for a bath and a match at Grindavik, followed by a drive up to Grundarfjordur for a game at a ground that looks just like the picturesque background I'd been hoping for.

David James' teams game clashes with one of the Withered Hand gigs that provided the initial reason for the trip, so unfortunately so I'll not get to see him.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby sjc_three » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:09 pm

Piggy, this article about a new phone ap in Iceland should provide you with a good conversation starter when you're making friends with the natives.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Piggy » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:12 pm

A very handy ap. I think there would be a market for something like that in Sunderland too.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:14 am

I might be in Glasgow at the end of August and was thinking about a match around the weekend of the 27th. Near to Glasgow would be better but I figure pretty much everywhere in Scotland is doable on a day trip. Somewhere old school with proper floodlight pylons, a range of architectural styles from various decades and meat pies and deep fried cups of tea would be belting.

I've got my eye on Ayr vs St Mirren (yes, I know) or Arbroath vs Stirling. Any ideas?

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Holyjoe » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:23 am

Arbroath would get my vote from those two, that's comfortably in my top five Scottish league grounds as it's such a perfect venue for a lower league club. Albion Rovers are also playing at home on the 27th so they're a possibility, based in Coatbridge just outside Glasgow, although your stipulation for "a range of architectural styles from various decades" might rule that out as it was a shithole when it was built decades ago and has hardly been touched since. Might have had a bit of a paintjob in recent years right enough.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby SteveW » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:52 am

Albion Rovers is an experience indeed. Join the kids and sneak in the broken fence at one end.

Not done Ayr yet. I have it in my head that Somerset Park is doomed. Is that right? I remember they were moving and then didn't but still want to .
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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Rothesay Saint » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:28 pm

I can't see where the choice is, you get to see the greatest football team in the world, you've got to take it.

If however, for some unknown reason you don't go and watch the Saints, another choice could be Queens Park who are at home that weekend, you could go down early visit the excellent Scottish football museum, before watching the game.
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