Frans for the memories


It must have been a good day yesterday at the Spakenburg as I woke up with my feet in the mini bar and a Ijsselmeervogels temporary tattoo on my arm.  How did I get here?  It is all a bit of a blur but I do remember a man with a goat at some point and a taxi driver called Willem who claimed he was once an extra in Coronation Street, buying a bag of bomboms from Mavis Riley no less. I remember a school disco, a bloke dressed as a pope, Stoffers walking around with 25 beer glasses on his head and finally Smullers spicy crockets.  Danny Last helps me remember some of the events in his report here but I still cannot fill in the blanks.  I remembered I was in Utrecht, Holland’s 4th largest city and home to the Museum of Automatically Playing Musical Instruments.  And why were we here? – for another game of course. Continue reading

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PSV and Ajax on a flying visit


Our regular roving reporter Paul Whitaker has been on his travels again.  This time a bit closer to home as he pops over the North Sea for a visit to Eindhoven and Amsterdam…Over to Paul for the rest.  More details can be found at our sister site here.

PHOTO1Due to those oh so lovely television fixtures, matches in the Dutch Eredivisie are split this season over Friday/Saturday/Sunday. So it is possible to watch PSV and Ajax or Feyenoord matches over a long weekend if you so desire. For example on this particular weekend we had PSV v Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday evenong, Ajax v Feyenoord on Sunday lunchtime.  

I chose Amsterdam as base mainly as I know folk living there. Without upsetting Eindhoven Tourist Board, there appears frankly not much to tempt me to Eindhoven any earlier than arriving for match itself . Day return from Amsterdam central to Eindhoven is 32 euros. Trains take 1hr 20 mins approximately and departs hourly.

Still the case that at PSV as with Ajax and Feyenoord, locals can only watch matches with ID cards. Unless you borrow someone’s ID card to get voucher/ticket, you can take advantage of a scheme operated by the clubs where tourists can purchase tickets. PSV operate a Gold and Silver Package for tourists. Being from Yorkshire I opted for cheaper Silver Package. For this you pay 50 Euro and you get:

PHOTO2A 21 Euro for ticket in West Tribune. Better for atmosphere. Not so good if you want to see the choreography they undertook before match.
A 20 Euro voucher for fanshop if you want to surprise the Missus with a PSV duvet/lampshade,
And 10 Euro for food/munchie vouchers

Prices rise to 70 Euro for matches against Ajax , Feyenoord and AZ. Possible to pay euros on day of the match, but expect to pay an extra 15 Euro for privilige. Packages can be paid and collected on day of the match at our ticket office, entrance 27 of the stadium. Ticket office open 2.5 hours before kick off until 15 minutes after kick off. Bring a copy of email and ID. For more details contact http://www.psv.nl/Ticketing.htm

 Amsterdam Arena Tour/ Ajax Museum
If you are bored of visiting the Sex/Hemp/Torture/Anne Frank museums on the Amsterdam tourist trail, may I suggest a visit to the Amsterdam Arena, home of Ajax.  As ever check the
Ajax website but normally vary between 5-7 tours daily.  Adults 10.50 Euro, kids 9.50 Euro. Lasting an hour, the enthusiastic guide will show you the: 

PHOTO3– The poor quality pitch and efforts made to maintain it under roof;
– Press room with a fantastic photograph of Ajax players in classic 60s pose;

Two tips to improve the tour. First, let the punters into the dressing room and allow them to walk onto the pitch. Secondly, why can’t the guide do the pitch visit/talk at the ‘home end’, with its opportunities to photograph the artistic graffiti of the F – Side fans. A talk at this point about supporters input into Ajax club would enhance the tour.

Tour ends with free entry to Ajax museum. As well as an impressive collection of European Cups, the museum was memorable for the great artifacts and momentos on display. Highlights for me included a photograph of a teenage Marco Van Basten, It was reasuring to see that if I did share Van Basten’s prodigous footballing talent, at least we both had bad skin and 80s casual haircut

 Paul Whitaker
Maracana Manor