As you’ve guessed by the prevous posts, I was in Holland over the past week, doing an Amsterdam/Rotterdam double header.
When it comes to Rotterdam football, i’d already knew of the city’s two main clubs, Feyenoord and Sparta Rotterdam, but it was a pleasant surprise to discover that there is a third team in Rotterdam, and they also play in the top flight.
The fixture list was kind, as the game was taking place on the Saturday when I was in Rotterdam. Sparta Rotterdam were at home on the Sunday, but I was unable to make that game.
I booked a ticket online and did some web browsing before heading over, and I didn’t get a surprise when I arrived.
Excelsior are a very small club, punching way above their weight (think Wimbledon when they were in the Premier League) and kicked-off the game bottom of the league, but facing the team that were second bottom, VVV Venlo.
The stadium is very much like an all seater Stangmore Park, and that’s a compliment.
But the most Irish League aspect about the club is that they have their club shop in their social club.
I spent pre kick-off and half-time there purely to stay warm, it was “Wile caul” as they say in Coleraine.
The main stand behind the goal is known as the Robin Van Persie Stand, in tribute to the player who began is career at the club, before moving on to Feyenoord and then Arsenal.
Perhaps he should fly me over to all Excelsior home games as he had scored a hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers earlier that day.
That is where the clubs “Ultras” are based, and when the teams emerged, they waved flags and shot tickertape into the air.
Managed to get some OK views and shooting positions.
Excelsior deservedly won the match 3-1, a much needed win in their fight against relegation.