2012 IN PICTURES – FEBRUARY

Busy month this. February usually is, as I go away somewhere to forget the trauma that is my impending birthday.

Went to Amsterdam for a weekend, and also went to Rotterdam for a day. Both nice cities.

Went to football matches in both cities, both were enjoyable, but I enjoyed seeing Excelsior Rotterdam the most. Managed to get some brilliant photos of the ground and match when I was there.

Excelsior’s ground, Woudestein, has a stand named after Robin Van Persie. The club’s bar also has various pictures of him from throughout his career. In case you’re wondering, he began his career there.

Little did I know then, that six months later, he would be a Manchester United player.

It was snowing as well whenever I was there, which made for great photo opportunities.

That wasn’t the only travelling done that month, as I went to Old Trafford for the UEFA Cup tie between Manchester United and Ajax, and even managed to fit in trips to Portadown and North Belfast to watch Linfield.

This year, February had an extra day, and I made the most of it by going to see Northern Ireland v Norway.

It wasn’t all about football, as I went to see Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey.

A very photo-filled month. Enjoy

Amsterdam/Rotterdam Street Art

Amsterdam/Rotterdam Street Art Photos Album

Amsterdam Snow

Amsterdam Snow Photo Album

Rotterdam Snow

Rotterdam Snow Photo Album

The Tub

The Tub Photo Album

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo Photo Album

Ajax Amsterdam v FC Utrecht

Ajax Amsterdam v FC Utrecht Photo Album

Great Victoria Street Graffiti

Noel Gallagher Live At The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Holylands Graffiti

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Norway

Northern Ireland v Norway Photo Album

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : FEBRUARY

Busy month this month, with an international theme. To give you an idea, I saw Ajax play as many times as I saw Linfield play.

The first weekend of the month saw me visit Amsterdam for a weekend. While I was there, Ajax were at home, so I booked tickets to see them play.

That match was on the Sunday, so on the Saturday, I went to Rotterdam for the day.

Local side Excelsior were at home, so I went to see them play VVV Venlo in an Eredivise game.

Absolutely loved it. It was a small ground, but the atmosphere was fantastic and I got some nice photos. Excelsior won the game 3-1.

While in Rotterdam, I managed to get some exterior photos of De Kuip, home of Feyenoord.

The following day, I saw Ajax take on Utrecht in the Amsterdam Arena. Fantastic stadium. The game wasn’t as good as the game in Rotterdam, but still enjoyable. Except maybe, if you support Ajax, as the hosts lost 2-0.

My next trip, was to Portadown to see Linfield get a 1-1 draw.

From there, it was on to Old Trafford to see United take on Ajax. On my 42nd visit to Old Trafford, i’d seen United lose (I’d peviously seen defeats at Ewood Park and Windsor Park) for the first time, and it wasn’t nice. Managed to get some not bad photos.

Just 41 hours after leaving Old Trafford, I was heading to Solitude to see Linfield get a 3-1 win over Cliftonville. Usual arrangements at Solitude. Not the best for getting photos, so I had to make do with what I had.

On the last day of the month, a bonus extra day with it being a leap year, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Norway.

A busy month indeed. Enjoy.

De Kuip

De Kuip Photo Album

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo Photo Album

Ajax Amsterdam v Utrecht

Ajax Amsterdam v Utrecht Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Norway

Northern Ireland v Norway Photo Album

EXCELSIOR ROTTERDAM 3-1 VVV VENLO 4.2.2012

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.

Photo Album

 

THE TUB

Or “De Kuip” as it’s known in Dutch, the home of Feyenoord.

Was doing an Amsterdam/Rotterdam double header so popped along to see it.

To give an idea of the stadium’s standing, it has hosted both the European Cup and European Championship Final.

Was easy to get to from the city centre, but it was locked to the public before you get to the turnstiles, so I had to make do with some long range shots.

Visited the club shop and got a cheap Feyenoord away top. Would have loved to have seen a game but the fixture list transpired against me, although I have already seen Feyenoord in action (1999 – a friendly at Windsor Park against Liverpool) and can mark them off my 100 Club list (1970 European Cup winners and UEFA Cup winners in 1974 and 2002)

Anyway, enjoy some photos.

Photo Album