Thursday, 29 October 2009

EFW Oktoberfest 2009 - Day 2 Match 3

Sacken ze Boarden

Vitesse Arnhem 0-2 Heracles Almelo (24:10:09)

- click photos to enlarge image -

Twenty minutes after the full time whistle at Rot-Weiss Essen in Germany, we were back on board the EFW coach and heading towards Arnhem in the Netherlands. By now - half way through day 2 of Oktoberfest - pleasantries had been taken care of and now funnies and ritual mickey taking was the order of the day. Boys will be boys.

The beer situation on the coach was impeccably well handled by Danny (distribution manager) and Big Deaks (financial guru) and we had with us on board 29 other entertainment managers. All bar one of the lads had tucked into currywurst or similar at the Essen game. One chap however, who can't be named for legal reasons, tucked into some Sushi on the coach that his wife had lovingly prepared for him.

After an hour or so we pitched up at what looked liked Europe's biggest bingo hall. The Gelredome is home to Vitesse Arnhem FC, a retractable roof, convertible pitch (no really), its own climate control system (wit-wheel), pop concerts and moreover - a very acceptable pre-match drinking tavern. It came complete with dart boards, football memorabilia and a new Dutch currency 'MUNTS'. Munts = tokens and are used in and around the stadium instead of money. You do however have to use money to buy munts. We'll move on shall we?

The EFW team

The 1 Munt shop.

Actual Munts

Welcome to the Gala Bingo

The pitch (pitch!) slides out of the stadium to here.

I'll just pick up my match tickets from these two...

.....have a little walk on the pitch..

....then join the lads in the Vitesse pub. What's not to like!?

Inside the "Netherlands' largest Theatre" the concourses were a shrine to the many stars who'd graced the hallowed turf. Not footballers though. We had to endure thirty foot images of Bono and the boys, Madge, By Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Justin Trousersnake etc etc. Also present were little kiosks selling actual healthy food, thus making this the only stadium in Europe whereby you could fill up on your recommended five portions of fruit and veg.

Most of the lads on the trip supported teams in the nether regions of the football pyramid. Maybe as a result of this we weren't used to things being so shiny and clean. One onlooker (Big Deaks) thought he'd been corporately programmed on entrance to cheer at the correct moments during the match. With the roof ON (during the match) it all felt somehow wrong, manufactured even. I normally like to put a positive spin on things on these pages but it was too bright inside and I for one prefer my football to be outdoors.

Other comments I overheard during the match: "It's like watching football in your living room" (Pearchy), "It feels sterile" (Shep), "Who wants a beer?" (Greeno), "Can we buy sushi in here?" (don't even think about naming him - legal Ed), "Sacken ze Boarden" (Pearchy), "I should have been in the Backstreet Boys" (Hans), "Have you seen Euro Football Weekends on the big scoreboard?" (Nasher). Yes, Nash Dog had texted the stadium and got his text welcoming 'Euro Football Weekends' displayed at five minutes intervals on the huge electronic scoreboards at each end of the ground. Actually, it wasn't so bad!

Hello Euro Football Weekends!

Big Deaks plays FIFA 2009

Jumpers for goalposts.

During half time we exchanged the remaining 'munts' for beers and signed up Bono, The Edge and Madonna for the EFW Hall of Fame by planting logos on their head/nose/eyes. We then set Pearchy an EFW 'Mission Impossible' to land a logo on the beak of the Vito; the Vitesse Arnhem mascot. Needless to say he passed with flying colours.

Bono nose (sic) his stuff.

Eye eye Madge.

Vito waiting for his big moment.

When Vito met Pearchy.

You don't want me to drone on about the actual match do you? I'll just say that Vitesse Arnhem were toothless up front and very poor in general. Heracles Almelo played the perfect away tactics; soaking up what the home side didn't have to offer and popping a couple of goals in willy nilly when they fancied. 0-2. Well played and good luck to them.

Arty home end.

Non arty home end.

Roof on and away following in corner. Click to enlarge their support.

It was open mic night on the coach back to Tilburg after the game and the beers, songs and funnies were now in full flow. Shy and retiring* (game a day) John treated us to the scores around Europe in the style of James Alexander Gordon. Then, next up Young Philip Graystone made a tremendous speech before the star of the weekend stepped up to the plate and produced twenty minutes of comedy genius. Hans of Antwerp, nobody will forget that mate - GOLD, always believe in your soul! As we are a family programme, I can't repeat his act but I think there are videos knocking about on the EFW Facebook site and You Tube. Check it out.

Hans at the front of the coach performing comedy miracles.

King William, our driver who had performed exceptionally well during our day, received a very large tip from the assembled happy customers. In return he dropped us off back in the centre of Tilburg for another night of mirth and hilarity in the fine public houses on offer. Fair play to the Barnet lads for being the last to leave the pub at whatever unearthly hour that was.

My personal fear of travelling to football by coach had been largely eradicated. This was thanks in the main to the lads on board, none of whom I hope will forget this day in a hurry. It took a bit of organising but it was worth it. The only way the day could have gotten any better was if news had filtered through on the wires that EFW sponsored Sam Crabb had notched the winner for Lewes FC in their first win of the season. He had of course - there is a God. To be continued.......

For more photos from the day CLICK ME

For an excellent video from the trip CLICK ME

Also on this trip:

FC Den Bosch v Fortuna Sittard
Rot-Weiss Essen v Preußen Münster
Willem II v Heerenveen

Still want more? Then head to the European Football Weekends Facebook Group.

- feel free to comment below -


Anonymous said...

Danny - Many thanks from all the Forest Green Lads. Top trip, and some cracking memories to take away. Highlights;
1) Porno Hans - pure comedy
2)RWE - how football should be
3)Me getting run over by a dutch cyclist ! and him end up out cold

Anonymous said...

TattooedSean from Arizona. That stadium with the retractable roof and turf that moves in and out is one of 4 in the world. One is in Japan. You were at this one. FC Schalke 04 have one and the last is here in Phoenix Arizona where the American football club Arizona Cardinals play their games.