Fortuna Sittard-Helmond Sport (
Less than ten days before the end of 2006, my mates A.H., J.B. and I met up at
Fortuna Sittard is not a well-known team in Dutch professional football today, but the club has a famous history. In 1968 two clubs from the area merged, Sittardia and Fortuna’54 (from Geleen). Fortuna was the first professional football club in the
We bought a ticket for Tribune C at 10 euro a piece and took a place at the center of the pitch. There were some 2.300 supporters scattered around the stadium, with an estimated 50-100 from
Around us where some people in the Christmas spirit, which they also really needed that evening.
As Ronse-Waregem the week before, Fortuna-Helmond was a game between the bottom two of the first division, i.e. the Dutch eerste divisie (or in good Dutch “Jupiler League”). The fact that A.H. and I watched the bottom two of the Dutch and Belgian league play within one week also enabled us to compare the two leagues a bit: the Dutch league turned out to be both better and (much) more professional. The Wagner and Partner Stadion, for example, would make many a Belgian Eerste Klasse team jealous. Also in terms of technique and pace the Dutch game was a lot better; in part helped by the fact that both teams had various ex-players from the youth programs of top teams (notably PSV).
While the game was entertaining at times, it was again a fan behind us that made the evening. This time it was a not a voice of irony and nuance, but thé most biased fan I have ever heard. And that, I can assure you, is not an easy job! This guy saw every attack of
Anyway, the game was entertaining, but not really good. Fortuna might have had the better squad,
The last minutes the Fortuna players vented their frustration by fouls and a phenomenal fight on the pitch; which also saw an impressive right hook from one of the
Directly after the game we made our way to the car for our drive back. Somehow, I feel I would have enjoyed De Baandert more. Still, it would be a shame to see a club like Fortuna Sittard disappear and I sincerely hope they will finally get their act together. At about 23.00 A.H. and J.B. dropped me off in