Monday, August 06, 2007

BV Veendam – SC Cambuur Leeuwarden (18-03-2005)

Last Friday it finally happened: I visited De Langeleegte (literally: The long Emptiness), the almost mythical stadium of BV Veendam, a small Eerste Divisie (Second Division) team in the northeast corner of the Netherlands!

(An earlier attempt had failed when we arrived at the stadium after a 3 hour journey to find the game cancelled because of bad weather.)

Around 15.15 my mate M.T. picked me up at Schiphol – I returned from a trip to England and fortunately Easyjet didn’t have a delay this time – and we made our way to the other side of the country. Without a problem we passed Amsterdam and drove into the Flevopolder. The sky turned more and more grey and when we entered the province of Groningen it also started to rain a bit. In short, perfect weather for a game in De Langeleegte!

Just before 19.00 we arrived in Veendam and, after a not too subtle shoarma, we bought a ticket for the Promenade stand for 12 euro. To my surprise, De Langeleegte looked quite cozy; it reminded me of the old stadium of RBC or the new stadium of FC Zwolle. Since the modernization in 1998 the stadium holds 6.500 people. Probably because this was a northern derby against SC Cambuur it was quite busy, approximately half full, I would guess some 2.500 people, including a good 200 from Leeuwarden (ca. 100 km away).

The start of the game was stormy: after 6 minutes it was already 1-0. After that the level of play decreased rapidly and it became a poor kick-and-little-rust-game. The BV Veendam clearly couldn’t do much better, while SC Cambuur had some decent players. Although Cambuur was the less bad team, 1-0 was also the half time score. The whole second half was also for the visitors, who didn’t even play well. In the 70th minute they finally scored: 1-1 was also the final score.

Despite the poor quality of play, there was a nice and cozy provincial atmosphere in De Langeleegte. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that it was so busy and full of atmosphere. I had always hoped to visit one of these legendary game in front of 350 spectators and in the pouring rain, for which De Langeleegte was so famous in the 1980s.

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