THE GROUNDHOP YEAR 2007
On this last day of the year, it is time to make a short overview of the year 2007 in terms of my groundhops. Let me start with the obvious: 2007 has been a great year for groundhopping. Despite the fact that I decided to have fewer longer and more tiring groundhops, i.e. groundhop-weekends of 2000+ km, I visited 37 games in 11 countries.
Royal Capellen FC, RCS Charleroi, KMSK Deinze KAS Eupen, Royal Francs Borains, KFC Verbroedering Geel, VW Hamme, RRC Hamoir, KV Kortrijk, Royal FC La Calamine, KV Mechelen, Royal White Star Woluwe
Brøndby IF, Frem, HIK
US Boulogne Côte d’Opale, ESTAC Troyes, Valenciennes FC
Rot-Weiss Ahlen, SV 07 Elversberg, VFL Borussia Mönchengladbach
FC Avenir Beggen, F91 Diddeleng, UN Käerjéng ’97
Northern Ireland (2)
Crusaders FC, Glentoran FC
KP Legia Warszawa
Bunkeflo IF, IFK Göteborg, IFK Malmö, Malmö FF, Trelleborgs FF
Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery
As I had already visited 5 of these teams and 10 of these countries before, this means 32 new teams and 1 new country/league (Northern Ireland), bringing the grand total at the end of 2007 at 288 teams in 36 countries.
The best groundhop of the year was without a doubt Frem-HIK, a game in the Danish 1. Division (Second Division). The weather was gorgeous, I was with my girlfriend, and the atmosphere was so relaxed. A dream! Moreover, Frem had some of the greatest fanwear I have seen anywhere.
The most impressive stadium was Arsenal’s new Emeralds Stadium. Although all these ultramodern new stadiums are not really my thing, if you are going to do it, do it like them! (Moreover, getting the right result for PSV made me enjoy it even more ;-).
The biggest disappointment was probably IFK Göteborg, a big name from the past which had been on my “to see” list for years. The stadium itself was empty of people and atmosphere.
The worst club was, without a shadow of a doubt, FC Omniworld, from Almere, the Netherlands. Truly everything about the club is wrong! The logo, the name, the outfit, the stadium…
Finally, the worst ticket goes out to Trelleborgs FF. Giving your football fan simply the ticket from the register is simply not done! What’s wrong with all these (Scandinavian) teams anyway, not giving out tickets on the day of the game?!
In short, 2007 was a great year for Grondhopper. I want to thank all my fellow-hoppers for their great company, particularly J.B. who has done most of these hops with me, and all the readers for, well, reading the reports. Do drop by again in 2008 and feel free to leave feedback! Next year I’m going for club 300 and it will be a special one!