Dutch courage

Fans of second-string Dutch football will know that the end-of-season scrap that is known as the Nacompetitie – or as we would call it the end-of-season play-offs – is now in full swing. In short, the teams qualifying from the Eerste Divisie (second division) are joined by the 16th & 17th placed teams in the Eredivisie ( top division) to decide who gets to play amongst the big boys next season.

The qualifying rules are far from straightforward, however. I don’t propose to detail them here, but a check on Wikipedia (for all its faults) will illuminate the situation.

As a closet Excelsior fan I’m hoping that they will retain their place in the Eredivisie for another year. Of the teams fighting for the other place, any one of the clubs whose ground I haven’t yet been to will do for me!

In my last post on Dutch football – November 2009 – I was marveling at the curious names of some of the players. I’ve found another one. Top scorer for FC Zwolle is a gentleman who goes by the name of Sjoerd Ars. Ouch!

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