Posted: 2/6/2009


     It was quite a trip last night at Philips Stadion in downtown Eindhoven, 500 metres from my hotel and the train station. Across from the stadion I went into De Aftrap- (The Kick-off) pub, a hang out for home fans. Lots of posters, pennants, local Bavaria Bier and a big sign 110% Anti-Ajax!!

      Its a beautiful facility, used during the 2000 European Championships and home of one of Europe's great clubs. Looking down from high up in the press box at the kick-off was colourful to say the least. The pitch was two shades of green from the lawn mowers to start with. Then the teams entered and ADO Den Haag from The Hague were wearing green and yellow stripes and host PSV were in red and white stripes. The match officials jerseys where wide light and royal blue thick stripes, and the ball was yellow and purple!!!

     PSV were formed in 1913 at a Philips sports party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dutch independence. They have won 21 Dutch league titles in their 95 year history and won the UEFA Cup in 1978 and European Cup in 1988. In fact I was at the final in Stuttgart that year when it took penalty kicks to defeat Benfica, Lisbon. Later in 1988 I was in the National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan when, after a 2-2 tie they lost on penalties to Club Nacional of Montevideo, Uruguay, in the Inter Continental Club Final.

     Past players include Guullit, Gerets, Koeman, Vandenburg, Lerby, Kieft. Ronaldo, Stam, Cocu, Van Nistelrooy, Robben, Bommel. Between 1986-92 they won 6 titles.  Great coaches included Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat, Erik Gerets., Ronald Koeman, Bobby Robson.  One of their secrets of success is their training fields and academy on the outskirts of town.

     It took 31 minutes before they scored the first goal by Hungarian Balazs Dzsudzsak and the a second right on half time from recent signing from Malmo FF, Ola Toivonen, with the long blonde hair. After half time it was one way traffic with four more goals, 2 from Dzsudzsak and two from Dutchman Nordin Ambraban, with Moroccan heritage. The win took them one place to 4th in the Eredivisie, just a week after head coach Huub Stevens resigned and acting coach Dwight Lodewege got his second win of the week.