‘Who knows, this may never happen again’

‘Who knows, this may never happen again’

NOS Soccer

  • Aaron Golub

    Follows PSV on behalf of NOS Sport

  • Aaron Golub

    Follows PSV on behalf of NOS Sport

It doesn’t take long to notice upon entering Spakenburg: this is the day all the people from the fishing village have been waiting for.

Along the road an electronic sign flashes with the text: ‘Spakenburg, good luck!’ Everything is noticeable: an important, historic match is going to be played here.

Party beforehand at Spakenburg-PSV

Sporthal De Stormvogel has been transformed into a party venue. On the stands there is a blue flag ready at every spot. And Spakenburg coach Chris de Graaf can still walk into the building with his players in peace at that moment. A real calm before the storm.

Spakenburg colors blue

For a little later in the day, a line carefully develops in front of the Drenthe French fry stall. Blue and white scarves are being sold at a rapid pace to fans who are beginning to trickle in.

De Graaf’s face can be seen in just about every capacity along the field. From the mega banner on the long side to the flags hanging from the DJ tractor. The success coach is everywhere.

A tractor with party music set the mood at Spakenburg-PSV

Every corner is swarming with people, the stands are packed. It soon becomes clear that Sportpark De Westmaat was not built for such a large crowd.

Fifteen minutes before the match, unrest is visible in all sorts of boardrooms on the grounds, as well as in the press room where they are short of chairs. “We’re not used to this at all, we’re just an amateur club, aren’t we?” exclaims a good-humored hostess.

Festival atmosphere

When the field is cleared after all the festivities, it is time for kickoff. The festival atmosphere is temporarily exchanged for soccer songs and slogans. With every ball that can be put under pressure, the Spakenburg crowd shouts their “Blues” forward. You get the impression that the supporters themselves would put pressure on the ball if they could.

Supporters shout Spakenburg forward

At least it’s not up to them. Even as the match nears its end, a hurricane of sound continues to be heard. PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooij does not seem comfortable then with the 2-1 lead, which will eventually be pulled over the line.

He looks emotional and that remains clearly visible after the match. Reason is the funeral of PSV press chief Thijs Slegers, a day earlier. “It was double to be here today,” said a stricken Van Nistelrooij.

“With a tractor with big boos, party music and people hopping. Behind me were people who scolded me the whole match, but none of that mattered to me. I was making it to the finals, with Thijs in my inside pocket.”

Actually, you can almost say for sure that you are not going to go through this again.

Spakenburg attacker Floris van der Linden

For Spakenburg captain Floris van der Linden, the feeling of pride predominated afterwards. “Afterwards and during the lap of honor you realize it. Who knows, this may never happen again. Actually, you can almost say for sure that you won’t go through this again.”

Then the striker, amid a horde of journalists and soccer players, runs into Joey Veerman. “Joey, do you have another jersey?”

Shirt of Teze

“I already gave everything away, sorry,” says the PSV midfielder. Moments later, he still meets Van der Linden with a shirt from the Eindhoven side. Number 3, Jordan Teze. “I didn’t have that one yet!”, laughs the two-meter striker.

Spakenburg captain Floris van der Linden proudly displays Jordan Teze’s shirt

Veerman: “I have never experienced this ambiance at amateurs myself on the field. More from the sidelines, at our local club in Volendam. That was also very beautiful at the time.”

So the meeting between PSV and Spakenburg has an outcome that both sides can sign up for. One with a place in the cup final, the other for the fairy tale that ended in an unforgettable soccer party in any case.

Goal scorer Dwayne Green lies on the artificial turf afterwards

Kayleigh Williams