Vital Football

Latest Wigan Atletic News

Pre Sesason Tour Pt 4

Pre Sesason Tour Pt 4


The trip started with a four am Saturday arrival at Liverpool airport, we checked in and then located to the café for a coffee to try and wake up to be greeted by eight Latics fans hitting the ale which at that time of the morning was sheer dedication. Most Latics fans were staying in Amsterdam with only a couple more travelling down to Utrecht.

An uneventful flight and connecting train saw us arriving in Utrecht at eleven with an overwhelming urge for a full English breakfast. Unfortunately Utrecht hadn`t been warned that we were coming and as a result no F.E.B. was to be found..

Utrecht is a city approx the same size as the metro borough of Wigan and is home to the largest university in Holland. Also ,like Wigan it was home to a Roman settlement.

Utrecht is also home to some beautiful canal systems much like our own Leeds and Liverpool canal(not!!!) and there are many restaurants on the canal banks to sample the local food

The football team was founded from the amalgamation of three city teams in 1970 and play at the 25,000 seater Stadion Galgenwaard. They have only won the Eredivisie once in pre amalgamation times (1958) and have won the Dutch cup three times.

What is difference to the UK is the attitude to drinking. We spent a very pleasant Saturday evening outside a café bar watching the local youths drinking but not once did we see and violent unruly behaviour as witnessed on CCTV cities and other programmes. What the reason is, has puzzled many intellectuals but I would choose Utrecht over King Street any day.

Chatting to one of the waiters I asked about the portrayal of F.C.Utrecht on a UK TV programme which appeared to imply that they had a hooligan problem. He had seen the programme and stated that he believed it was nonsense and that we would see for ourselves.

Matchday brought sunshine and fellow Vital Latics poster Bryan Plumb and his wife arriving from Leeds via Amsterdam. We arrived at the ground and having bought our tickets were ushered in to what at first site appeared to resemble a maximum security prison. After being searched we were guided through protective metal tunnels into the away section. The away section is segregated from the home fans by a large netting which goes all the way to the roof (maybe this would have been a better option at the JJB rather than close down ES1?).
The pitch is protected from the away fans by an approx 80 foot high Metal fence and it is like watching the game through a rabbit cage.

These security precautions seemed to indicate that there were concerns re hooligans in Holland.

Both Bryan Plumb`s and Vital Latics tour flags were prominently displayed and can be seen on the match photos which I will get published on here ASAP

The pre match entertainment made Pemberton Old Boys Brass band seem like Oasis, Dutch oompah music isn`t my forte. The pitch announcer came round the pitch and mentioned the Wigan fans and waved. Like idiots we waved back but he could have been saying anything and we wouldn`t have known.

Much to the disappointment of the travelling Wigan fans, there were no pies, instead it was giant spicy meatballs in a hot dog roll( I passed) and no alcohol.

In total 45 Wiganners made the game coming from all directions such as two who drove via Belgium to Wigan, two from Eindhoven and various flights from Manchester. Liverpool and Leeds into Amsterdam.

The game itself was nothing special. Utrecht as you would expect play a nice passing game but lacked a controlling midfielder. A two nil victory was very satisfying although it could have gone the other way apart from a good performance by Pollitt.

After the match several of us made our way to the entrance for photos with the players with Bryan P determined to get every player to sign his flag.

To their credit all the players plus coaching staff took their time to sign everything including the Chief Executive Brenda Spencer who thanked us for taking the trouble to go to Holland. Some players were friendlier than others and special mention must go to Killer and Melchiot.

There were many Utrecht fans milling around and they were overwhelmingly friendly once again debunking the perception of Dutch Hoolies.

Once again another successful trip to watch Latics in Holland, as a self confessed dutchophile I`m never disappointed and I sincerely hope we go back next season.

Having attended all four friendlies I feel that we are a stronger team than last season. I would still like another centre back and possibly a forward but I`m optimistic about this season.

Whatever happens I can guarantee it wont be dull !

Writer:baskerville
Date:Tuesday August 12 2008
Time: 6:49PM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Ingle Talks Brook

Comments

0
Fantastic baskers wish I could have come as well but some own had to hold the fort ;(
worbo
12/08/2008 20:23:00
0
vital was well represented by Bryan Plumb and myself
baskerville
12/08/2008 20:26:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Wigan Athletic Articles

New EFL Radio Deal Starts 2017/18

The Football League confirmed yesterday that a new three year deal with Talksport and the BBC had been signed to increase radio broadcast coverage from next season.

Wigan Confirm Four Away Friendly Fixtures

Four pre-season matches have been confirmed with more to follow...

Wigan Athletic's 2016-17 season in numbers

Jesus Was a Wiganer's numerological ass-essment of the past nine wretched months.

Interview With Colin Greenall

The former Latics defender and caretaker manager talks about his time in football

Archived Vital Latics Articles

Vital Latics articles from

Site Journalists

Liam Sephton
Editor email
Profile
Dan Farrimond
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Who would be your choice for Wigan manager?
Suggested By: Dave Whelan
Uwe Rosler27%
Steve McClaren32%
Nathan Jones22%
Paul Cook9%
Other10%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Wigan Athletic Results (view all)

Wigan Athletic Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.king_dezeeuw06206
2.Get a Grip!143
3.truelatic4eva131
4.Whittleblue125
5.Moonay106
6.C_Latic105
7.bickymon78
8.WN570
9.Jonny_SuffolkLatic66
10.Martinez198656
Vital Football Comment