GROUND // Sportpark Elinkwijk - USV Elinkwijk (The Netherlands)

USV Elinkwijk can be considered, without any doubt, to be one of the most successful teams in Utrecht. It's the driving force behind the current FC Utrecht and it's been a breeding pool for quite some professional players, of which some have made it very far. Not bad for a team founded by workers in a train and steel factory.

VV DOS and DES (later on better known as Velox) were already active since 1901 and 1902, but in 1919 they got the company of USV Elinkwijk. That year workers of Werkspoor NV created Atletiek en Voetbalvereniging Elinckwijk. By no coincidence named after the neighbourhood of Elinckwijk, back then part of the village of Zuilen. It's rumoured the neighbourhood itself was named after W.A. Elinck Schuurman, owner of the grounds where the factory and later on the football field were located. We bet he could have never dreamt his name would be known up until the Dutch first division and would still live on to this day.

Up until 1930 vv Elinckwijk would be mainly active in a local FA in Utrecht, but that year they made the change to the official Dutch FA. The start of a wonderful story. Because they immediately promoted from fourth to third division. Throughout the following years they would knock on the door of more successes, but that would only happen in 1939. By then the name was already modernised into Elinkwijk. Apart from one season during WWII they became champion in third division three years in a row which was followed by a promotion to second division. Even there the team would gain a lot of success. Year after year they were amongst the best of the league and in 1951 a promotion to first division followed.

In 1952 Elinkwijk moved to their current location (at the Theo Thijssenplein) and they took over the grandstand of AGOVV. Again two years later Elinkwijk was part of a new football chapter in The Netherlands. The start of professional football included USV Elinkwijk after they had bought the license of Utrecht NV (which was created only in 1953). At the same time they became an actual team of Utrecht as Zuilen became part of Utrecht. That didn't change anything to their results. In 1956 they would have their best year ever. They ended first in one of four top divisions (Hoofdklasse). In the playoffs for the title they finally ended third.

The next season the current eredivisie (new first division) was created and USV Elinkwijk would enjoy the lower spots in that division and the top places in second division right up until 1970. But the dark merger clouds were already present in Utrecht since 1964. DOS, Velox and Elinkwijk would eventually merge to become the current FC Utrecht. That new professional team started playing where DOS always did before. Elinkwijk continued where they always played. But the three former professional teams continued as amateur teams in the lower divisions. USV went to the Sunday league, second division. After four championships and two promotions they found themselves in the Hoofdklasse rather quickly.

Apart from four years during the 90s they would remain in that Hoofdklasse until 2013. Five times they won the league and at least that many times they ended in the top spots of the league. They can be called one of the most successful amateur teams. But since 2013 it kind of went downwards. In 2019 the decision was made to stop their Sunday league activities. However, in 2008 they had already started a team in the Saturday leagues. By the time it was 2014 that team was already in the second division. Whereas now they play in fourth division. Mainly with pride in their eyes, thanks to the wonderful history, the beautiful sports arena (with still the same former AGOVV stand?), and lots of beautiful memories of Elinkwijk youth players that would grow out to become professional players. Who doesn't know players like Marco van Basten and Ibrahim Afellay for instance?

If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.