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GROUND // Brasserskade - DHC Delft (Netherlands)

We visited several Elascon stadiums in Belgium and The Netherlands in the meantime, but one of the most impressive ones can be found in Delft.

In the Brasserskade DHC Delft is playing their home games since 1960 which is about the period the Elascon stands had their peak. DHC Delft was founded in 1910 already as Delfia Hollandia Combinatie. The first years they played in the HVB (football in The Hague) and after 5 years they won the league, promoting to the Dutch third division.

In their early years they played on a small pitch near the Buitenwatersloot. A field they had to leave in 1916. They only moved a couple 100 meters, and during the years a stadium was developed. By the 30s the stadium had a capacity of 15.000 people.

After only one year in third division, DHC immediately promoted to second division and across the next years they would often play for promotion to first division. In those days the champion didn't automatically promote to first division but had to play play offs. DHC won second division in 23, 25, 27 and 30 but always lost the play offs. Finally in 1932 they won and promoted to first division. Even there they had successes. In 1941 they ended second after the neighbouring ADO. That seemed to be a breaking point because after that year it all went a bit downhill for DHC.

In 1949 and again in 1953 DHC relegated to second division. As of 1955 professional football made its entrance in Dutch football and DHC Delft joined the circus. They started in second division, but immediately relegated to third division that season. Luckily they already promoted back after one year.

The Brasserskade was firstly used in 1960, a last move for DHC. To a stadium which could hold 18.000 spectators and was one of the most modern stadiums at that time with one very unique stand, which is a protected monument right now. No fear this will be torn down any time soon.

The successes came back. DHC often played for promotion to first division and in 1962 they reached the Dutch cup final. Unfortunately they lost that final to Sparta. But halfway the 60s the machine got stuck. Financial problems started to come and fans started to stay away. DHC was split in two teams, with one professional team and one amauteur team in fourth division. The professional team changed its name into DHC'66. Unfortunately this decision wasn't supported by everyone and sponsor deals fell through. Fans were so upset they demolished the score board and the goals during the season '65/'66.

In 1967 the decision was made to merge with Xerxes out of Rotterdam, becoming Xerxes/DHC'66. The team was allowed to play in first division and suddenly there was hope again. They even won from Feyenoord in the Kuip, but in 1969 all clouds turned black. One of the star players of the team, Willem Van Hanegem, moved to Feyenoord and Xerxes and DHC'66 split up again.

In 1969 DHC Delft becomes a full amateur team again. Throughout the next decades DHC would slowly crawl back up again with an amateur peak moment in the 80s, one more by the end of the millennium and another one this decade.


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