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GROUND // Riwal Hoogwerkers Stadion - FC Dordrecht (Netherlands)

Just across the border with Belgium there are a lot of fantastic Dutch stadiums and teams. We have visited a couple of them already and last week we decided to witness a game of the illuster FC Dordrecht.

FC Dordrecht is one of the oldest teams in The Netherlands and it has a very rich history, completely according to the expectations after looking at the stadium. It was founded in 1883 already under the name of DCC (Dordrechtsche Cricket Club). Football became very popular in a very short time period and in 1891 it was officially added to the name; DCFC (Dordrechtsche Cricket en Football Club).

A couple of years later the football department was way bigger than the cricket team and the name was changed into DFC. This happened in 1899. DFC played in the regional leagues for some decades, until they started to play in professional footbal in 1954. They did very well and most of the times they would play in second division, with a one time appearance in first division.

In 1972 the team was split into two teams; one professional team (FC Dordrecht) and one amateur team (the DFC we know). DFC had to start over again in the lowest leagues and FC Dordrecht continued where DFC left. After a couple of years in second division there were attempts to create a real big team and the name was changed into DS'79 (in 1979). It meant a complete changeover as also the team colours were changed from red/white into yellow/blue. It looked like the efforts would pay off as DS'79 would make first division appearanced on an occasional basis.

At the end of the 80s drama happened. DS'79 would relegate to third division and drastic measures were taken again. The team name changed again, this time into Dordrecht'90 (in 1990) and the team colours changed again. This time to green/white (the colours of the chairman's company). In the same year Margo Gerrits became the commercial manager at Dordrecht'90, the very first female manager in Dutch professional football. Only a year later Dordrecht'90 would merge with SVV Schiedam to become SVV/Dordrecht'90. By doing this they would return to first division and they hired Dick Advocaat as their coach. They even played European football in the Intertoto cup that year. The year after the team would relegate from first division and the two teams would separate again in 1993.

Dordrecht'90 continued playing in second division. They immediately returned to first division, but it only lasted one season. In 2002 they would change their name one last time, back into FC Dordrecht and up until 2014 when they won promotion to first division again. One year later they are back in second division, where they currently still play. In the meantime DFC, the amateur club would work their way up again to first amateur division. Currently they are playing the fourth amateur division.

Before 1948 the grounds of the team were frequently used for the derby between Holland and the Belgian Red Devils. In 1948 FC Dordrecht (DFC in that period) moved to stadium Krommedijk. In 1998 the stadium was completely renovated and the name was changed to GN Bouw-stadion, to the construction company performing the renovation. In 2014 the name was changed into Riwal Hoogwerkers Stadion, but most of the fans still call it Krommedijk.

If you haven't visited this stadium yet, it's definitely worth a try. Four separate stands with all different structures and colour/seating combinations. The two stands behind the goals both have this nice banana shape.

Anecdote: The fans have a good relationship with the fans of KRC Mechelen and after some fans found out we are from Mechelen we were immediately invited everywhere. Very nice folks, good atmosphere and definitely worth a revisit!

Anecdote2: Johan Cruijff and Rob Rensenbrink both played friendly matches with FC Dordrecht in the early 80s.


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