Football clubs that are more than 100 years old. Yes, they also exist in The Netherlands. And there are quite a lot of them. Not far from the Belgian border, VV TSC Oosterhout is one of those old clubs. Although one could debate the actual year the team was founded.
Everything began in 1903 in Oosterhout. That's the year in which Tavenu was founded. According to real Dutch tradition Tavenu stands for a wonderful motto; Tot Aangenaam Vermaak En Nuttige Uitspanning (For Pleasant And Useful Entertainment). Originally the team played games against members of its own organisation, but after a while more and more games were played against teams in the close proximity.
Five years after Tavenu was created some competition started. Sparta started activities, and that name is again completely according to Dutch tradition... Use Greeks gods to name your team. Sparta started playing football in official competitions and started their way up throughout the years. Even during WWI the team kept on playing. But due to a lack of players, something Tavenu suffered from as well, they decided to join forces in 1917 and became VV TSC (Tavenu Sparta Combinatie) Oosterhout.
Officially 1908 is being used as the year of their foundation, but others also refer to 1917. It could have been 1903 as well. But whatever year they started, the new team just kept on playing as Sparta was already doing earlier. By 1923 the team was already in third division and their only way was up. In 1931 TSC promoted to second division and they would stay there until 1948. That's the year they promoted to first division, at that time the highest level in The Netherlands. And that promotion was more than deserved. Throughout their years in second division they had won their league four times and they never ended lower than the seventh spot.
During the 50s TSC would however switch between first and second division. In 1954 professional football was introduced in The Netherlands, but TSC chose to remain an amateur team. That meant their years in first division after 1954 were no longer in the highest level of Holland. But the club kept on getting great results. In 1961 they promoted to first division again and apart from one year they would stay there until the 80s.
The real glory moments would be between 1986 and 1998 when they spent several years in the Hoofdklasse, one level above the amateur first division. In the meantime we arrived in a new millennium and that meant a big change for the team from Oosterhout. They relegated all the way back to third division. The glorious years seem like a thing of the past, but they can be very proud of their history and their earlier achievements.
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