Support Your Team – ADO Den Haag – my story
Back in 2007 a friend and I wanted to start going to see professional football matches. With our first son just starting to play football and with my love for sports photography, I figured it was time to really get into the most popular sport in The Netherlands, football or voetbal as they call it here.
My friend was even discussing Sparta, Excelsior or Feyenoord (in Rotterdam), along with ADO Den Haag. He comes from Zoetermeer and I live in Pijnacker, an expat living in South Holland for quite some years now. I pushed for ADO Den Haag for two reasons. Firstly, they had a brand new modern stadium really close to both Pijnacker and Zoetermeer – we could even bike there. Secondly, I am a big believer in support local. So I really pushed for ADO and the more I heard of their history, the more curious I was. He agreed.
So, we went down one Friday and signed-up for ADO Den Haag club cards! Back in 2007 they were free, so that was a no-brainer. Then we bought tickets for our first match. I forget who ADO played against that day, but I also had my then 6 year old son with me and lo-and-behold, we had seats right in the middle of what they call Midden Noord.
One slight concern I had was the reputation of the ADO supporters as a bit too fanatical at times. Midden Noord are were some of the hardcore supporters sit, so this would be a test. Well, my concerns were quickly dis-spelled as we were welcomed with open arms and ADO even won that match I believe. Just as a note, ADO also has a family section, behind one of the goals, which is extremely safe and sectioned off from the rest of the stadium. Yet we have never feared for our safety in any way what-so-ever. In fact, at that first match, I bought my son an ADO scarf and the other supporters held an unpracticed ceremony for the smiling boy, placing the yellow green “Guess Who’s Back” scarf around his neck with cheers. He was just speechless and I was too, although not tearless.
Since that first match, we quickly became regular visitors to big home matches. Watching the so-called top players from Ajax, PSV and FC Twente, for example, was the idea. It was not really the plan to become full-on supporters of FC Den Haag, even though we were certainly cheering for victory every time. Yet, soon, that is what we became! For me it was the 2009-2010 Family Day they held at outside of the then nameless ADO stadium. It was such a fun, free event and so neat to shake hands with the players, especially for my sons – wow, there WAS Lex Immers!
Winning from the eventual Dutch champions that year, Ajax Amsterdam, both times in the 2010-2011 season was really incredible for ADO and well deserved. The March 3-2 victory for ADO over Ajax is till now my favorite match. Pizzzzzzaaaa
The stadium is just awesome; you literally sit on top of the action and can talk with the players and hear the sounds of the match as if you were on the pitch itself. Beyond that, apart from a small incident at a PSV match when the game was held up after the home fans abused the referee verbally, there has never been any threatening hostilities visible to us in all these years. As a matter-of-a-fact, it is a safe feeling in the now sponsored, Kyocera stadium. The stewards are also very professional and friendly.
The ADO team spirit caught on and the 2010-2011 highly successful season was just the icing on the cake. Now we have full on season tickets. We even added another person to our group, so now the three of us see each home match in person and sit in Vak P, next to Midden Noord. I wear a green ADO cap, a “Guess Who’s Back” ADO scarf and even have hanging in the family car an ADO flag.
Watching a football match at the Kyocera ADO stadium is a true The Hague experience. And who knows, maybe you’ll keep coming back again and again to “support your team”, ADO Den Haag, too!
To see his collection of ADO home films, including the 3-2 win over Ajax, click HERE.