On the supporters bus to NAC Breda

Last Friday night ADO made the trip to NAC Breda; for this game I decided to travel on the supporters bus with the fans rather than have the easy trip with other press colleagues. The reason being a few people have asked how I can judge the behaviour of ADO fans when I am never in with them and always at the pitch side. So there I was, travelling with them and amongst them.

Traveling to a game with the fans meant a different day for me. I got to the Kyocera stadium at 17.00 and had a cola. A few of the fans know of me and I was welcomed warmly by them and then introduced to other supporters. At 17.10 the boarding process to the bus began. Security is as strict as for home matches. Before boarding the bus I had to show my match ticket, my Clubcard.

The journey down to Breda was amazingly quiet, but as we approached a stop at a McDonalds on the motorway a few songs were chanted. The looks on the staff’s faces were one of shock as 35 ADO fans walked in, all accompanied by ADO stewards. Someone handed out a newspaper full of discount vouchers which confused a few of those serving. All was good natured and no rioting happened, as this is what most people seem to think happens when ADO travel anywhere.

We arrived under motorcycle police escort at the stadium at 19.25. Having visited the NAC stadium on previous occasions as a part of the press etc, I knew it was a decent and nice enough stadium, so I was shocked to see that the turnstile for away fans was built into an old ships container: Too tempting for most to resist banging on the metal and starting to create the usual ADO atmosphere at games. There was a lot of laughing and no problems at all getting in.

Along with those who had travelled by bus, there was a few who had travelled by car, making the number of ADO fans i the away section a total of 80. The away end at NAC was no great, like being kept inside a giant Perspex fish bowl, on top of the Perspex there was netting. No wonder the players can’t hear their fans during the game as we are totally enclosed.

The ADO fans sorted themselves into their groups who normally go to different areas of the Kyocera stadium. With about ten minutes to go before the kick-off the chanting started, and continued virtually throughout the game, even during a very dull first half.

The atmosphere amongst the travelling support was great, just a typical football crowd, singing, banging the Perspex, abusing the home fans, same as happens all across the world at every game. Where the ADO fans rioting, attacking rivals and police, was there missiles being thrown at everybody not wearing green and yellow? No! Boisterous and rowdy? Yes, and so it should be, it is what being a football fan is all about!

I used to follow Liverpool FC all around the UK in the Eighties and Friday night in Breda brought many great memories flooding back. It was a real treat, being back in amongst traveling support is something I have truly missed.

ADO fans were amazing throughout the second half as three unanswered goals went in the back of the net. At the final whistle the players came over to the away end to celebrate their win. By this time many NAC fans had left the stadium, but those who were left were taunted with laughter and the Monty Python song “Always look on the bright side of life.”

We were allowed to leave the stadium five minutes later, fans chanted at the NAC fans that were kept at a distance before we all boarded the bus home. A police escort got us to the motorway before a quiet journey home. The lady who was driving the bus was well treated and a hat was passed down the bus so people could give her a tip. She got quite a good bonus for her nights work.

We arrived back in The Hague at 23.00. The day was great fun; I had witnessed the behaviour of ADO’s monsters on their travels, terrorizing all and sundry, leaving a trail of damage and destruction. I am sure that is what most in the media would want to hear about, but it did not happen, not even close. How would I sum it all up? The fans are real fans; love their football and their team. Yes there are rough guys on there if anything were to have happened, same as at every football club and bar/nightclub in the world. Did they look for trouble? No! Did they start any trouble? No! Would I go again and take young kids with me? Yes! Most definitely.

So come on now, come along and watch ADO play at the Kyocera stadium, you will really enjoy the experience. Support ADO Den Haag and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TEAM!

I would just like to thank Jess and Michel for giving me the guide on all things ADO away travel.

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