Confessions of an ‘ADO Virgin’.

To those of you who also view my Facebook page, you may be aware I got a message from an English guy who had read this website and decided to take the plunge and visit our beloved club. I met him pre match at the supporters home.

Today he sent me the following email with his thoughts on the day. Looks like we have gained a new supporter to the green and yellow army. I have not changed his text, this is all his own words.

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Not having been to football for a while, I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with the ‘beautiful game’, and as a resident of The Hague, a visit to ADO Den Haag was the obvious choice.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that ticket prices at the Cars Jeans stadium were very reasonable indeed. I paid just 21 euro – a very favourable price if you’re used to going to matches in England!

I’ve been living in The Hague for nearly 5 years now, and it’s fair to say that I’d heard a few negative comments regarding ADO and their fanbase. I live in a neighbourhood close to Zuiderpark – where ADO played until 2007, and a lot of the residents around here still recall some of the events from during the ‘bad old days’. Of course, football clubs all over Europe struggled with the scourge of hooliganism, and ADO was no exception. Therefore, I went online to find out what the current situation is.

That’s when I came across Neal’s fantastic ‘ADO for Expats’ website and Facebook page. Browsing the website, I found the page ‘Is it safe to go to ADO Den Haag?’ To view that, click HERE. Reading this piece really put my mind at ease, as it made it clear that the club have made a huge effort in recent years to make sure that ADO matches are not only safe, but offer a fun, family atmosphere for fans.

Finding a page specifically for expats already made me feel very welcome even before I had set foot in the stadium, and I used the message function on Facebook to ask a couple of questions, including the all important ‘where’s the best place to get a beer before the match?’.

Just a few minutes later, Neal replied, and explained that the only real place to go in the area was the ‘Fan’s Home’ at the Cars Jeans itself. Not only that, but he offered to meet up and join me there before the match in case I had any reservations about entering alone. Naturally, I jumped at the chance!

Come match day, I was ready for my first ADO experience and made my way from Station Ypenburg to the ground, just a ten minute walk. I waited for Neal near the fan shop as arranged, and immediately noticed how many women and kids were around – always a good indicator of the kind of atmosphere to expect at a football ground – as well as how laid back the policing was. Two officers were standing nearby and I saw several fans approach them to shake hands and exchange some friendly words. Presently, Neal arrived and we went to get a drink in the Fan Home, full of friendly locals and expats.

By this time, a pattern was definitely developing. The atmosphere was relaxed and totally non-threatening, and this continued after I went through security and entered the stadium. The match was very enjoyable, and even though ADO lost, the crowd remained jovial both throughout and afterwards.

I’m very much looking forward to my next visit to ADO – this Sunday against Feyenoord!

All in all, if you’re in two minds as to whether or not you should visit ADO Den Haag, I would say ‘go for it’ and don’t hesitate to contact Neal at ADO for Expats – a very friendly guy who is doing a great job of promoting the club to the expat community.

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