Jonny Eyres2 Comments


Jonny Eyres2 Comments

Jonny Eyres tells the story of FC Dordrecht, a club - and a town - with no shortage of history.

Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland. It is renowned for its ship building and chemical industry, which provide a significant amount towards their economy.

One man attempting to steady a ship and generate a winning formula is former Vitesse Arnhem defender/legend Theo Bos, who is now managing Dutch First Division side FC Dordrecht. The club have a rugged policy, thanks to the animated manager and his faithful coaching staff. Training is vigorous, yet vibrant and full of mirth.

This has led to a unique and healthy atmosphere.

They have a resourceful and diligent chairman in Ad Heijsman. His sharp business acumen, enables the club to be run in a financially prudent manner and gain much needed sponsorship.

He is also a cordial man. His strong notions of community make supporters feel extremely welcome. This has led to a cast iron solidarity and a daunting and fantastic atmosphere, inside the bright, intimate and attractive GN Bouw Stadion. 

In Marco Boogers (remember him?), they have a dedicated and forthright technical director, who has injected a positive and gritty doss of realism. He has an inventive, mettlesome and attack minded youth policy, where entertainment is prominent.

Along with Bos's and his coaching staff's vision, this has led to a compelling, combative and tantalising brand of football being played by the green and white side. After taking all of this into consideration, anyone would think, that the Schapenkoppen (Sheep heads) would be in a satisfactory position in the league, to match their outstanding credentials and regimented visions. Not so.

Whilst the realism and cautious optimism promoted by Boogers is something to be admired, it is evident that Bos is becoming increasingly frustrated and disheartened at the lack of consistency, which is costing his raw and talented side.

Whilst they are one of only three sides in the league, to be unbeaten at home this season (although they were unfortunate to lose 2-3, in a pulsating cup tie to AZ Alkmaar), they have yet to win away. Their defence has shipped more, than they have scored, which is why they are currently lying 7th in the table, instead of challenging for the title/promotion to the Eredivisie.

The uncertainty in defence and profligacy in front of goal is alarming, galling and disappointing for Bos. There is no disharmony, which is usually the case.

The club have some gifted, potent and youthful players on their books, in the form of defender Josimar Lima (on loan from Willem II), central defender Tom Beugelsdijk (on loan from ADO Den Haag), midfielder Serhat Köksal (on loan from ADO Den Haag), midfielder Jeffrey Rijsdijk and striker Santy Hulst.

They also have skillful, reliable and experienced players in the form of midfielder Wilmer Kousemaker, midfielder Danny Post and striker/captain Cecilio Lopes. There is not a dearth of adventure, quality and gumption. The potential is vast and is to relish. 

It seems, that their problematic, hit and miss form, boils down to a showcasing of widescreen complacency.

Since the club was founded in 1883, they have a reputable history, steeped in pride. The 1982/1983 season is the finest example of their honourable traditions, when they won the First Division, playing resolute and spectacular football.

Pipe smoking, passionate, cut and dry businessman and chairman Nico de Vries (deceased), brought about a massive revival of the club, due to his success through oil company Frisol. His large financial injections, reinvigorated the club, on and off the field. 

Numbers had dwindled during the 70's but supporters suddenly flooded the stadium. When de Vries sadly passed away in 1983, success subsided and finances plummeted. He was unorthodox in his methods, yet ahead of his time. He reaped rewards and is sorely missed.

In Hans Dorjee (deceased), they had an amiable, loyal, voracious manager, who also breathed new life into the club. His tactical nous and attacking vision, made the club intriguing and exciting again. 

PSV Eindhoven recognised this and he went on to become Guus Hiddink's number two, during the club's most successful period, where they won the title, the cup and the European Cup in 1988.

He was also Sir Bobby Robson's number two when PSV won the title in 1991. He sadly passed away in 2002 and is fondly remembered.

Dordrecht had some fabulous players during their best ever season. 

Defender Terry Lees was solid and dependable. He was previously at Stoke for six seasons and was part of the Birmingham side, which got promoted in 1980. Winger Geert Meijer was very skilful and industrious. He was previously part of the Ajax double winning side in 1979. He also played for Bristol City for a season. He now manages Dutch amateur side VV Strijen. Midfielder Gerrie Mühren (older brother of Arnold) was out of this world. He was outrageously gifted. Whilst being technically gifted, he also had an incredible workrate. His appetite for success won him three titles, four cups and three European Cups with Ajax, as well as a Spanish Cup with Real Betis.

Midfielder Cor Lems was an infamous and tenacious figure. He was the Dutch Vinnie Jones of his era. He aided Ado Den Haag in winning the First Division in 1986. Striker Henk van Leeuwen was a steady and accomplished goal scorer. He was previously part of a Feyernoord side, which won the Eredivisie in 1971, part of a Roda JC side, that won the First Division in 1973 and part of a Ado Den Haag side, which won the cup in 1975.

Famously, in 1981, Johan Cruyff starred for Dordrecht, in three friendly games. In the same year, Jock Wallace, who was managing Leicester City, tried to sign him but he joined Levante instead. This is a side whose history does not mirror complacency, so it is worrying to see, in a side with so much to offer.

The club have outlined their future in pragmatic fashion but this cannot be used as an excuse to relinquish responsibility and waste ability. Bos will have to address and arrest this immediately and stoutly, if he wants the club to develop further this season and in the years to come.

You can find Jonny on Twitter @JonnyJamesEyres