(GROUND NUMBER 280)
Date of First Visit: 26th JULY 2011
VELD 7 (FIELD 7) FANNY BLANKERS KOEN SPORTS COMPLEX
(honest!---aa havvent made it up!---see photo below!)
ALMERE CITY 3
NEWCASTLE UNITED XI 2 (Nile Ranger, Sammy Ameobi)
ATTENDANCE: 280 (Estimated) (40 Toon fans)
"YOU'RE F*****' SICK!" (IN THE HEED!)
Az aa was havin' 'groond withdrawal symptoms' with havin' to miss wor tour of the USA, aa decided that aa MUST tek in at least ONE of wor pre seasons games in the 'second strings' tour of Holland and so alang with 'Mal the Inglish Skool Teecha'<(he told me how to spell it!) we set off for Leeds/Bradford airport at the ungodleee hour of three am bells' for a seventy quid bucket price flight to Amsterdam for the game against Almere City later on that day.(it was ower £200 from Toon airport!)
A few days orlier on the Saturday, aa was drivin' up the 'A1 M' in mee truck, comin' back from West Brom (from a bakery not the futbaall groond!) when aa got a phone call from 'Grumpy Stumpy' who was in Whitby to watch Whitley Bay in a friendly (which he neva went te coz he went 'on the hoy' instead!) and he asked if aa was in Holland for wor resorve game against Utrecht resorves on their trainin' groond.
"NO!" said I, "coz they're just playin' the game in a field , so a'm not gannin', but wor game against
Almere City on Tuesday is on a 'proper groond' and so a'm gannin' there instead with 'Mal'!"
There was a slight pause on the other end of the 'tellin bone', before he shouted drunkenlee at the top of his voice ----"YOU'RE F*****' SICK!" (meanin' that he thought aa was 'f*****' sick in the heed' for even thinkin' aboot gannin to Holland to watch the resorves in action!
Anyway!—fast forward to Tuesday and me and Mal arrived in Amsterdam and heeded for wor city centre hotel beside a canal (would you believe!) and dumped wor bags in reception as the room wasn't ready yet, but not before payin' the gadgie on the desk an extra five euros local tax he'd just 'invented'!
A twenty minute train ride to Almere, later, and we were 'on the hoy' in a boozer next to the station called 'The Amstel' (whey!---that's wot it said above the door!)
Traditional Dutch music was playin' through some speakers, (Paul McCartney, Queen, and The Rollin' Stones!) and at nine euros for two pints it was a bargain! (just under nine quid!)
From there it was 'nose-bag time' in a traditional Dutch eatery (McDonalds!) before heedin' for wor final destination ----the groond!
A bus was needed to get us there as it was two miles from Almere toon centre and we arrived in good time for plenty more 'gargels' in the local dives.
The anly problem was!---there wornt any!--- so we heeded for the main stand in the hope of a drink, where a familiar face could be seen in the distance in a black 'n' white striped top.
It was 'Glennn from Ashington' who had groundhopped to AALL the Dutch games and he telt us that the game WASN'T bein' played there, as they had a plastic pitch and The Toon had refused to play on it!
The (very!) bad news was!---That this meant that the game was now to be played on a grass trainin' pitch next to the ground on 'The Toons' insistence!
We could'nt believe it!----AALL THAT F*****' WAY! to see a match in a F***** FIELD! was devestatin' news to both me and Mal, but at least they hadn't caalled the game off aaltogether!
We then heeded for the clubhouse ('to drown wor sorrows'!) which ironically owerlooked the plastic pitch but NOT the trainin' ground pitch, where the Almere players were sittin' taalkin' away in their tracksuits.
An older gadgie aalso in an Almere tracksuit came ower to us and thinkin' we were part of the official NUFC party who had just arrived on the team bus, he offered us some sarnies and light refreshments
We didn't naa who he was at forst, but as we had a bit 'crack' it torned oot that he was the team manager ('Dick De Boer' ne less!) and when we asked if we could have some beer instead of the orange juice on offer, he was taken aback and said that the barmaids wernt here yet and that they would 'sort us oot' later!
A few minutes later he asked us to leave as he was havin' a team taalk and he obviously didn't want us to pass any vital info to Peter Beardsley, wor resorve team manager!
As nen of us could speak Double Dutch anyway it was pointless askin' us to leave---but leave we did!
(Er!--The anly languages aa can porsonally speak are 'Fluent Geordie' & 'Broken English'!)
The NUFC kit man was unloadin' the team bus as we made wor way ootside and aa had a quick word with him as to why the team had endured a sixteen hour ferry jorney, rather than a one hour flight on their 'Tour of Holland'.
He said that it was cheaper to de it that way, bringin' the team bus across as well, which made me think?----are we a Premier League Club with 50,000 fans or a NORTHERN Premier League club with 500 fans? ie: ARE WE REALLY THAT HARD UP!?
The Almere players and Manager than appeared after their team taalk and so we heeded back to the clubhouse for a quick couple of 'liquids' (BEER! this time as the barmaids had shown up!) before heedin for field next door!
"THE FIELD OF NIGHTMARES!"
|Joey Barton in action @ Veld 7------the main ground is where the floodlights are!|
Things didn't start off well on 'Veld 7' (Field 7, where the match was bein' played!) as the home side knaan as 'The Sheepheads' took the lead within a minute of the start afta sloppy Toon defendin'.
It got worse six miutes later when Almere doubled their lead and we were now on the 'back foot'!
Nile Ranger pulled on e back at the other end with a fine effort but it remained 2-1 to the hosts at half time.
'The Sheepheads' restored their two goal advantage midway through the second half when Joey Barton fouled one of their forwards in the box and the home side convorted the resultin' penalty through Meulens. Before that the rain had belted doon for a few minutes to drench us (as of course there was ne cover in the field!) but thankfully it then eased off !
Sammy Ameobi reduced the arrears near the end with a tap in, but we couldn't get another, although Ranger came close in the final minute to levellin' the game
This was mee 280th ground watchin' The Toon and as coincidence would have it, there were 280 spectators present (aye!---we coonted them!)
After the match it was back to the toon centre for some more 'gargles' in 'The Amstel', where we bumped into some Geordie exiles who lived and worked nearby.
One of them telt us that he worked in a fork lift truck factory (where he sprayed fork lift trucks) and that one of the Almere players AALSO worked there, which somehow made wor defeat even worse! (ie: beaten by somebody who sprayed fork lift f*****' trucks for a livin'!)
It was nice and peaceful as we sat lookin' into the toon square as we supped wor liquids, but before lang 'wor peace' was shattered when two rival gangs of 'African decent' started arguin' as they gulped cans of lager doon doon their 'john o groats' as they sat on a waall next to a fountain in the main square.
Punches were thrown by one of them, which knocked doon one of his rivals. Then a lass broke a bottle and jestured that she was gannih hit one of them with it before the local 'Dibble' rode to the rescue to quieten things doon!
When they left, it aall 'kicked off' again as they waalked doon the street threatinin' each other once again! By this time it was time to heed back to wor digs in Amsterdam, but not before catchin' the last drinks in the city centre!
"HI! HO!---HI! HO!---MIND YI HEED AZ YI GO!"
After an expensive thirteen euros for a 'Jack Daniels' and a 'large lager' in 'The Old Quarter bar' next to the CC Hotel, where we were stayin' in the seedy end on toon, it was time to retire as we were completeleee 'cream crackered' by this time havin' risen at 'two am bells' and we heeded for wor rooms on the top floor up a spiral staircase.
The room as we soon foond oot was built into the 'A' shaped slopin' roof where the anly place that yih couldn't bang yer heed was reet in the centre and ANY deviation meant a 'heedbangin' if yi wornt careful!
The beds were reet beside the roof with not much heedroom there eetha and 'the toolshead' was even worse as a sat on the netty with mee heed to one side to avoid the slantin' roof!
The wash basin was aalso at an angle and to get a wash aa had to stand OOTSIDE in the main room and as for the SHOWER?---yi'd have to be a *'contortionist' to get one so we didn't botha tryin'!
(*Aa asked Inglish skool teecha Mal how to spell this and wrote it doon on a beer mat ---'CONTORSONIST' (NIL! oot of ten for spelllin'!---and divvint forget!---he's an INGLISH skool teecha!) ("Er!"---mee computaa 'spell checka' corrected it!)
The truth is that 'THE SEVEN DWARFS' would stuggle not to bang their heeds in this place and halfway through the neet as aa torned ower in bed aa cracked me elbow on the ceilin', nearly breakin' it, as let oot a very loud "AAAaaaRRRgggGGHHhhH!!", wakin' Mal up in the process!
As there were ne 'brekkies' in the room price, we heeded for reception the next mornin' to check oot. "Room 47!", Mal said as the gadgie looked on his computaa. "THE DWARFS ROOM!", aa added sarcastically as he looked at me, not understadin' wot aa meant!
"There's SEVEN EUROS to pay for food and drink!", he said as me and Mal looked at each other disbelivinglee for the second time that day. "BUT WE HAVVENT HAD ANY FOOD OR DRINK!", we replied angrily in unison, as he checked his computaa once again. (7 Euros for the dwarfs perhaps?)
He 'reluctantly agreed' that 'we were reet' and we checked oot withoot havin' to pay anymore 'TAX' and we made wor way back to the train station and then onward for the flight yem!
TO SUM UP!—we didn't gan to the Utrecht game on the Saturday, because it was bein' played on a trainin' ground next to their main stadium, but that's EXACTLY wot we got in Almere!--------