Stadium Hop #4 | Sportpark Het Achterveen
Stadium Name: Sportpark Het Achterveen
Club(s): VV Hattem & SV Hatto Heim
Nickname(s): Hmm, Anyone?
Colours: Yellow & Blue (Both Teams)
Date: 7th July 2018
Teams: AFC Ajax vs FC Steaua Bucharest 1-1
Competition: Pre-Season Friendlies
Overview – Sportpark Het Achterveen
The Sportpark Het Achterveen football ground is situated in the small town of Hattem, close to the city of Zwolle, with a population of only 12,000 people. The venue hosts two local rival teams, VV Hattem and SV Hatto Heim. They both play their trade in the Stand 3e Klasse C, which is down the Netherlands football league ladder.
The football ground is made up of one sole stand on one of the long sides of the pitch, seating only around 400 spectators. The rest have to spread around the pitch while watching the games standing, or else find a good spot to sit on the steep perimeter. It’s by far the best way to mingle and watch the games in a different way than we’re used to in huge stadiums.
Hottest Games To Attend
As usual, all football games are worth attending! Since 2015/2016 season, the local derby between VV Hattem and SV Hatto Heim started to take place since the two teams met each other in the same league. The first meeting attracted around 2000 spectator, which is a very good number for such small local teams.
One should also keep a lookout for friendly games played here, especially in the offseason just like the one we attended. Giants AFC Ajax welcomed the Romanians, FC Steaua București in a pre-season friendly prior to the 2018/2019 season. As you can imagine (and see in the pictures), the ground was packed to its limit with most of the people not being able to enter as the ground’s capacity was well exceeded. Many Ajax supporters made the 200km round trip journey to support their team, which by the way created an awesome atmosphere. Never expected that in a pre-season friendly!
Getting to Sportpark Het Achterveen
Getting there really depends on where you’re coming from. Although Google Maps can do a great job planning out the journey for you, we don’t rely 100% on it because it doesn’t always show the cheapest option on the market. Planning the way by public transport, you can use this easy online tool provided by Ns.nl, which provides the rail service on the Dutch main network. The cost varies depending on where you’re leaving from. For anyone visiting Amsterdam, the journey will cost around €20 per person each way.
The MUCH cheaper option, on the other hand, is hitchhiking your way there. It’s only an hour and a half drive in total to get to Hattem from Amsterdam, which makes an awesome day trip from the Dutch capital. Cities that lie in between are Amersfoort, Apeldoorn and just a few kilometres away, Zwolle. You might want to get some signs ready! In our case, dressing in red (just like Ajax home colour) made it much easier for travelling AFC Ajax supporters to spot us and offer us a ride all the way there!
Tickets can be bought from the door. Those shouldn’t be a problem.
Where to Drink?
You’ll find food and drink trucks available in one of the parking areas within the stadium. You’ll have access once you buy the tickets and enter through the main gate.
Where To Sit?
ON THE GRASS! Sitting on one of the seats in the stand requires you to buy a more expensive ticket, and putting all budgets aside, it’s nothing like watching the game from the other side. It’s really what a local football game should feel like!
Meeting the Players
Meeting the players really shouldn’t be an issue. You can practically touch their backs from where you’re sitting (or standing), although we really wouldn’t try that! In our case, it would have provided the perfect opportunity for the two huge (like really huge) security guards for some action – which neither of us was ready for, at all!