Date:Sunday August 3 2008
Swansea City will bring their pre season preparations to a close on Tuesday evening when Dutch Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag roll into The Liberty Stadium.
The two sides were scheduled to face each other in a pre season friendly in 2003 but for the Mayor of Den Haag called the game off due to crowd trouble in a friendly against Chester City at the Deva Stadium. Skip forward four years later the same fixture was called off but this time due to a failure to complete the clubs new stadium in time. Swansea City were due to play the first game at the new 15,000 seater stadium the Den Haag Stadion. Third time lucky seems to be the order of the day as the two clubs will finally face each other on Tuesday evening.
There has been a special relationship between Den Haag and Swansea City in recent seasons both through past players and club directors. Those ties have brought both sets of fans a new found appreciation of the Dutch and British game and even led to 500 fans making the long journey for the 2-1 defeat to Millwall on the 7th March. The special relationship has even gone so far as Den Haag fans showing their support for the club by bringing Swansea City flags to domestic games and has led to many a football fan to be left perplexed to why such a bond exists between two clubs.
Formed in 1905 ADO Den Haag have a rich history with 2 Dutch National finals, 2 KNVB cups and 2 Eerste Divisie titles to their name. Den Haag secured promotion to the top flight after finishing 6th in the Eerste Divisie last season. The Dutch side had the roller-coaster of emotions of having to go into the lottery of a play off final against VVV Venlo. They won over the De Koel based club in a closely fought game. Ironically it would be VVV Venlo's manager that day who would take the helm with ADO as André Wetzel signed a deal with the club that will keep him at the Den Haag Stadion until 2011.
Using the University Playground Fearwood in Cardiff as a training base in South Wales Den Haag have been busy preparing for a tough season ahead. Whilst Swansea were facing West Bromwich Albion on Saturday just a short hop down the M4 Bristol Rovers slumped to a 3-2 defeat over the Dutch side. The Liberty Stadium outfit will provide Wetzel's side with a more problematic test than the Memorial Stadium outfit. There will be a few familiar faces in the Swansea side for ADO as Ferrie Bodde and Dorus De Vries prepare to face to face their former club. Bodde joined the club in 2000 when he signed his first professional contract after impressing in the clubs jeugdelftallen (youth system). The midfielder had to wait some time before breaking into the first team and his hard work paid off in April 2001 when he made his first team debut against Oosterenkstadion based outfit FC Zwolle. He would go onto make four other appearances for the club in his début season. Bodde had slowly established himself as a fixture in the ADO Den Haag side making a further 150+ competitive appearances for the club scoring 10 goals along the way.
Swansea shot-stopper Dorus De Vries had then attracted the attentions of the Dutch side and in 2003 he made his much anticipated move to the club. De Vries was quick to seize his opportunity at Den Haag and claimed his first team place over Roland Jansen. He would go onto make 50+ appearances for the club before a move to Dunfermline Athletic in Scotland beckoned. Both are expected to feature against their former club but Angel Rangel and Gorka Pindtado will not be available due to injury. One player who could secure match time is striker Jason Scotland who came on as a second half substitute against West Brom on Saturday.
Vital Swansea Prediction: Swansea City 2-2 ADO Den Haag.
more pre match build up to come....
Date:Sunday August 3 2008
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