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 Atmosphere report

Willem II - NAC Breda (2-0)
Eredivisie, 19 February 2006
Stadium : Willem II Stadion
Attendance : 12.500

This edition of the Derby of Brabant was a tensed one. Both Willem II and NAC had a terrible season and the clubs from Tilburg and Breda could use the three points to avoid relegation.

Willem II, who suffered a 1-0 defeat by RKC Waalwijk a week ago, had to play in their own stadium their rivals NAC, who were boosted by a 3-3 draw against Feyenoord. 12500 fans, including a small 1000 fans from Breda, were looking forward to this local derby. I was one of these NAC fans and I watched the game from the stand with NAC fans.

Normally, the tradition prior to this match is that fans of both clubs do funny actions. In prior seasons fans of Willem II dumped 400 kilos of shit in front of the NAC Stadium and as a reaction to this the NAC fans dumped 4500 baby diapers at Willem II's Stadium.

In another previous season NAC fans rebuilt the town of Tilburg during night to a quiet area (referring to their given nickname to Willem II; Stillem II (stil = quiet), because Willem II fans aren't fanatic as the NAC fans), by hanging banners throughout Tilburg and across the highway. Earlier, Willem II fans redecorated a work of art in Breda in their club colours, when they reached the final for the Dutch Cup.

The expectations for these actions were also tensed, but due to the negative results of both clubs, only the NAC fans did their action. One group dumped 14000 handkerchiefs at Willem II's stadium, while another group dug out the centre spot.

Prior to the match some 150 Willem II fans boosted Willem II's morale by showing up to the latest training with fireworks, while about 600 NAC fans waved out their team. When the NAC squad left the stadium to go to the buss the NAC fans began to sing, jump and they lighted a bunch a flames and fireworks to boost the NAC team's morale. After an impressive waving out, the bus left for Tilburg and most of the fans went to the fans' busses to await their departure towards Tilburg.

The busses left in three queues and I was in the last one. In this queue there was a mixture of NAC's fanatic fans and some hooligan groups from NAC. When the last queue arrived at the Willem II Stadion, a group of Willem II fans were waiting for the NAC fans. Apparently their intension was to assault the latest queue of NAC fans, but fortunately the police interfered. Finally this resulted into some singing to each other and both groups entered the stadium to watch the game.

The match was terrible for NAC. The team didn't show the will to win this important match and Willem II really fought for the three points. This led to frustration amongst the NAC fans and it gave the Willem II fans a boost to support their team even more. After 90 minutes Willem II earned their 2-0 victory.

During the match it became obvious that NAC fans and Willem II fans won't become friends in the near future. The Kingside, Willem II's fanatic fans side, lies next to the away block, so the singing over between both stands was funny.

It was especially funny to see how Willem II fans spent more time in provoking the NAC fans, throwing objects to the NAC fans and paying attention to the NAC fans. The NAC fans reacted cynical to the, in their eyes, childish reaction of the Kingside. This led to even more singing over, which stimulated the atmosphere in the away block even more.

After the match the Willem II fans celebrated their victory, but they were removed by their own stewards. The peace returned to the Willem II Stadium and after the NAC fans left, it was as quiet as ever after.

Report added : 02 January 2007
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