A Taste of the Orient….
In November last year, we received a message via our Facebook page, from Ruud Wuijster, that he and his friend Carl Zwijnenburg would like to come over from Holland and join us for their first away day with Crawley Town.
Ruud (33) and Carl (24), who live near Rotterdam and are PSV Eindhoven fans, had previously been to England, not only a few weeks ago to watch Man Utd. vs. PSV but a few years ago also, to watch a Spurs vs. West Ham game where they had stayed in a local hotel, before travelling to London. On their journey, they passed the iconic football on the roundabout outside the Stadium and from then on vowed that one day they would take in a game at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
That day came when they made their first visit to watch the relegation battle vs. Coventry, last May, in what was to be our last game in League One. They were hooked by the passion and atmosphere from the Crawley fans and despite the outcome, again vowed that they would come over from Holland for their first away day with the Crawley fans. That day was decided as the Leyton Orient game on 27th February, so we booked them on our coach, they ordered their match tickets and were looking forward to the day. In the meantime they were following all things Crawley via the YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter and arranging for their Dutch/Crawley flag to be made up.
Saturday morning arrived and they left their homes at 4am to catch their flight. Nerves set in, as they were delayed for an hour, but they arrived at the Stadium in time and we made the journey to Brisbane Road. We spoke to Carl on the coach and he told our travelling supporters why both he and Ruud had fallen in love with Crawley Town. This was greeted with a round of applause from everyone. We asked them for their predictions: Carl went for an optimistic 1-3 and Ruud thought it would be 1-2. Unfortunately, the score was no-where near either prediction and the game was pretty poor too!
A few CTSA travellers joined Ruud and Carl with their flag.
After the game we asked what Ruud and Carl thought of the day and they were pleasantly surprised to be able to drink in the Leyton Orient supporters bar with the opposing fans, as this wouldn’t happen in Holland. It unfortunately wasn’t a good game and Orient was the much better team but they both hope to be back for the last game of the season against Barnet. Carl summed up the trip: “The result was the only thing missing from a “beautiful day”.
We look forward to seeing our Dutch friends again, in May, and hope they had a good flight home.