|Full name||Sportclub Heerenveen|
|Nickname(s)||De Superfriezen (The Super Frisians)
|Founded||20 July 1920|
|Ground||Abe Lenstra Stadion|
|Website||Club home page|
Sportclub Heerenveen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈspɔrtklʏp ˌɦeːrə(n)ˈveːn]; Frisian: Sportklub It Hearrenfean) is a Dutch football club currently playing in the Eredivisie, the top level of football in the Netherlands.
Sportclub Heerenveen was founded on 20 July 1920 in the town of Heerenveen, Friesland as Athleta. They changed name twice, first to Spartaan, and then to v.v. Heerenveen in 1922. Whilst the Netherlands was occupied by Germany Heerenveen won three successive North of the Netherlands championships, and following the end of the Second World War they went on to win the same title six times in a row; the club's dominance partly ascribed to the presence of Abe Lenstra. During this period Lenstra led Heerenveen to a famous victory over AFC Ajax in one of the most noted games in Dutch domestic football history. Trailing 1–5 with 25 minutes remaining, the Frisian team inexplicably fought back for a 6–5 victory.
During the 1950s, Heerenveen regional dominance faded and after Dutch football turned professional Lenstra left to join Sportclub Enschede, before the club he departed was relegated to the Tweede Divisie. By the end of the decade, Heerenveen were in the Eerste Divisie, but they found themselves relegated again. In 1969–1970, the Frisian club won the Tweede Divisie to return to the Eerste Divisie and for two seasons in the 1970s, the club was close to achieving promotion to the Eredivisie. By 1974 the club were in financial trouble and to ensure survival was split into amateur and professional sections, the professional part being renamed sc Heerenveen.
In the 1980s, Heerenveen twice made the promotion playoffs, but were unsuccessful both times. They finally reached the Eredivisie in 1990, becoming the first Frisian club to reach the top level, at the expense of near-neighbours Cambuur Leeuwarden. The achievement was overseen by Frisian coach Foppe de Haan. Heerenveen's first season in the Netherlands' top division was not at all successful and they were relegated, before returning in 1993, though they reached the final of the KNVB Cup whilst still an Eerste Divisie club. Having established themselves as a top-flight club Heerenveen moved to a new stadium, named after their most celebrated player, the Abe Lenstra Stadion and reached the final of the KNVB Cup for a second time. The 1998 semi-final in the cup competition was lost to Ajax. Due to the fact Ajax and the other finalist (PSV) both qualified for the cupfinal a decision match was needed to fill in the vacant spot to the next UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Heerenveen had to play against the other losing semifinalist, Twente. Heerenveen won that match in which Ruud van Nistelrooy scored his last goal for Heerenveen. The match ended 3–1.
The club was led from 1983 until September 2006 by president Riemer van der Velde, the longest tenure of any president with a professional club in the Netherlands. As the results of recent transfers that include Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Afonso Alves, Michael Bradley, Miralem Sulejmani, Petter Hansson and Danijel Pranjic (and earlier players like Jon Dahl Tomasson, Marcus Allbäck, Erik Edman, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Igor Korneev and Daniel Jensen), Heerenveen is one of the most financially secure Eredivisie clubs. A 2010 report by the Dutch football association showed that Heerenveen is the only Eredivisie club that has a financially secure budget. Under the tenure of Trond Sollied, Heerenveen won their first KNVB Cup in the club's history, their first ever major prize. Trond Sollied was sacked on 31 August 2009 due to a weak opening of the season and a conflict with the board.
On 17 May 2009, they defeated Twente 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Dutch Cup for the first time after a 2–2 draw in the final, with Gerald Sibon scoring the winning penalty. On 13 February 2012 it was announced that Marco van Basten will replace Ron Jans, who had then lead SC Heerenveen for 2 years, as team manager for the 2012/2013 season.
The team plays their home games at the Abe Lenstra Stadion which opened in 1994 and holds 26,800 Heerenveen supporters. In 2011 SC Heerenveen will start to expand the stadium to 32,000 seats.
Colours, crest, and anthem
The crest on the club emblem is the symbol of the flag of Friesland. The flag of Friesland is based on the arms of the 15th century. The stripes and waterlily leaves represent the districts of Friesland. A unique tradition in the Dutch Eredivisie is that the Frisian national anthem is played and sung before every domestic match. UEFA does not allow this tradition in European matches. Nevertheless the anthem is sung by the supporters anyway.
The rivals of sc Heerenveen are SC Cambuur from Leeuwarden and FC Groningen from the city of Groningen. The distance between Heerenveen and Leeuwarden is only 30 kilometres; this is the first reason for the rivalry. Like everywhere, when two teams are geographically close to each other, each wants to do better than the other. The second reason for the rivalry is that most people who support sc Heerenveen are Frisians and live throughout all of Friesland. But almost all fans of Cambuur live in, or very close to the city of Leeuwarden. A large number of these people don't see themselves as Frisians, but as "Leeuwarders". They also speak a different dialect, Stadsfries or Cityfrisian. On the stands of Cambuur some fans will sing anti-Frisian songs, describing the Frisians as farmers. This is because Leeuwarden is the biggest city in Friesland and its Capital city. The other cities in Friesland are relatively small. Strictly spoken Heerenveen is not a city. The province of Friesland has eleven cities and Heerenveen is not among them. Heerenveen was never given city rights. SC Heerenveen and SC Cambuur played both three seasons together on the highest level in the Netherlands. The first season was 1993/1994, the following two in 1998/1999 and 1999/2000. In the 1999/2000 season Cambuur relegated from the Eredivisie. Sc Heerenveen finished that season as runners up. Starting the 2013/14 season Sc Cambuur will return to the Eredivisie. So the teams meet each other in competition again after 12 seasons. With Sc Cambuur having returned to the top flight the derby has been revived.
FC Groningen is another rival of sc Heerenveen. The distance between Heerenveen and Groningen is 60 kilometres, connected through the A7 motorway. Just like Leeuwarden this is a small distance. Sc Heerenveen and FC Groningen are the two clubs of the Northern part of the Netherlands; therefore a match between the teams is called "The derby of the North". The winner of the match will crown itself as "Kampioen van het Noorden" (Champions of the North) until the next meeting between the two clubs. With Cambuur playing at the same tier as them that title disappeared. Often some days before the match, the fans of sc Heerenveen and FC Groningen compete with each other as well—not with violence but with stunts. Fans of Heerenveen once stole the kick-off spot from the FC Groningen stadium, and raised the Frisian flag at the Martinitoren, the highest tower in Groningen. The front yard of a Groningen-chairman once got filled with rubble from a construction site. This was because the construction of the recent stadium of FC Groningen Euroborg had to be halted because of a major mistake in the design. FC Groningen fans countered with painting a statue of sc Heerenveen hero Abe Lenstra in green and white, the colours of FC Groningen. They also painted a viaduct near Heerenveen green and white. 
Below is a table with sc Heerenveen's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.
|Domestic Results since 1956|
|Domestic league||League result||Qualification to||KNVB Cup season||Cup result|
|2012–13 Eredivisie||8th||(losing UC play-offs)||2012–13||fourth round|
|2011–12 Eredivisie||5th||Europa League (Q3)||2011–12||semi-final|
|2010–11 Eredivisie||12th||–||2010–11||fourth round|
|2009–10 Eredivisie||11th||–||2009–10||round of 16|
|2008–09 Eredivisie||5th||Europa League (Q4)||2008–09||winners|
|2007–08 Eredivisie||5th||UEFA Cup (losing CL play-offs)||2007–08||third round|
|2006–07 Eredivisie||5th||UEFA Cup (losing CL play-offs)||2006–07||second round|
|2005–06 Eredivisie||7th||UEFA Cup (winning UC play-offs)||2005–06||quarter final|
|2004–05 Eredivisie||5th||UEFA Cup||2004–05||round of 16|
|2003–04 Eredivisie||4th||UEFA Cup||2003–04||round of 16|
|2002–03 Eredivisie||7th||Intertoto Cup (R3)||2002–03||quarter final|
|2001–02 Eredivisie||4th||UEFA Cup||2001–02||quarter final|
|2000–01 Eredivisie||10th||Intertoto Cup (R2)||2000–01||semi-final|
|1999–2000 Eredivisie||2nd||Champions League||1999–2000||second round|
|1998–99 Eredivisie||7th||Intertoto Cup (R3)||1998–99||second round|
|1997–98 Eredivisie||6th||Cup Winners' Cup||1997–98||3rd place|
|1996–97 Eredivisie||7th||Intertoto Cup||1996–97||final|
|1995–96 Eredivisie||7th||Intertoto Cup||1995–96||second round|
|1994–95 Eredivisie||9th||Intertoto Cup||1994–95||semi-final|
|1993–94 Eredivisie||13th||–||1993–94||third round|
|1992–93 Eerste Divisie||2nd||Eredivisie (winning promotion/releg. play-offs)||1992–93||final|
|1991–92 Eerste Divisie||3rd||–||1991–92||third round|
|1990–91 Eredivisie||17th||Eerste Divisie (relegation)||1990–91||first round|
|1989–90 Eerste Divisie||16th||Eredivisie (winning promotion/releg. play-offs)||1989–90||second round|
|1988–89 Eerste Divisie||6th||promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion||1988–89||round of 16|
|1987–88 Eerste Divisie||10th||–||1987–88||first round|
|1986–87 Eerste Divisie||12th||–||1986–87||first round|
|1985–86 Eerste Divisie||17th||–||1985–86||second round|
|1984–85 Eerste Divisie||6th||–||1984–85||second round|
|1983–84 Eerste Divisie||13th||–||1983–84||first round|
|1982–83 Eerste Divisie||8th||–||1982–83||second round|
|1981–82 Eerste Divisie||6th||promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion||1981–82||second round|
|1980–81 Eerste Divisie||2nd||promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion||1980–81||second round|
|1979–80 Eerste Divisie||11th||–||1979–80||second round|
|1978–79 Eerste Divisie||11th||–||1978–79||second round|
|1977–78 Eerste Divisie||11th||–||1977–78||first round|
|1976–77 Eerste Divisie||13th||–||1976–77||second round|
|1975–76 Eerste Divisie||13th||–||1975–76||first round|
|1974–75 Eerste Divisie||7th||–||1974–75||first round|
|1973–74 Eerste Divisie||3rd||–||1973–74||second round|
|1972–73 Eerste Divisie||10th||–||1972–73||second round|
|1971–72 Eerste Divisie||3rd||–||1971–72||first round|
|1970–71 Eerste Divisie||9th||–||1970–71||first round|
|1969–70 Tweede Divisie||1st||Eerste Divisie (promotion)||1969–70||first round|
|1968–69 Tweede Divisie||9th||–||1968–69||round of 16|
|1967–68 Tweede Divisie||15th||–||1967–68||group stage|
|1966–67 Tweede Divisie||19th||–||1966–67||DNC|
|1965–66 Tweede Divisie||9th (group A)||–||1965–66||group stage|
|1964–65 Tweede Divisie||9th (group A)||–||1964–65||second round|
|1963–64 Tweede Divisie||4th (group A)||–||1963–64||first round|
|1962–63 Tweede Divisie||12th (group A)||–||1962–63||first round|
|1961–62 Eerste Divisie||11th (group B)||Tweede Divisie (relegation)||1961–62||third round|
|1960–61 Eerste Divisie||7th (group B)||–||1960–61||?|
|1959–60 Tweede Divisie||3rd (group B)||Eerste Divisie (winning promo./releg. play-off)||not held||not held|
|1958–59 Tweede Divisie||11th (group B)||–||1958–59||round of 16|
|1957–58 Tweede Divisie||10th (group B)||–||1957–58||?|
|1956–57 Tweede Divisie||8th (group A)||–||1956–57||?|
SC Heerenveen played 16 seasons in one of the European clubfootball competitions.
- score marked with * = first played match
|1995||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Group 4||Næstved BK||2-1|
|Ton Pentre F.C.||7-0|
|Round of 16||Farul Constanţa||4-0|
|Quarterfinals||FC Girondins de Bordeaux||0-2|
|1996||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Group 5||Sligo Rovers F.C.||0-0|
|1997||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Group 1||FC Dinamo-93 Minsk||0-1|
|1998-99||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||First round||Amica Wronki||3-1 *||1-0|
|Second round||NK Varaždin||2-1 *||2-4 (aet)|
|1999||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Third round||Hammarby IF||2-0 *||2-0|
|Semi-finals||West Ham United F.C.||0-1||0-1 *|
|2000-01||UEFA Champions League||Group C||Valencia CF||0-1||1-1|
|2001||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Second round||FK Liepājas Metalurgs||6-1||2-3 *|
|Third round||FC Basel||2-3||1-2 *|
|2002-03||UEFA Cup||First round||FC Naţional Bucureşti||2-0||0-3 *|
|2003||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Third round||Lierse S.K.||4-1 *||1-0|
|Semi-finals||FC Koper||2-0 *||0-1|
|Finals||Villarreal CF||1-2 *||0-0|
|2004-05||UEFA Cup||First round||Maccabi Petah Tikva FC||5-0||n.p.  *|
|Group G||S.L. Benfica||2-4|
|Third round||Newcastle United F.C.||1-2 *||1-2|
|2005-06||UEFA Cup||First round||FC Baník Ostrava||5-0||0-2 *|
|Group F||FC Dinamo Bucureşti||0-0|
|Olympique de Marseille||0-1|
|Third round||Steaua Bucureşti||1-3 *||1-0|
|2006-07||UEFA Cup||First round||Vitória Setúbal||0-0||3-0  *|
|Group D||CA Osasuna||0-0|
|2007-08||UEFA Cup||First round||Helsingborgs IF||5-3 *||1-5|
|2008-09||UEFA Cup||First round||Vitória Setúbal||5-2||1-1  *|
|Group E||A.C. Milan||1-3|
|2009-10||UEFA Europa League||Play-off round||PAOK Thessaloniki||1-1 (a) *||0-0|
|Group D||Sporting CP||2-3||1-1|
|2012-13||UEFA Europa League||Third Q-round||FC Rapid București||4-0 *||0-1|
|Play-off round||Molde FK||1-2||0-2 *|
- ^1 Due to safety concerns in Israel, the first leg was cancelled by UEFA.
- ^2 Played in Estádio José Alvalade, Lissabon.
As of 1 July 2014
For recent transfers, see List of Dutch football transfers summer 2014
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
Had senior international cap(s) for their respective countries. Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries while playing for SC Heerenveen
In 2007 SC Heerenveen created a women's football team, which competed first in the Vrouwen Eredivisie and since 2012 in the BeNe League. While it has ranked mostly in the table's bottom positions in 2011 it reached the national cup's final, lost against AZ Alkmaar.
- "The history of Heerenveen". www.sc-heerenveen.nl. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "sc Heerenveen: EVERY DUTCHMAN'S SECOND FAVORITE TEAM". www.ajax-usa.com. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "Financiële problemen voor profclubs". RTL Nieuws. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- "Heerenveen prevail in Dutch final shoot-out". Uefa.com. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- flag in Groningen
- The painted statue
- van Cuilenborg, C. (Ed.) (2007). Voetbal international, seizoengids 2007–2008. (p. 92). Amsterdam: WP Sport Media BV.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SC Heerenveen.|
- Official website of sc Heerenveen (Dutch) / (English)
- Official website of the supportsclub of sc Heerenveen (Dutch)
- Unofficial website of sc Heerenveen (Dutch)
- Unofficial website of sc Heerenveen (Dutch)