||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2013)|
|Full name||Alkmaar Zaanstreek|
|Nickname(s)||The Cheese Farmers|
|Founded||10 May 1967|
|Manager||Marco van Basten|
|Website||Club home page|
Alkmaar Zaanstreek ([ˈɑlkmaːr ˈzaːnstreːk]), better known as AZ Alkmaar or simply AZ (Dutch pronunciation: [aːˈzɛt]), is an association football club from Alkmaar and the Zaanstreek, Netherlands. The club plays in the Eredivisie, the highest football league in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1967 as AZ '67.
AZ was founded on 10 May 1967 as AZ '67, the result of a merger of Alkmaar '54 and FC Zaanstreek. FC Zaanstreek was formed in 1964, continuing the professional adventure of the Kooger Football Club (KFC). KFC had been founded in 1910, had nearly become National Champion in 1934 through a narrow loss to Ajax in the finals, and had been professional since 1955.
In 1964, the brothers Cees and Klaas Molenaar, former players for KFC and owners of a growing appliance store chain, sought to create a powerful football team in the Zaanstreek by merging the two local professional teams (KFC and ZFC). After this merger failed, they successfully merged KFC (now "FC Zaanstreek") with Alkmaar '54, though the team would be located in Alkmaar. Partially through the hiring of expensive foreign players, the new club soon acquired large debts. Fortunately in 1972 the brothers Molenaar bailed it out and invested heavily in the club, to the point that AZ '67 were successful in the late seventies and early eighties, playing European football in five of the six seasons from 1977 to 1982 and winning the Dutch Cup three times over that period.
After four near-misses, AZ finally became Dutch champions in 1981. They were the only team other than the "big three" (Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV) to do so in a period stretching from 1965 to 2009, when AZ repeated as champions. They won the 1980–81 season with overwhelming power, winning 27 of 34 matches while losing only one, and scoring 101 goals while allowing only 30. The same season they reached the final of the UEFA Cup, losing 4:5 on aggregate to Ipswich Town. The next year in the UEFA Champions League they lost in the second round 2:3 on aggregate to Liverpool. Georg Keßler was AZ's manager over most of these years (1978–1982), while star players included Kees Kist, Jan Peters, Hugo Hovenkamp, John Metgod and Kristen Nygaard.
Things went downhill after Klaas Molenaar left the club in 1985 (Cees had died in 1979). In 1988, AZ were even relegated from the Eredivisie.
The involvement of businessman Dirk Scheringa in the mid-'90s marked the revival of the club. AZ returned to the Eredivisie in 1998. In 2004–05, they reappeared in the UEFA Cup tournament, advancing to the semi-finals. The second leg of these semis against Sporting CP had a heart-breaking ending, when Sporting scored in the 122nd minute (2 minutes into stoppage time) to reach an aggregate tie of 4:4, but to win on away goals. AZ also finished third in the Eredivisie that season, again qualifying for the UEFA Cup, after spending most of the season in the top two spots. These were remarkable achievements for a small club like AZ, which does not have a similar fanbase as their Eredivisie and European rivals: AZ's home ground until the 2006-07 season, the Alkmaarderhout, had a spectator capacity of 8,390.
In the summer of 2006, the club moved to a new 17,000 capacity stadium AZ Stadion.Club's chairman Dirk Scheringa stated in 2007 that he wished to expand the stadium capacity to 40,000 by 2010.Ultimately, the club began plans to expand the stadium to at least 30,000 seats by 2011–12.
AZ had a very good 2006–07 season, which ended, however, in disaster. Going into the last game of the 2006–07 season, AZ led PSV and Ajax by goal-differential for the Eredivisie championship, but ended up third after losing this last match against bottom-dweller Excelsior, playing with 10 men for 80 minutes. Further setbacks followed when AZ lost the KNVB Cup finals to Ajax, 8–7 in penalty kicks after a drawn game, and also lost to Ajax over two playoff games for the Champions League. After the season, key players like Tim de Cler, Danny Koevermans, and Shota Arveladze left the team.
A remarkable run ended in the 2007-08 season: AZ had been undefeated in their first 32 home matches in European competitions, a sequence which ran from 1977 until 20 December 2007, when they finally lost to Everton of England by a score of 3–2. In this season, AZ performed so badly (first round loss in the KNVB Cup, elimination from the UEFA Cup before winter break and a final 11th position in the Eredivisie), that team manager Louis van Gaal felt obliged to hand in his resignation in March 2008. However, after protests from the players and direction, van Gaal withdrew his resignation to finish his contractual obligations.
The 2008–09 season had an unpromising start with two defeats against NAC Breda and ADO Den Haag. However, starting with a 1–0 victory over defending league champions PSV, the team didn't lose in the next 28 matches, including a stretch of 11 matches in which the opposing teams did not score a single goal. Three weeks before the end of the season, despite their second home defeat of the season (against Vitesse), AZ became Eredivisie champions when nearest rivals Twente and Ajax both lost their matches.AZ qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the second time, but only took four points from six matches and finished bottom of their group.
Ronald Koeman, succeeded Louis van Gaal after the 2008–09 season. Van Gaal had already left for Bayern Munich after becoming league champions with AZ. Koeman became the manager for AZ on 17 May 2009.On 5 December 2009 AZ announced that Koeman no longer was in charge of AZ, after losing 7 of the first 16 games in the Dutch competition.Former Zenit St. Petersburg manager Dick Advocaat took over for the rest of the season. Under his lead, some good results were achieved and European football was secured. For the 2010–2011 season, Gertjan Verbeek, coming from Heracles Almelo, will be the new manager.
He saw key players including Mounir El Hamdaoui, Mousa Dembélé, Jermain Lens and David Mendes da Silva leave the club. New players included young talents like Nick Viergever, Erik Falkenburg Dirk Marcellis and goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado. AZ finished the 2010/11 season in 4th place, securing Europa League football for the next season. Kolbeinn Sigþórsson ended as the clubs top scorer with 15 league goals. In the KNVB Cup AZ reached the eighth-finals, where they were beaten by rivals Ajax with 1-0. AZ reached the 3rd place in their Europa League group, thus not qualifying for the knock out round.
Again, important players left AZ before the 2011/12 season. Captain Stijn Schaars, Sigþórsson, first choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero, Héctor Moreno and Graziano Pelle left Alkmaar, while the club welcomed new players including forwards Jozy Altidore and Roy Beerens. The new captain was Niklas Moisander. Once more AZ finished in 4th place in the league, but they performed significantly better in cup competitions, reaching the semi-finals in the national cup and the quarter-finals in the Europa League. Altidore became the top scorer for AZ with 15 goals. On 21 December, during the eighth-finals of the KNVB Cup, a 19 year old Ajax fan entered the pitch in the 36th minute, with the score 1-0 for Ajax, attacking AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado. The fan slipped and Alvarado kicked the fan twice, which led to the goalkeeper being sent off. Following this, Gertjan Verbeek ordered his players to leave the pitch for the dressing room in protest. Later, the match was played again on 19 January 2012, with Alvarado's red card rescinded. AZ won the match with 3-2.
After the departure of captains Niklas Moisander and Rasmus Elm, Maarten Martens was named the new captain for the 2012/13 season. Other notable players to leave the club were Simon Poulsen and Brett Holman. Steven Berghuis, Viktor Elm (Rasmus Elms brother) and Markus Henriksen were amongst the new players. The season had a bad start, as AZ was eliminated from the Europa League in the playoff round by Guus Hiddinks FC Anzhi Makhachkala. In the league things didn't go as well as expected, with AZ ending in 10th place. Eventually the season ended well for AZ as they won the KNVB Cup after beating PSV with 2-1 in the final, after two early goals by Adam Maher and Jozy Altidore. By winning the cup, AZ qualified for Europa League football after all. The success led to the record transfers of Altidore and Maher for respectively 10 million and 8 million.
As of 23 May 2014
For recent transfers, see List of Dutch football transfers winter 2013–14
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Stadium and sponsor
AZ play their home games at the AFAS Stadion, located in the southern part of the city of Alkmaar. The stadium, which is owned directly by the club, was inaugurated in 2006 and replaced the old Alkmaarderhout venue as the DSB Stadion. The stadium currently has a capacity of 17,023. During its design stages the name Victorie Stadion was frequently used, referring to the Dutch War of Independence, the phrase "n Alkmaar begint de victorie" (Victory begins in Alkmaar) in particular. Until now, this name hasn't been officially in use, the board instead opting for sponsorship deals because of financial motives. However, to this day the name maintains a good share of support among the fans.
In order to further grow the club's budget, the AZ board of directors has decided to extend the capacity of the new stadium to a minimum of 30,000 seated spectators somewhere in the near future. The extension will be realised to construct a second tier to three of the four stands. The main stand with all technical areas, VIP and sponsor and media facilities will remain in place.
In October 2009 sponsor DSB Bank was declared bankrupt. The stadium name temporarily changed from DSB Stadion to AZ Stadion, as it was considered undesirable that the stadium was linked with a non-existent bank. In February 2010 a new main sponsor was found: construction works service provider BUKO from Beverwijk.
As of 2012, AZ is the only club to have beaten Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV away from home in a single Eredivisie season. sc Heerenveen managed to do the same in 2008–09, though their away victory at Feyenoord was a KNVB Cup match (Heerenveen had drawn 2–2 at De Kuip in the Eredivisie match).
- Eerste Divisie
- Tweede Divisie
- Runners-up (1): 19641
- KNVB Cup
- Johan Cruijff Shield
- Amsterdam Tournament:
- Winners (3): 1977, 1979, 1982
- Runners-up (1): 1980
1 As Alkmaar '54
AZ in Europe
Below is a table with AZ's international results in the past seasons.
|AZ in Europe|
|Year(s)||Tournament||Result||Opponents (home result, away result)|
|1977–78||UEFA Cup||Second Round||Red Boys Differdange (11–1, 5–0); Barcelona (1–1, 1–1p)|
|1978–79||Cup Winners' Cup||First Round||Ipswich Town (0–0, 0–2)|
|1980–81||UEFA Cup||Final||Red Boys Differdange (6–0, 4–0); Levski Sofia (5–0, 1–1); Radnički Niš (5–0, 2–2); Lokeren (2–0, 0–1); Sochaux (3–2, 1–1); Ipswich Town (4–2, 0–3)|
|1981–82||European Cup||Round of 16||Start (1–0, 3–1); Liverpool (2–2, 2–3)|
|1982–83||Cup Winners' Cup||Round of 16||Limerick (1–0, 1–1); Internazionale (1–0, 0–2)|
|2004–05||UEFA Cup||Semi-final||PAOK (2–1, 3–2); Group F with Auxerre (home: 2–0), Amica Wronki (away: 3–1), Rangers (home: 1–0), Grazer (away: 0–2), result: group winner; Alemannia Aachen (2–1, 0–0); Shakhtar Donetsk (2–1, 3–1); Villarreal (1–1, 2–1); Sporting CP (3–2aet/a, 1–2)|
|2005–06||UEFA Cup||Round of 32||Krylya Sovetov Samara (a3–1, 3–5); Group D with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (away: 2–1), Middlesbrough (home: 0–0), Litex Lovech (away: 2–0), Grasshopper (home: 1–0), result: group runners-up; Real Betis (2–1aet, 0–2)|
|2006–07||UEFA Cup||Quarter-final||Kayserispor (3–2, 1–1); Group C with Braga (home: 3–0), Grasshopper (away: 5–2), Slovan Liberec (home: 2–2), Sevilla (away: 2–1), result: group winner; Fenerbahçe (a2–2, 3–3); Newcastle United (a2–0, 2–4); Werder Bremen (0–0, 1–4)|
|2007–08||UEFA Cup||Group Stage||Paços de Ferreira (0–0, 1–0); Group A with Zenit St. Petersburg (away: 1–1), Larissa (home: 1–0), Nuremberg (away: 1–2), Everton (home: 2–3), result: 4th place in group|
|2009–10||Champions League||Group Stage||Group H with Olympiacos (0–0, 0–1), Standard Liège (1–1, 1–1), Arsenal (1–1, 1–4), result: 4th place in group|
|2010–11||Europa League||Group Stage||IFK Göteborg (2–0, 0–1); FC Aktobe (2–0, 1–2); Group E with BATE (3–0, 1–4), FC Sheriff (2–1, 1–1), Dynamo Kyiv (1–2, 0–2), result: 3rd place in group|
|2011–12||Europa League||Quarter-final||Jablonec (2–0, 1–1); Aalesunds FK (6–0, 1–2); Group G with Metalist Kharkiv (1–1, 1–1), Austria Wien (2–2, 2–2), Malmö FF (4–1, 0–0), result: group runners-up; Anderlecht (1–0, 1–0); Udinese (2–0, 1–2); Valencia (2–1, 0–4)|
|2012–13||Europa League||Play-off round||Anzhi Makhachkala (0–1, 0–5)|
|2013–14||Europa League||Quarter-final||Atromitos (3–1, 0–2); Group L with Maccabi Haifa (1–0, 2–0), PAOK (1–1, 2–2), Shakhter Karagandy (1–1, 1–0), result: group winner; Slovan Liberec (1–1, 1–0); Anzhi Makhachkala (1-0, 0-0) ; Benfica (0-1, 0-2)|
Below is a table with AZ's domestic results since the introduction of professional football in 1956.
|Domestic Results since 1956|
|Domestic league||League result||Qualification to||KNVB Cup season||Cup result|
|2012–13 Eredivisie||10th||Europa League||2012–13||winner|
|2011–12 Eredivisie||4th||Europa League (Q4)||2011–12||semi-finals|
|2010–11 Eredivisie||4th||Europa League (Q3)||2010–11||round of 16|
|2009–10 Eredivisie||5th||Europa League (Q3)||2009–10||round of 16|
|2008–09 Eredivisie||1st||Champions League||2008–09||quarter finals|
|2007–08 Eredivisie||11th||–||2007–08||second round|
|2006–07 Eredivisie||3rd||UEFA Cup (after losing CL play-offs)||2006–07||final|
|2005–06 Eredivisie||2nd||UEFA Cup (after losing CL play-offs)||2005–06||semi-finals|
|2004–05 Eredivisie||3rd||UEFA Cup||2004–05||round of 16|
|2003–04 Eredivisie||5th||UEFA Cup||2003–04||second round|
|2002–03 Eredivisie||10th||–||2002–03||second round (knock-out stage)|
|2001–02 Eredivisie||10th||–||2001–02||second round (knock-out stage)|
|2000–01 Eredivisie||13th||–||2000–01||quarter finals|
|1998–99 Eredivisie||9th||–||1998–99||round of 16|
|1997–98 Eerste Divisie||1st||Eredivisie (promotion)||1997–98||first round (knock-out stage)|
|1996–97 Eredivisie||18th||Eerste Divisie (relegation)||1996–97||quarter finals|
|1995–96 Eerste Divisie||1st||Eredivisie (promotion)||1995–96||round of 16|
|1994–95 Eerste Divisie||5th||promotion/relegation play-off: no promotion||1994–95||round of 16|
|1993–94 Eerste Divisie||3rd||promotion/relegation play-off: no promotion||1993–94||round of 16|
|1992–93 Eerste Divisie||10th||–||1992–93||third round|
|1991–92 Eerste Divisie||13th||–||1991–92||second round|
|1990–91 Eerste Divisie||4th||promotion/relegation play-off: no promotion||1990–91||first round|
|1989–90 Eerste Divisie||12th||–||1989–90||first round|
|1988–89 Eerste Divisie||5th||–||1988–89||quarter finals|
|1987–88 Eredivisie||16th||Eerste Divisie (relegation)||1987–88||first round|
|1986–87 Eredivisie||15th||–||1986–87||second round|
|1985–86 Eredivisie||9th||–||1985–86||second round|
|1984–85 Eredivisie||13th||–||1984–85||first round|
|1983–84 Eredivisie||6th||–||1983–84||quarter finals|
|1982–83 Eredivisie||11th||–||1982–83||second round|
|1981–82 Eredivisie||3rd||Cup Winners' Cup||1981–82||winner|
|1980–81 Eredivisie||1st||European Cup||1980–81||winner|
|1979–80 Eredivisie||2nd||UEFA Cup||1979–80||quarter finals|
|1978–79 Eredivisie||4th||–||1978–79||quarter finals|
|1977–78 Eredivisie||3rd||Cup Winners' Cup||1977–78||winner|
|1976–77 Eredivisie||3rd||UEFA Cup||1976–77||semi-finals|
|1975–76 Eredivisie||5th||–||1975–76||quarter finals|
|1974–75 Eredivisie||5th||–||1974–75||quarter finals|
|1973–74 Eredivisie||7th||–||1973–74||quarter finals|
|1971–72 Eerste Divisie||2nd||Eredivisie (promotion)||1971–72||first round|
|1970–71 Eredivisie||17th||Eerste Divisie (relegation)||1970–71||second round|
|1969–70 Eredivisie||12th||–||1969–70||quarter finals|
|1968–69 Eredivisie||16th||– (after surviving relegation play-offs)||1968–69||second round|
|1967–68 Eerste Divisie||2nd||Eredivisie (promotion)||1967–68||group stage|
|1966–67 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54
and FC Zaanstreek)
|–||1966–67||first round
first round
|1965–66 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar'54)
1965–66 Tweede Divisie (as FC Zaanstreek)
3rd (group A)
Eerste Divisie (promotion)
|1965–66||group stage
group stage
|1964–65 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)
1964–65 Tweede Divisie (as FC Zaanstreek)
6th (group A)
|–||1964–65||first round
first round
|1963–64 Tweede Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||1st (group A); 2nd overall losing play-off||Eerste Divisie (winning promotion tournament)||1963–64||first round|
|1962–63 Tweede Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||4th (group A)||–||1962–63||semi-finals|
|1961–62 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||12th (group A)||Tweede Divisie (relegation)||1961–62||?|
|1960–61 Eredivisie (as Alkmaar '54)||17th||Eerste Divisie (relegation)||1960–61||?|
|1959–60 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||1st (group B)||Eredivisie (promotion)||not held||not held|
|1958–59 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||4th (group A)||–||1958–59||?|
|1957–58 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||9th (group A)||–||1957–58||?|
|1956–57 Eerste Divisie (as Alkmaar '54)||2nd (group A)||–||1956–57||?|
- See also Category:AZ Alkmaar players.
- Kees Kist (1972–82), (1986–87)
- Kristen Nygaard (1972–82)
- Bert van Marwijk (1975–78)
- Willem van Hanegem (1976–79)
- Kurt Welzl (1979–81)
- Louis van Gaal (1986–87)
- Phillip Cocu (1988–90)
- Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (1990–93)
- Michael Buskermolen (1990-2006)
- Fernando Ricksen (1997-2000)
- Barry van Galen (1997-2006)
- Ron Vlaar (2004–06)
- Mousa Dembélé (2006–10)
- Sergio Romero (2007–11)
- Héctor Moreno (2008–11)
- Jozy Altidore (2011–13)
- Gerrit van Wijhe (1954–56)
- Kick Smit (1956–58)
- Ludwig Veg (1958–60)
- Piet de Wolff (1960–61)
- Bonnie Bult (1961–62)
- Arie Rentenaar (1962–63)
- Ludwig Veg (1963–65)
- Barry Hughes (1965–67)
- Lesley Talbot (1967–68)
- Wim Blokland (1968–69)
- Robert Heinz (1969–71)
- Cor van der Hart (1971–73)
- Joop Brand (1973–76)
- Hans Kraay, Sr. (1976–77)
- Jan Notermans (1977)
- Cor van der Hart (1977–78)
- Georg Kessler (1978–82)
- Hans Eijkenbroek (1982–83)
- Piet de Visser (1983–85)
- Han Berger (1985–86)
- Hans Eijkenbroek (1986 – 1989)
- Hans van Doorneveld (1989 – 1990)
- Henk Wullems (1990 – 1993)
- Piet Schrijvers (1993 – October 31, 1995)
- Theo Vonk (October 31, 1995 – February 28, 1997)
- Hans de Koning (Interim) (February 28, 1997 – June 30, 1997)
- Willem van Hanegem (July 1, 1997 – June 30, 1999)
- Gerard van der Lem (July 1, 1999 – March 30, 2000)
- Henk van Stee (March 31, 2000 – October 30, 2002)
- Co Adriaanse (October 30, 2002 – June 30, 2005)
- Louis van Gaal (July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2009)
- Ronald Koeman (July 1, 2009 – December 5, 2009)
- Martin Haar (Interim) (December 5, 2009 – December 10, 2009)
- Dick Advocaat (December 10, 2009 – June 30, 2010)
- Gertjan Verbeek (July 1, 2010 – September 29, 2013)
- Martin Haar (Interim) (September 29, 2013 – October 15, 2013)
- Dick Advocaat (October 15, 2013 – June 30, 2014)
- Marco van Basten (June 30, 2014 – present)
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