Go Ahead Eagles

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Go Ahead Eagles
Go Ahead Eagles logo.svg
Full nameGo Ahead Eagles
Nickname(s)The pride of the IJssel
Kowet (Dunglish pronunciation of "Go Ahead")
Founded2 December 1902; 120 years ago (1902-12-02)
GroundDe Adelaarshorst
ChairmanJan Willem van Dop
Head coachRené Hake
2022–23Eredivisie, 11th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Go Ahead Eagles (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɡoː əˈɦɛt ˈiɡəls]) are a Dutch professional football club from the city of Deventer. They play in the Eredivisie, the top tier of Dutch football, having achieved promotion from the second tier Eerste Divisie in the 2020-21 season. The club's home stadium since 1920 is De Adelaarshorst. The club have won the national championship on four occasions, in 1917, 1922, 1930 and 1933.

They have produced numerous notable players including Raimond van der Gouw, René Eijkelkamp, Marc Overmars, Paul Bosvelt, Jan Kromkamp, Victor Sikora, Bert van Marwijk and Demy de Zeeuw while providing Henk ten Cate, Erik ten Hag and Leo Beenhakker with their first tastes of management.


Early successes[edit]

The club was founded in 1902 as Be Quick by the Hollander brothers. The name was soon changed to Go Ahead at the request of the Dutch Football Association in 1905.[2]

Go Ahead started in the second-tier Tweede Klasse. In 1911, the club reached promotion to the Eastern Eerste Klasse. In 1916, Go Ahead became champions of the Eastern Eerste Klasse for the first time, after which they faced off for the national championship in a competition with the other regional champions. In this championship playoffs for the national championship, however, the southern champions from Willem II proved too strong. A year later, however, Go Ahead took their first league title, a feat repeated in 1922, 1930 and 1933.[2]

Polygoonjournaal from 1922. Decisive match against Blauw-Wit in which Go Ahead became national champion. Location: Sportpark Hilversum. Without sound.

In the period between the First and Second World War, Go Ahead was by far the most successful team in the Eastern league. The club won the regional championship fifteen times during that period, and even won the title eight times in a row from 1916 to 1923. The last pre-war Eastern Championship was won in 1937. After that, the club fell on tough times. In 1941, Go Ahead suffered relegation to the Tweede Klasse. The following year, they promoted again. In 1948, the club became champion of the Eastern First Division for the sixteenth and final time. In the playoffs for the national championship with the other regional champions, Go Ahead finished third behind eventual champions, BVV Den Bosch, and Heerenveen.[2]

Professionalism and Europe[edit]

The introduction of professionalism in 1954 was initially unsuccessful for Go Ahead. In 1956, the club finished second to last in the Tweede Divisie. In 1959, promotion to the Eerste Divisie was secured. On 7 October 1962, Go Ahead recorded their biggest win in club history. In Deventer the final score was 11–1 against Roda JC.[3] Promotion to the top-tier Eredivisie followed in 1963. In the twenty-four years that followed, the club continuously played at the highest level. Especially in the second half of the sixties, Go Ahead did well in the Eredivisie. For example, from 1966 to 1969, the club finished in the top five four times in a row, with the 1967–68 season as high point when Go Ahead finished third behind Ajax and Feijenoord.[2]

Go Ahead also had successes in the KNVB Cup in that period. The club reached the semi-finals four times in a row from 1965 to 1968. Those of 1966, 1967 and 1968 were lost, but in 1965, Go Ahead reached the final. This was lost 1–0 to Feijenoord, but because Feijenoord was also national champion, Go Ahead qualified for European football. In the first round, Scottish side Celtic, who would eventually go on to win the European Cup a season later, was drawn. Go Ahead lost the two legs, 0–1 and 6–0.[2][4]

On 1 July 1971, the suffix "Eagles" was added, following a suggestion from then head coach Barry Hughes, as the professional department of Go Ahead separated from the parent club.[5] The eagle is the charge in the coat of arms of the city of Deventer. The club had a strong start with their new name. Go Ahead Eagles were famously the only side to defeat Ajax in any competition during the 1971–72 season when they won 3–2 at De Adelaarshorst in the Eredivisie.[2]

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Go Ahead Eagles was a stable Eredivisie club. Relegation followed in 1987. A short Eredivisie period followed from 1992 to 1996, but afterwards the club played in the second-tier Eerste Divisie.[2] Partly due to the constant postponement of the construction of a new stadium, major financial concerns arose. Thanks to the help of investors, the club managed to survive in November 2003. In exchange for that help, the investors acquired 80% of the club's shares. The club is thus privately owned. The determining factor was former chairman Hans de Vroome, who owned approximately 50% of the shares.[6]

In May 2019, Alex Kroes took over 80% of the shares of Go Ahead Eagles, becoming the new owner. [7] On May 16, 2022, it was announced that Kroes intended to sell his share package to Kees Vierhouten – shareholder since 2021 – as of July 1, 2022, and to leave as owner of Go Ahead Eagles. In August 2022, this sale was officially endorsed by the licensing committee of the Dutch Football Association. [1]

Recent seasons[edit]

After almost two decades in the Eerste Divisie, Go Ahead won promotion to the 2013–14 Eredivisie at the end of the 2012–13 season, winning the promotion play-offs.[8] The club remained in the top division for the 2014–15 season, finishing 13th.

Go Ahead Eagles would compete in Europe in the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League due to the Netherlands' first place in UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking. National Fair Play winner Twente withdrew due to financial difficulties, making the place for Go Ahead Eagles. However, they also suffered relegation after losing 2–0 on aggregate to De Graafschap in the May 2015 promotion/relegation play-offs.[9] In July 2015, they were beaten 2–5 on aggregate by Hungarian side Ferencváros[10] in the first Europa League qualifying round with the home leg played in Emmen due to the Adelaarshorst being renovated, and the away leg without spectators because the Hungarians were serving a ban by UEFA.[citation needed]

The club bounced back to the Eredivisie on the first attempt in May 2016 after beating De Graafschap 5–2 on aggregate in the promotion/relegation play-offs,[11] but were relegated again at the end of the 2016–17 season.[citation needed]

In May 2021, Go Ahead finished second in the Eerste Divisie, earning promotion back to the Eredivisie after four seasons in the second tier.[12]


Winner: 1916–17, 1921–22, 1929–30, 1932–33
Runners-up: 1964–65
Winner: 1958–59
Promotion: 1962–63, 1991–92, 2012–13, 2015–16, 2020–21

Domestic results[edit]

Eerste DivisieEredivisieEerste DivisieEredivisieEerste DivisieEredivisieEerste Divisie

Below is a table with Go Ahead Eagles' domestic results since the introduction of professional football in 1956.

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1965–66 European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Scotland Celtic 0–6 0–1 0–7
1967 Intertoto Cup GS Belgium Lierse 1–2 0–2 4th
France Rouen 5–0 3–4
Switzerland Grenchen 3–1 0–2
1969 Intertoto Cup GS Poland Szombierki Bytom 2–2 0–1 3rd
Sweden Östers IF 1–1 2–3
Switzerland Lugano 1–1 4–0
1984 Intertoto Cup GS Belgium Standard Liège 1–1 2–4 4th
Denmark OB 1–1 0–3
Germany Eintracht Braunschweig 2–1 1–2
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1R Hungary Ferencváros 1–1 1–4 2–5
  • Goals by Go Ahead Eagles are listed first.
  • 1R: First round
  • GS: Group stage


Go Ahead Eagles' biggest rivals are PEC Zwolle.[13] Both clubs are located at the river IJssel, hence the name IJssel-derby. Further teams who share a rivalry with Go Ahead Eagles include FC Twente, Vitesse and De Graafschap.

Current squad[edit]

As of 17 May 2023[14]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Netherlands NED Jeffrey de Lange
2 DF Netherlands NED Mats Deijl
3 DF Germany GER Gerrit Nauber
4 DF Spain ESP José Fontán (on loan from Celta)
5 DF Netherlands NED Bas Kuipers (captain)
6 DF Netherlands NED Jay Idzes
7 FW Netherlands NED Rashaan Fernandes
8 MF Netherlands NED Evert Linthorst
9 FW Sweden SWE Isac Lidberg
10 MF Belgium BEL Philippe Rommens
11 FW Netherlands NED Bobby Adekanye
14 DF Armenia ARM Aventis Aventisian
16 GK Netherlands NED Sven Jansen
17 FW Spain ESP Darío Serra (on loan from Valencia Mestalla)
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 MF Iceland ISL Willum Þór Willumsson
19 FW Netherlands NED Sylla Sow
20 MF Belgium BEL Xander Blomme
21 MF Netherlands NED Enric Llansana
22 GK Netherlands NED Erwin Mulder
23 FW Norway NOR Oliver Valaker Edvardsen
24 FW Netherlands NED Jahnoah Markelo
25 DF Netherlands NED Jamal Amofa
26 DF Norway NOR Fredrik Oppegård (on loan from PSV)
27 FW Netherlands NED Finn Stokkers
28 DF Netherlands NED Pim Saathof
29 MF Netherlands NED Robbin Weijenberg
40 GK Germany GER Luca Plogmann

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Netherlands NED Martijn Berden (at VVV-Venlo until 30 June 2023)

Former players[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach René Hake
Assistant Head Coach Roeland ten Berge
Goalkeeping Coach Eric Weghorst
Fitness Coach Jelmer Sevenster
Trainer scout Frank Berghuis
Opponent Analyst Gert Jan Karsten
Scout Jan Groeneweg
Dennis Hulshoff
Jules Reimerink
Sports Scientist Tim van der Meulen
Physiotherapist Frank Nab
Secretary Adrie Steenbergen
Kit Manager Carla Whittie-Bruggeman
Academy Manager Eric Whittie
Team Manager Alfred Knippenberg
Technical Director Paul Bosvelt

Coaching history[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stadion - Go Ahead Eagles". ga-eagles.nl. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Historie - Go Ahead Eagles". ga-eagles.nl. Go Ahead Eagles. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Go Ahead - Roda 1962" (in Dutch). Go Ahead Eagles. 16 February 2017. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Joe (26 October 2015). "Go Ahead Eagles celebrate Golden Anniversary of meeting Celtic". celticfc.net. Celtic F.C. Retrieved 20 October 2020. So, it would seem that the 7-0 aggregate score ended Go Ahead's European story right then and there but, as it turns out, their fairytale adventure of getting into Europe via the back door didn't end there for the club who changed their name to Go Ahead Eagles in 1971.
  5. ^ "Go Ahead Eagles – About Us". Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  6. ^ Arentsen, Dennis (16 May 2018). "De Vroome wil zijn aandelen in GA Eagles aan stichting schenken". de Stentor (in Dutch). Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Privacyinstellingen op VI.nl".
  8. ^ "Eredivisie review: Go Ahead Eagles end 17-year exile from the Eredivisie". Sky Sports. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  9. ^ Graafschap duwt Go Ahead Eagles naar Eerste Divisie – Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch)
  10. ^ Ferencváros maat te groot voor GA Eagles - GA Eagles (in Dutch)
  11. ^ Go Ahead Eagles naar eredivisie - De Telegraaf (in Dutch)
  12. ^ "Go Ahead Eagles promoveert op doelsaldo naar eredivisie, De Graafschap met lege handen" [Go Ahead Eagles promoted to Eredivisie on goal difference, De Graafschap empty handed] (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 12 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  13. ^ Tonie van Ringelestijn and Joël Groeneveld (May 1999). "Betaald voetbal in Zwolle van 1980 tot 1999. Van PEC naar FC Zwolle" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007. FC Zwolle – Go Ahead Eagles Rivalry.
  14. ^ "Selectie". www.ga-eagles.nl. Go Ahead Eagles. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  15. ^ "De trainer van Go Ahead" (in Dutch). Deventer Dagblad. 5 August 1946. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Go- Ahead krijgt Tsjechische oefenmeester" (in Dutch). Deventer Dagblad. 19 June 1948. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Trainer S. Nagy gaat Go-Ahead verlaten" (in Dutch). Deventer Dagblad. 9 November 1950. Retrieved 12 October 2022.

External links[edit]