NAC Breda

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NAC Breda
Logo NAC Breda.png
Full nameNOAD ADVENDO Combinatie
Founded19 September 1912; 109 years ago (1912-09-19)
GroundRat Verlegh Stadion
Breda, Netherlands
ChairmanJoost Gielen
ManagerEdwin de Graaf
LeagueEerste Divisie
2020–21Eerste Divisie, 5th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

NAC Breda (Dutch pronunciation: [nɑɡ breːˈdaː]), often simply known as NAC, is a Dutch professional football club, based in Breda, Netherlands. NAC Breda play in the Rat Verlegh Stadium, named after their most important player, Antoon 'Rat' Verlegh. They play in the Eerste Divisie. In their history, NAC won one national title in 1921 and won one Cup in 1973.

NAC was founded on 19 September 1912, when the two clubs ADVENDO and NOAD merged to one club. NOAD is a Dutch abbreviation for Nooit Opgeven, Altijd Doorzetten (English translation: Never give up, always persevere), while ADVENDO is a Dutch abbreviation for Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning (English: Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation), the C stands for Combinatie (combination). The full name of NAC Breda expands to Nooit opgeven altijd doorzetten, Aangenaam door vermaak en nuttig door ontspanning, Combinatie Breda [ˌnoːit ˈɔpxeːvə(n) ˌɑltɛiˈdoːrɣaːn ˈaːŋɣəˌnaːm doːr vərˈmaːk ɛˈnʏtəɣ doːr ɔntˈspɑnɪŋ kɔmbiˈnaː(t)si breːˈdaː]. Early in 2003 NAC added Breda to their club name as a symbol of gratitude after the City of Breda bought NAC's Rat Verleghstadium to help the club cope with financial problems. In 2012 Stefaan Eskes succeeded Ed Busselaar and in August 2012 NAC Breda reinstated their first logo as the new club logo for the 2012–13 season.[1]



NAC Breda was founded on 20 September 1912 when the two clubs ADVENDO (Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning (English: Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation)) and NOAD (Nooit Opgeven, Altijd Doorzetten (English: never give up, always persevere)) merged to one club. During the new club's foundation meeting the atmosphere became tense, since NOAD wanted to name the new club NOAD (NOad and ADvendo). This name was not acceptable to ADVENDO and eventually Frans Konert proposed to call the club NAC (NOAD ADVENDO Combinatie), which was accepted by the meeting's attendants.[2] At first, the NVB refused to let NAC play association football, but on 28 October 1912 allowed NAC to play in the 2nd Southern Division.

NAC's golden ages[edit]

NAC's first squad in 1926

The first years weren't that well for NAC, but when NAC moved to a new stadium ‘t Ploegske the results improved. NAC became one of the topteams in the highest Southern Division. In 1919 NAC became champion of this competition and was allowed to play the Dutch Champions’ Competition (a small competition in which the champions from the regional divisions would play for the Dutch title). During this competition NAC finished in the last place. In 1920, NAC was one of the first clubs to play international matches.[2] NAC played a couple of friendly matches, including a match against Real Madrid CF. NAC won this match with 0–4 and the Spanish newspapers called NAC ‘Los muchacos del Breda, maestros del futbol’ (English: The boys from Breda, masters in football).[3] In 1921, NAC celebrated one of its greatest achievements, when they became Dutch football champion. In the Dutch Championship competition, NAC defeated Ajax, Be Quick 1887 and Go Ahead. NAC continued to play soccer on a high level and in the twenties and thirties NAC was considered to be one of the best clubs in Dutch football. During this period NAC won 6 Southern Division titles and the football was deemed technically perfect by press and public.[2]

Because of this view, the NAC board decided to hire a professional trainer. Englishman Ben Affleck was hired as a coach and was a couple of months later succeeded by James Moore. When Moore resigned, the NAC board issued a committee, who would select the best 11 NAC players to play a match.[4] In 1931 Antoon Verlegh retired from football. Verlegh, nowadays a club icon for NAC, played for NAC since its foundation. In this year, NAC also had a dispute with the City of Breda. The stadium's terrain ‘t Ploegske was zoned as a residential area and NAC had to leave these grounds. Because no other option was available in Breda, NAC were forced to move to the town Princenhage. Within two months a complete new stadium, with a capacity of 5,500 people, was built and NAC left Breda. In 1935 NAC was also the first club in the Netherlands to travel by airplane to an away match against GVAV.

In 1939, NAC and the City of Breda reopened discussions whether NAC could return to Breda. The city's council zoned a large piece of land at the Beatrixstraat as stadium area and NAC returned to Breda in 1940. Because of the breakout of the Second World War, NAC decided to play an important social function in Breda's community. In order to divert the people's attention from war, NAC organized sport events, theatre, fairs and horsing games. Although NAC remained to play football, several players were employed by the Germans in Germany. During the Second World War, youngster Kees Rijvers made his debut for NAC.

Challenging times[edit]

After the Second World War, NAC played in the highest level. In 1949 Chairman of Honour C.J. Asselbergs died. Asselbergs was one of the people who were present at NAC since NAC got founded. In 1954 professional football was introduced in the Netherlands. The running competitions were postponed and new competitions were created. NAC entered the 1A League and became champions of this league in 1955. In the championship competition NAC finished second place, behind their rivals Willem II Tilburg.

On 14 March 1960 Breda was shocked to hear the death of Antoon ‘De Rat’ Verlegh. Verlegh, considered to be one of the important persons in Dutch football, died in a car accident on 12 March. From NAC's foundation in 1912, Verlegh was involved in the club at numerous positions and played an important role with the Royal Dutch Football Association. In November 1961 NAC lost another important person; Chairman Jacques Piederiet died. A year later, in August 1962, chairman Le Fevre died. The beginning of the sixties were not bright for NAC. In 1964–1965 NAC even relegated for the first time in its existence.

The relegation meant a total reconstruction of the club's management. The board resigned and NAC's intention was to return to the highest level within one year. NAC was successful in this and a season later NAC played in the highest level and a year later qualified for the KNVB Cup’s final, where it lost to AFC Ajax. Although NAC lost, the club was allowed to play UEFA Cup. In the UEFA Cup NAC reached the second round, after defeating Floriana FC. In the second round NAC was knocked out by Cardiff City. Although NAC remained in the highest football level in the Netherlands, NAC were in a heavy struggle not to relegate. 31 May 1973 is another highlight in NAC's history. In the KNVB Cup's final, NAC had to play NEC Nijmegen. NAC won the Cup Final, in front of 25,000 people from Breda, with 0–2. Because of this victory, NAC was allowed to play in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In the first round NAC was knocked out by later winners 1. FC Magdeburg.

The birth of the Avondje NAC[edit]

NAC's fans in 1975 on the Spionkop

In 1975 the NAC board decided to play the home matches on a Saturday evening. In this period a group of fanatic NAC fans merged and located themselves on a stand. Their fierce support lead to an attraction of youngsters, who also fanatically support NAC. This fierce support lasts till now and is known in the Netherlands as an Avondje NAC (English; An Evening NAC). An Avondje NAC is a flamboyant mix of Burgundian fun, beer, fanaticism and love for the club and ensures that during home matches the atmosphere in the stadium is intimidating. On 6 October 1979, a strange situation occurred. During the home match against NAC's rivals Feyenoord the linesman was hit by an ashtray. The referee postponed the match, riots broke out and the incident in the Netherlands is known as the ‘Ashtray Incident’.

In the eighties NAC relegated two times. After the second relegation, it appeared the financial situation of NAC was terrible. NAC was almost bankrupt and had to sell its belongings to survive. For years NAC struggled to survive, but at the end of the eighties NAC's situation improved and the club began to play in the top of the Eerste Divisie. On 7 June 1989, NAC player Andro Knel died in a plane accident. It was a shock to the club, especially since Knel was one of the popular players. Hundreds of fans of both NAC Breda and Sparta Rotterdam, Knel's former club, came together in memorial of Knel. A temporary Knel monument was revealed and the numbers of supporters visiting the monument proved his popularity. Due to the sad moments of Knel's death a special relationship between fans of NAC and Sparta was created.

After Knel's death, NAC had to continue to play in de Eerste Divisie and three times NAC was close to promote back to the Eredivisie. In 1992, NAC finally promoted to the Eredivisie. With a team managed by Ronald Spelbos and players like John Lammers, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Ton Lokhoff, Fabian Wilnis and John Karelse, NAC played their promotion match in Den Bosch against FC Den Bosch in front of 9,000 NAC fans. The promotion meant a revival of NAC's popularity, the stadium was sold out and NAC was supported by thousands of people in away matches. In the away match against their rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam, NAC was supported by 8,000 people. Due to the popularity, the NAC board announced it would leave the stadium at the Beatrixstraat and it would build a new stadium. Until the movement, NAC continued to play in the highest level, missed qualification for the UEFA Cup several times and reached the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup.

A new stadium and continuing financial problems[edit]

NAC's fans on the B-Side before the start of the match NAC-PSV in 2007

In 1996 NAC moved to the new stadium, called the FUJIFILM Stadium. With this movement NAC indicated it wanted to play UEFA Cup every year. In 1998 NAC youngster Dominique Diroux died because of a heart attack during the match of the 2nd teams of NAC and AZ. NAC and the new players couldn't meet the high expectations for a couple of seasons and NAC even relegated in 1999. After this relegation, it appeared that NAC's financial situation was bad. In 4 seasons, NAC bought 60 players and the costs of the stadium exceeded the budget. In order to save the club, the stadium was bought from NAC by investors and Roelant Oltmans was appointed as the first professional manager at NAC. Also a fans’ council, the first in the Netherlands, was established, in which fans have an advisory role, that protects NAC's culture and defend the fans' interests. NAC also has one position available for a fan in the board of chairmen.

NAC professionalized and promoted in 2000 to the Eredivisie. In 2003 NAC qualified for the UEFA Cup, in which NAC played two matches against Newcastle United. An estimated 4,300 NAC fans travelled to Newcastle to support their team. In 2003 it appeared NAC was again nearing bankruptcy and the City of Breda purchased the stadium again from NAC on 30 January 2003. As a gratitude, NAC changed their name to NAC Breda. After this rescue, the management and the Board of Chairmen resigned and was succeeded by Theo Mommers as managing director and a new Board of Chairmen, led by Willem van der Hoeven. In 2006 NAC decided to rename the stadium to Rat Verlegh Stadion.

For a long time, NAC's financial position seemed stable and the club finished third in season 2007–2008. In 2009, NAC qualified for the UEFA Europa League. In the 4th round, NAC was defeated by Villarreal CF with 1–3 (home) and 6–1 (away). Despite earlier denials towards fans and stakeholders by management and the Board of Chairmen, it appeared at the end of season 2009–2010 that NAC's financial position was not stable. The club lost €3.2 million that season, due to rebuilding the stadium and buying too expensive players. Board members Willem van der Hoeven, Jacques Visschers and Bas Koomans resigned and Bas van Bavel became new chairman.[5] Managing director Theo Mommers reported ill in April 2010.[6] Bernard Ouwerkerk was appointed in June 2010 as interim managing director of NAC Breda, while Technical Manager Earnest Stewart signed a contract at AZ and was replaced by Jeffrey van As. During this period, NAC manager Maaskant raised his concerns several times via the press.[7][permanent dead link][8][permanent dead link] Because of the financial problems, NAC had to cut budget and Maaskant was not able to buy new players. On 21 August 2010, NAC and Maaskant made public that the trainer would leave NAC Breda for Polish football club Wisła Kraków, where Maaskant signed a two-year deal.[9] His assistant managers John Karelse, Gert Aandewiel and Arno van Zwam became the interim managers for NAC Breda. In January 2011 Bernard Ouwerkerk resigned and was succeeded by Ed Busselaar. In March 2011 it appeared that NAC had a debt of €7.1 million.

Relegation and Eerste Divisie (2015–2017)[edit]

After a few seasons struggling to stay out of the relegation places, they were unable to avoid relegation after the 2014/15 season when they were beaten by Roda JC in a promotion/relegation playoff final. They had enjoyed 15 successive seasons in the top tier.[10]

Return to Eredivisie (2017–2019)[edit]

On 28 May 2017, NAC returned to the Eredivisie after winning the promotion/relegation play-off final against NEC Nijmegen (1–0 and 1–4). Cyriel Dessers scored four goals in those two matches. The other goal was made by Giovanni Korte. After the match there were festivities in Breda. First there was a party next to the stadium. A day later the party continued at the "Grote Markt". On 12 May 2019, in a defeat to SC Heerenveen they relegated to the Keuken Kampioen Divisie.



Domestic results[edit]

Below is a table with NAC Breda's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.

Colours and crest[edit]


NAC's official colours are yellow, white and black. During their existence these colours have always been in NAC's home and/or away kit.[2]

Initially, NAC's home kit was a black shirt -with a diagonal yellow line-, a white short and yellow black socks. In 1916 NAC changed this kit towards a white shirt. This white shirt would remain till the sixties when NAC decided to replace the white shirt with a yellow shirt and black shorts[2] Conversely, NAC's away colours have been very inconsistent. There is no setting in the colour standards. In NAC cultural manifest it has been stated that the home and away kits should have the official NAC colours.[12] Afterwards, NAC announced to play their home matches in a yellow shirt, with a black diagonal line running over it, black shorts and white socks, with some yellow accents in it. The away kit is a white shirt, with a yellow diagonal line marked by a black border running over it. White short and white socks complete the away kit.


During their existence, NAC had 4 different crests. After their foundation in 1912, their crest was a black shield, with a yellow diagonal line running over it and in it the letters N.A.C.. This crest was replaced in 1968 by another crest. The reason for this crest change is unknown. In 1974 the crest was replaced by a crest which contained the letters NAC in a black and yellow combination. The crest was most probably changed due to the dismissal of the NAC board in 1974. In order to state a new beginning, a new board member's daughter designed NAC's third crest.[13]

The fourth crest was developed in 1996, when NAC moved to the Rat Verlegh Stadion. It consisted of two lions, three crosses, the letters NAC and it contains NAC's official club colours. The two lions and the three crosses are derived from Breda's crest. In 2012, the first crest was re-adopted since, as NAC celebrated its 100th anniversary. Eventually upon initiative (and paid for) by the fans it was decided to reinstate the first crest permanently


BLO Terrein[edit]

Period: 19 September 1912 – 31 July 1913. Directly after the merger of NOAD and ADVENDO, and thus the foundation of NAC, the board rented the fields of the Bond voor Lichaamlijke Opvoeding to play their homematches. The terrain, located east of the Wilhelmina Park in Breda, was NAC's homeground for one season. Because of the terrain's poor conditions, NAC moved to another terrain.

Achter de Watertoren[edit]

Period: 1 August 1913 – 31 July 1916. For three seasons NAC played at the grounds known as Achter de Watertoren (English: Behind the watertower), located north of the Wilhelmina Park in Breda. During the seasons NAC played at Achter de Watertoren, NAC's popularity increased and the club decided to move for the third time in her existence.

‘t Ploegske[edit]

Period: 1 August 1916 – 29 August 1931. Without no doubt, NAC's biggest successes were at the stadium ‘t Ploegske. In 1921 NAC celebrated the Dutch championship at the stadium. ‘t Ploegske was the first NAC stadium with stands, and a capacity over 3,000, was located at the Molengracht in Breda. Due to the fact Breda's City Council zoned the area as a residential area, NAC were forced to move.


Period: 30 August 1931 – 1 August 1940. Due to the City Council's decision to zone the grounds of ‘t Ploegske as a residential area and the city of Breda had no new grounds available, NAC were forced to move out Breda. The town of Princenhage offered NAC a terrain, where NAC built a state-of-the-art stadium with a capacity of 5,500. The main disadvantage was that the stadium was located far from Breda's city centre. Nevertheless, NAC's golden decennium in the thirties, when NAC was considered to be one of the top clubs in the Netherlands, took place in the stadium at the Heuvelstraat. In 1939 the city of Breda offered NAC a new terrain at the Beatrixstraat.


Period: 1 August 1940 – 13 May 1996. Moving to the Beatrixstraat meant a return to NAC's roots. NAC was back in the city where it belonged. NAC's popularity increased and in the fifties and sixties NAC was considered to be one of the biggest clubs in the Netherlands. In the seventies NAC became notorious for their evening matches at this stadium. An intimidating and fierce atmosphere lead to the birth of the ‘Avondje NAC’ (English: Evening NAC), in which NAC's fans fanatically supported their team. The stadium's top capacity was 18,500. Due to strict regulations, it was limited to 12,560 in the nineties. Due to the stadium's age and overdue maintenance, NAC left the stadium in 1996.

Rat Verlegh stadium[edit]

Rat Verleghstadium during NAC Breda – VVV Venlo in January 2010

Period: 11 August 1996 – Present. NAC's current ground is the Rat Verlegh stadium, located 2 kilometres north west of Breda's city centre. Founded as the FUJIFILM Stadium, the name was changed in 2003 to the MyCom stadium. From the stadium's opening the NAC fans used the name Rat Verlegh stadium, which was officially assigned by NAC to the stadium in 2006. At present, the stadium's capacity is 17,750. Due to the increasing popularity of NAC Breda, the stadium was expanded in summer 2010 to a capacity of 19,000.[14]


NAC fans often refer to themselves as ‘The Rats’ or ‘The Yellow Army’. NAC Breda have a loyal fanbase, with virtually all their home matches selling out. National and international NAC is known by the fierce and fanatic support of their fans, combined in the term ‘Avondje NAC’ (English: ‘An evening NAC’). A flamboyant mix of Burgundian fun, beer, fanaticism and love for the club ensures that during home matches the atmosphere in the stadium is intimidating. The term has its roots in the seventies, when the board decided to play their home matches at a Saturday evening. Nowadays, NAC is supported by two fanatic sides: The B-Side and Vak G. The club's fans also publish NAC Fanzine De Rat, named after Antoon ‘Rat’ Verlegh. NAC was the first club in Dutch professional soccer to found a fans' council. This council is an advisory organisation, that protects NAC's culture and defend the fans' interests. NAC also has one position available for a fan in the board of chairmans.


NAC Breda's longest-running and deepest rivalry is with their nearest neighbour, Willem II from Tilburg. This rivalry originated in the 1920s. Matches between the two are referred to as the derby of Brabant. The two cities of Breda and Tilburg are just 20 kilometres apart, leading to an intense feeling of a cross-town rivalry, heightened by a feeling that it is city against city with local pride at stake. The cities differ culturally where Breda is considered a working class city and Tilburg is considered more elitist. This is also apparent from the fact that Willem II is named after a Dutch king.

NAC Breda's other deep running rivalry is with Rotterdam based club Feyenoord. The rivalry has its roots after several incidents between fans of both clubs in the seventies of the 20th century. Although Feyenoord fans don't have the same rival feelings like NAC fans have, matches against Feyenoord are considered to be of the most important and most violent matches of a season.

Organisation NAC Breda[edit]

NAC Breda's supervisory board[edit]

NAC Breda's supervisory board consists of 7 people.[15]

Netherlands Hubert Baardemans Deputy of technical affairs
Netherlands Bernard Kin Deputy of shareholders
Netherlands Berry de Kort Deputy of financial affairs
Netherlands Berry van Nes Deputy of commercial affairs

NAC Breda's management[edit]

NAC Breda's management consists of the following people.[15]

Netherlands Edwin de Graaf Manager
Vacant Director of football


Current squad[edit]

As of 19 September 2021

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 Nick Olij
2 DF Netherlands NED Ruben Ligeon
4 DF Benin BEN Moïse Adiléhou
5 DF Curaçao CUW Michaël Maria
7 FW Netherlands NED Kaj de Rooij
10 FW Netherlands NED Ralf Seuntjens
11 MF Netherlands NED Odysseus Velanas
14 FW Liberia LBR Ayouba Kosiah
15 DF Netherlands NED Jethro Mashart
17 DF Netherlands NED Danny Bakker
18 MF Netherlands NED Yassine Azzagari
19 FW Netherlands NED Quincy Tavares
20 MF Suriname SUR Dion Malone
21 DF Netherlands NED Moreno Rutten
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 DF Belgium BEL Milan Vanacker
23 GK Netherlands NED Roy Kortsmit
24 DF Norway NOR Colin Rösler
26 FW Belgium BEL Pjotr Kestens
28 MF Netherlands NED Vieiri Kotzebue
29 MF Netherlands NED Sabir Agougil
30 DF Netherlands NED Gylermo Siereveld
33 MF Netherlands NED Thom Haye
34 DF Netherlands NED Luc Marijnissen
35 MF Netherlands NED Boris van Schuppen
36 GK Netherlands NED Pepijn van de Merbel
42 FW Russia RUS Mario Bilate
55 FW Antigua and Barbuda ATG DJ Buffonge
77 FW Curaçao CUW Jarchinio Antonia

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
No. Pos. Nation Player

Retired numbers[edit]

13Netherlands Ferry van Vliet, midfielder (2001–02) – Posthumous honour.

Former managers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dutch article official NAC website". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e John de Leeuw & Rob Lemmens, ‘80 Jaar NAC’ (1992)
  3. ^ "newsarticle Real Madrid – NAC 0–4". Archived from the original on 26 November 2002.
  4. ^ Andries Schouten, Jules Ots and Adriaan Veraart (1962), ’50 jaar NAC’
  5. ^ "Dutch pressrelease NAC Breda about financial problems". Archived from the original on 7 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Cookies op –".
  7. ^ "".[dead link]
  8. ^ "".
  9. ^ "Dutch article on transfer Maaskant". Archived from the original on 24 August 2010.
  10. ^ Roda JC is terug, NAC Breda na 15 jaar gedegradeerd uit eredivisie – NRC (in Dutch)
  11. ^ a b c d "Overview history NAC Breda". Archived from the original on 26 September 2004.
  12. ^ "NAC's Cultural Manifest". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011.
  13. ^ John de Leeuw, Official NAC archive, 2009.
  14. ^ "De verbouwing kan beginnen". Archived from the original on 13 May 2009.
  15. ^ a b "NAC Breda's organisation". Archived from the original on 21 February 2007.

External links[edit]