SC Heerenveen

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sc Heerenveen
Full name Sportclub Heerenveen
Nickname(s) De Superfriezen (The Super Frisians)
Founded 20 July 1920; 96 years ago (1920-07-20)
Ground Abe Lenstra Stadium
Ground Capacity 26,800
Chairman Luuc Eisenga
Manager Jurgen Streppel
League Eredivisie
2016–17 Eredivisie, 9th
Website Club home page
Current season

Sportclub Heerenveen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈspɔrtklɵp ˌɦeːrə(n)ˈveːn]; Frisian: Sportklub It Hearrenfean) 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.[1] It changed name twice, first to Spartaan and then to v.v. Heerenveen in 1922.[1] While the Netherlands was occupied by Germany, Heerenveen won three successive North of the Netherlands championships, and following the end of World War II it went on to win the same title six times in a row; the club's dominance partly ascribed to the presence of Abe Lenstra.[1] During this period, Lenstra led Heerenveen to a famous victory over Ajax in one of the most noted games in Dutch domestic football history.[2] Trailing 5–1 with 25 minutes remaining, the Frisian team inexplicably fought back for a 6–5 victory.[2]

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.[1] By the end of the decade, Heerenveen was in the Eerste Divisie, but found itself relegated again.[1] In 1969–70, 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 top-flight Eredivisie.[1] By 1974, the club was in financial trouble and to ensure its survival it was split into amateur and professional sections, the professional part being renamed sc Heerenveen.[1]

In the 1980s, Heerenveen twice made the promotion playoffs, but were unsuccessful both times.[1] It finally reached the Eredivisie in 1990, becoming the first Frisian club to reach the top level, at the expense of near-neighbours Cambuur.[2] 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 it was relegated, before returning in 1993, though they reached the final of the KNVB Cup while still an Eerste Divisie club.[2] Having established itself 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.[2] The 1998 semi-final in the cup competition was lost to Ajax. Because Ajax and the other finalist, PSV, had both qualified for the cup final, a decision match was needed to fill in the vacant spot for the next season's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Heerenveen had to play against the other losing semi-finalist, Twente. Heerenveen won that match in which Ruud van Nistelrooy scored his last goal for Heerenveen. The match ended 3–1.

Heerenveen became regular competitors in the UEFA Cup, and in 1999–2000 finished second in the Eredivise, its highest ever finish, and qualified for the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League.[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.[citation needed] As the results of recent transfers that include Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Afonso Alves, Michael Bradley, Miralem Sulejmani, Petter Hansson and Danijel Pranjić (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.[3] Under the tenure of Trond Sollied, Heerenveen won its first KNVB Cup, also its first ever major trophy. Trond Sollied, however, was sacked on 31 August 2009 due to a weak opening of the season and a conflict with the board.

On 17 May 2009, the club 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.[4] On 13 February 2012, it was announced that Marco van Basten would replace Ron Jans, who had led Heerenveen for two years, as team manager for the 2012–13 season.


Home of Heerenveen, Abe Lenstra Stadion

The club plays its home matches at the Abe Lenstra Stadium, which opened in 1994 and holds 26,100 people. Throughout the years, the club developed several plans to further expand the stadium. One of the plans was to extend at least one side stand towards the pitch, as seen in English football stadiums. Due to deteriorating league results and financial limitedness, however, those plans were shelved. It is uncertain whether or not the club will ever carry them out. Before the move to the Abe Lenstra Stadion, Heerenveen played at the Sportpark Noord.

Colours, crest and anthem[edit]

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.


SC Cambuur[edit]

Heerenveen's main rival is SC Cambuur, based in Leeuwarden. The rivalry is partly based on geographical location, as the distance between Heerenveen and Leeuwarden is a mere 30 kilometres. For this reason, supporters of both teams usually call each other DKV (Dertig Kilometer Verderop), which translates to Thirty Kilometres Ahead. The most important, however, and by far the most complicated reason for the rivalry is the origin of both sides. In fact, the rivalry appears to be difficult to understand for those who are not involved. Most Heerenveen fans live in villages throughout the province of Friesland and are proud of being Frisians. Especially since the 1980s, the club has been propagating and emphasising this Frisian nature by using the famous Frisian flag and also the Frisian anthem, which is played and sung before every home game. In this way, Heerenveen managed to make people automatically link Friesland with the club, which essentially took Cambuur out of the spotlights. Therefore, Cambuur fans started to oppose and even hate this attitude by claiming not to be Frisians, but Leeuwarders (inhabitants of the city of Leeuwarden). They consider themselves as city folks and mockingly they consider Heerenveen fans as "farmers", as they mostly live in villages. Also, Heerenveen itself is not officially a city.

Throughout the years, the derby had become less high-profile due to the absence of Cambuur in the top flight. After Cambuur's promotion at the end of the 2012–13 season, however, the derby revived. Before the clash on 29 September 2013, Heerenveen and Cambuur had not played each other for 13 years; Heerenveen won 2–1.

FC Groningen[edit]

The absence of Cambuur caused FC Groningen to be the nearest Eredivisie team and soon it became rivals with Heerenveen. Strikingly, both northern sides used to maintain more or less of a friendship in the past. Therefore, this Northern Derby rivalry is only based on geographical location. Because most Heerenveen fans have always considered Cambuur as main rivals, this derby is often referred to as a surrogate derby. However, Groningen fans do consider Heerenveen as main rivals, which created a situation in which there is hatred from Groningen towards Heerenveen, but not vice versa. Traditionally, the winner claims the title Pride of the North. Days before the game, Heerenveen and Groningen fans tease each other by means of playful actions, usually with no violence. Heerenveen fans once stole the centre spot from the Euroborg, and raised the Frisian flag at the Martinitoren, the highest tower in Groningen, combined with a banner saying "SCH op eenzame hoogte" (SCH on lonely height). The front yard of a Groningen chairman once got filled with rubble from a construction site. This was because the construction of the Euroborg had to be halted due to a major design mistake. Groningen fans countered by painting a statue of all-time Heerenveen hero Abe Lenstra green and white, the colours of Groningen. They also transformed a viaduct near Heerenveen to green and white.[5] [6]


Domestic results[edit]

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

In Europe[edit]

SC Heerenveen played 16 seasons in one of the European club football competitions.

score marked with * = first played match
Season Competition Round Opposition Home Away
1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 4 Denmark Næstved BK 2-1
Wales Ton Pentre 7-0
Hungary Békéscsaba Előre 4-0
Portugal União de Leiria 0-1
Round of 16 Romania Farul Constanța 4-0
Quarterfinals France Bordeaux 0-2
1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 5 Republic of Ireland Sligo Rovers 0-0
Norway Lillestrøm 0-1
France Nantes 1-3
Lithuania FBK Kaunas 3-1
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 1 Belarus FC Dinamo-93 Minsk 0-1
Poland Polonia Warsaw 0-0
Germany MSV Duisburg 0-2
Denmark Aalborg BK 8-2
1998-99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round Poland Amica Wronki 3-1 * 1-0
Second round Croatia Varaždin 2-1 * 2-4 (aet)
1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Sweden Hammarby IF 2-0 * 2-0
Semi-finals England West Ham United 0-1 0-1 *
2000-01 UEFA Champions League Group C Spain Valencia 0-1 1-1
France Lyon 0-2 1-3
Greece Olympiacos 1-0 0-2
2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup Second round Latvia Liepājas Metalurgs 6-1 2-3 *
Third round Switzerland Basel 2-3 1-2 *
2002-03 UEFA Cup First round Romania Național București 2-0 0-3 *
2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Belgium Lierse 4-1 * 1-0
Semi-finals Slovenia Koper 2-0 * 0-1
Finals Spain Villarreal 1-2 * 0-0
2004-05 UEFA Cup First round Israel Maccabi Petah Tikva 5-0 n.p. [1] *
Group G Portugal Benfica 2-4
Germany VfB Stuttgart 1-0
Croatia Dinamo Zagreb 2-2
Belgium Beveren 1-0
Third round England Newcastle United 1-2 * 1-2
2005-06 UEFA Cup First round Czech Republic Baník Ostrava 5-0 0-2 *
Group F Romania Dinamo București 0-0
Russia CSKA Moscow 0-0
France Marseille 0-1
Bulgaria Levski Sofia 2-1
Third round Romania Steaua București 1-3 * 1-0
2006-07 UEFA Cup First round Portugal Vitória de Setúbal 0-0 3-0 [2] *
Group D Spain Osasuna 0-0
Denmark Odense 0-2
Italy Parma 1-2
France Lens 1-0
2007-08 UEFA Cup First round Sweden Helsingborgs IF 5-3 * 1-5
2008-09 UEFA Cup First round Portugal Vitória de Setúbal 5-2 1-1 [3] *
Group E Italy Milan 1-3
Germany VfL Wolfsburg 1-5
Portugal Braga 1-2
England Portsmouth 0-3
2009-10 UEFA Europa League Play-off round Greece PAOK 1-1 (a) * 0-0
Group D Portugal Sporting CP 2-3 1-1
Germany Hertha BSC 2-3 1-0
Latvia Ventspils 5-0 0-0
2012-13 UEFA Europa League Third Q-round Romania Rapid București 4-0 * 0-1
Play-off round Norway Molde 1-2 0-2 *
^1 Due to safety concerns in Israel, the first leg was cancelled by UEFA.
^2 Played in Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon.

Current squad[edit]

As of 30 July 2016[7]

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

No. Position Player
3 Denmark DF Daniel Høegh
4 Netherlands DF Joost van Aken
6 Netherlands MF Stijn Schaars (captain)
8 Norway MF Morten Thorsby
9 Iran FW Reza Ghoochannejhad
11 Sweden FW Sam Larsson
12 Netherlands DF Doke Schmidt
13 Kosovo FW Arber Zeneli
16 Netherlands DF Jerry St. Juste
17 Norway MF Martin Ødegaard (on loan from Real Madrid)
19 Netherlands MF Pelle van Amersfoort
20 Netherlands FW Henk Veerman
No. Position Player
21 Japan MF Yuki Kobayashi
24 Norway FW Dennis Johnsen
26 Netherlands MF Jordy Bruijn
28 Sweden MF Ivan Rako
31 Netherlands GK Jan Bekkema
33 Netherlands GK Wouter van der Steen
37 Netherlands MF Michel Vlap
39 Netherlands DF Kik Pierie
Netherlands GK Warner Hahn

On loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
Netherlands GK Maarten de Fockert (at VVV-Venlo until 30 June 2017)
Netherlands GK Wieger Sietsma (at FC Emmen until 30 June 2017)
Netherlands DF Caner Cavlan (at Şanlıurfaspor until 30 June 2017)
Netherlands DF Robert van Koesveld (at Helmond Sport until 30 June 2017)
No. Position Player
Sweden MF Simon Thern (at AIK until 5 November 2017)
Nigeria DF Kenny Otigba (at Kasımpaşa until 30 June 2017)
Netherlands MF Branco van den Boomen (at Willem II until 30 June 2017)
Slovenia FW Luka Zahović (at Maribor until 30 June 2017)

Notable former players[edit]

Had senior international cap(s) for their respective countries. Players whose name is listed represented their countries while playing for SC Heerenveen

Managerial history[edit]

Women's team[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The history of Heerenveen". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "sc Heerenveen: EVERY DUTCHMAN'S SECOND FAVORITE TEAM". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  3. ^ "Financiële problemen voor profclubs". RTL Nieuws. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  4. ^ "Heerenveen prevail in Dutch final shoot-out". 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  5. ^ Frisian flag in Groningen
  6. ^ The painted statue
  7. ^
  8. ^ van Cuilenborg, C. (Ed.) (2007). Voetbal international, seizoengids 2007–2008. (p. 92). Amsterdam: WP Sport Media BV.

External links[edit]