Guest post by: Freddie Moore Hobbis
The fans of Feyenoord welcomed their team to the beginning of the new season in spectacular fashion. Although it was just the first training session of preseason, (their last game was a defeat resulting in no European football for their 2015/16 campaign), around 10,000 fans travelled to the De Kuip stadium to show their passion for the club. In typical pyro style, as has become tradition across many teams in Europe, Feyenoord’s Het Legion gave them a welcome that would motivate even the laziest of players.
In tamer football grounds, an event like this is usually the chance to get an autograph from a favourite player or just to watch their team in a more relaxed environment. But not in Holland, where preseason has become a scene of high adrenaline pyromaniacs chanting and expressing their love and support.
Despite strong opposition from the government (including threats of jail-time and bans from football grounds), flares and smoke bombs are indelibly tied to the irrational nature of ‘Ultras’ culture. Last week supporters just across the border in Antwerp showed similar support for their side. We love this tradition, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store, as more fans ready their clubs for the 2015-16 season.