N.E.C. (football club)

N.E.C. (football club)
NEC Nijmegen.png
Full name Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie
Short name N.E.C.
Founded November 15, 1900; 111 years ago (1900-11-15)
Ground McDOS Goffertstadion
(Capacity: 12,500)
Chairman Netherlands Jan van Teeffelen
Manager Netherlands Alex Pastoor
League Eredivisie
2010-11 Eredivisie, 11th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours

Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈnɛi̯.ˌmeː.ɣə(n) ˈeːn.ˌdrɑxt ˌkom.bɪ.ˈnaː.(t)si]), commonly abbreviated to N.E.C. (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛn ˈeː ˈseː]), is a Dutch football club from the city of Nijmegen. The oldest remnants of the club, "Eendracht" (Dutch for unity), stem back to 15 November 1900. In 1903, Eendracht merged with Nijmegen to form the Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie. They are frequently, erroneously, referred to as N.E.C. Nijmegen. The team's home ground is the 12,500-seat Stadion de Goffert.

The club has not won any major tournaments to date, though they were runners-up in the KNVB Cup competition in 1973, 1983, 1994, and 2000; they played in the UEFA Cup tournaments in 1983, 2003, and 2008.



General history

N.E.C. (Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie or, in English, Nijmegen Unity Combination) is the 41st oldest club in the Netherlands. It was known that the first football club was founded by "ordinary" workers, real people, and boys. Football was in 1900 already quite popular, but a football club was a real elitist activity. Associations as UD (Deventer), Quick (Nijmegen), Sparta Rotterdam, Vitesse, etc. were also all created by the sons of wealthy industrialists, middle and other notables.[1]

Lower City

The founders of N.E.C. had a very different background to other Eredivisie clubs. They were, without exception, from the old Nijmegen Lower City, the place where the poorest people lived. It was not much more than a slum. The boys from downtown Nijmegen played football every day, not on a field, but on the streets and the Waalkade.

Uniquely some of those boys on 15 November 1900 made a decision to form their own football club. They did it all themselves, without help from outside. They coined the name Eendracht and decided that every week a fee of two cents would be paid. With that money, a new ball could be purchased from time-to-time.

In the first years, Eendracht only played games against teams from other parts of Nijmegen. The ploeggie from the downtown area appeared to be playing good football. When in 1903, a Nijmegen Football Association was formed, Eendracht was the first champion and was thereby promoted to the Geldersche Football Association. The football at Eendracht became a serious matter, especially two years later after promotion to the second class of the KNVB.

The name N.E.C. was established in April 1910. Eendracht merged that year with a club called Nijmegen. Nijmegen had been established for only two years and was founded by former members of Quick 1888 who felt little empathy with Quick, regarded at the time as an elite club. The Nijmegen Eendracht Combination seemed a golden find.[1]


It took decades for the first big successes to come. In 1936, N.E.C. was finally promoted to the First Class, which was the highest level at the time. The fact that N.E.C. progressed slowly had many causes, the most important being money, or rather, lack of money.

N.E.C. was a boys club of normal and hard-working people. There were no wealthy members that could provide large donations. The affiliation fee was often a problem, especially during crises such as World War I. N.E.C. perhaps didn't keep warm relations with the local directors. Indeed, the leading figures in Nijmegen possibly looked down on N.E.C.[1]

Never First Classer

At the beginning of the 1920s, the situation improved slightly. N.E.C. bought land and moved to Hazenkampseweg. Finally, the club had its own sports complex. On top of this, memberships increased rapidly and the club became more popular. However, despite a new home and increased membership, success onfield did not necessarily follow. To achieve promotion into the first class competition, it was not enough in those years to just become champion of the second class. Stressful play-off matches were regularly played. Although N.E.C. become champion in 1928, 1929, 1931, and 1934, the club was not promoted. The club was mockingly titled: "Never First Classer." Finally in 1936, N.E.C. took the last obstacle. They won the play-off matches and reached the First Class.[1]

Golden Years

Immediately after promotion, followed a period of great achievement. The question remained however, whether N.E.C. (had World War II not broken out) progressed to become one of the nation's top clubs.

N.E.C. in 1939 won the first East title and fought for the Dutch title with the other four district champions. N.E.C. came third, behind AFC Ajax and DWS also from Amsterdam. During the war, little football was played, but after liberation, N.E.C. resumed competition and again became the champion of the East in 1946. In 1947, N.E.C. retained the title and again became the third-most successful club in the Netherlands.[1]

Professional football

For N.E.C., the introduction of professional football in 1954 came at the wrong time. The club had internal problems at the time, was not as well established as other clubs, and was not doing well financially. More than 80 'paying' clubs were called together and the KNVB reorganized their structure. Each time the competitions were classified, N.E.C. fell further from the top leagues. At the 11th hour, N.E.C. was saved from a return to the amateurs. At the beginning of the 1960s, N.E.C. began to recover, growing slowly upwards again. A major reason was support from the City of Nijmegen who began to see the importance of a 'paid' club like the Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie. N.E.C. could finally count on financial support in 1963. In 1964, N.E.C. was promoted to the first division again and three years later, N.E.C. reached finally the First League.[1]

Full stadiums

The ensuing years were ones that Nijmegen residents look back at nostalgically. The Goffert was full every game. Season averages of 14,000 spectators were normal. There was even a year (1970–71) in which N.E.C. had attendances of 18,000 a game. N.E.C. flourished at this time, primarily on the back of great youth development and scouting.

Talented players were developed, played in the first team and, after a number of seasons sold for high fees. Frans Thijssen and Jan Peters are two such examples. Although the club never won a major prize, it was well regarded at this time. However, the first signs of decline came quickly. N.E.C. was not sustainable with major revenue sources being the sale of players and a healthy subsidy from the Nijmegen council.[1]

Lean years

The degradation of 1974 was a kind of warning. N.E.C. graduated a year later again and was also seventh in the league, but it was going wrong again at the beginning of the 1970s.

No one could turn the tide; N.E.C. were in a downward spiral. Each year, the team fought against relegation and fewer spectators were watching the matches. N.E.C. was each year a top club in the first division or a tail club in the major league. The list is significant: relegation in 1983, promotion in 1985, relegation in 1986, promotion in 1989, relegation in 1991, and finally promotion in 1994. N.E.C. suffered many difficult years and disappeared almost from professional football from time-to-time. In 1981, the club got only support from the town when the professionals and amateurs would be separated. In 1987, the club was bankrupt, but N.E.C. remained existent only because 80% of all creditors waived their claims.

The chairman Henk van de Water formed the sponsor club OSRN on which N.E.C. got a little air. Just in the mid-1990s, N.E.C. found their way up again. Three years later, the club remained at the last minute in the Eredivisie, but in 1998, N.E.C. surprised many with an 8th place finish. Meanwhile, the prospects excelled. The audience numbers were rising continuously, all the way up to 10,000. The sponsor club was growing out of its jacket and there was a nice future up ahead in the new Goffertstadion.[1]

Cup Finals

N.E.C. reached the KNVB Cup Final four times. On two occasions N.E.C. were underdogs, but on 31 May 1973, the club was the overwhelming favorite. At De Kuip against NAC Breda, it however, went completely wrong for the Nijmegen club. N.E.C., with coach Wiel Coerver and players of the quality of Jan Peters, Frans Thijssen, Harrie Schellekens, Jan van Deinsen, and Cas Janssens, were unable to live up to expectations. Infighting was cited as a major cause of underperformance, with NAC Breda winning 2-0.

In 1983, N.E.C. unexpectedly reached the Cup Final. The club had been relegated that season, but reached the Cup Final. Their opponents AFC Ajax, were in both matches clearly better, winning twice 3-1.

In 1994, it was again remarkable that N.E.C. was in the final. N.E.C. was a first-division club at the time, but one with a very good team. A month after the cup, they were promoted via the promotion/relegation play-offs. N.E.C., with players of the ilk of Lok, Hoekman, van Wonderen, van der Weerden, and the lightning-quick Bennie Dekker, surprised in the semi-finals. Ajax were beaten in De Meer 2-1. In De Kuip at Feyenoord, Feyenoord won 2-1.

In the club's 100th year (2000), N.E.C. again reached the Cup Final. The competition presentations were not too good and hardly participation at the promotion/relegation play-offs was averted. The final against Roda JC for the 20,000 fans from Nijmegen was more or less a disappointment. N.E.C. lost with no scoring chances 2-0. The semi-finals (profit after penalties against AZ) were a highlight for many fans.[1]

Nijmegen play in European Cup

In 1983, during the darkest period of the club's history, there was also a highlight in club's the history. N.E.C. played in the European Cup against FC Barcelona, while N.E.C. was mid-ranked in the First Division.

In the spring, N.E.C. lost the cup-final against Ajax and were also relegated to the First Division. But because the Amsterdammers also became champion of the Netherlands, N.E.C. made the unique fact that a First Division club was registered for the Eurocup II tournament; this performance was never repeated again in the Netherlands.

In the first round of the European tournament, N.E.C. defeated Norway's SK Brann. The club was a relative minnow, but N.E.C. had problems defeating the club from Norway. In Nijmegen, it finished 1-1 and two weeks later in Bergen, Michel Mommertz scored the winner (0-1).

A few days later, the draw was completed for the second round. The city of Nijmegen eagerly anticipated the fixture and were not disappointed when Barcelona, the club that had world superstars Diego Maradona and Bernd Schuster, were coming to Nijmegen. Both star players were injured by 19 October and did not take part in the games. But this was no big disappointment for the 25,000 spectators in the Goffertstadion. N.E.C. took the lead with strikes from Anton Janssen and Michel Mommertz. However, Barcelona hit back eventually winning 3-2. The second leg in Barcelona, was an easy game for the Catalans, ending in a 2-0 win for the home team.

29 May 2003 was a historic day for the club. For the first time in its existence N.E.C. qualified on their own for the UEFA Cup. Following a late strike from Jarda Simr, N.E.C. finished fifth in the Eredivisie. This led to unprecedented scenes with jubilant fans invading the Waalwijk pitch. Back in Nijmegen, there was an explosion of joy with over 5,000 supporters in the Goffert watching the game on a large video screen. Similar scenes happened in the centre of Nijmegen with over 25,000 people celebrating.[1]


McDos Stadium de Goffert in 2008, 12,500 spectators.
Fans and fireworks at N.E.C. versus Excelsior in 2008.
NEC and HKN-pub Goffertzicht near the stadium.

In 2008, N.E.C. qualified for the third time in its history for European competition. With this, Mario Been followed in the footsteps of former-coach Johan Neeskens. After a disappointing first half of the year the club was positioned on the bottom of the Eredivisie (17th place). But after the winter break, there was a remarkable resurrection from the Nijmegenars. From January 2008, N.E.C. played terrific football and scored many goals. Victory after victory resulted in an excellent 8th place in the Eredivisie. This position was rewarded by participation in the UEFA Cup play-offs. N.E.C. was also superior in the play-offs beating Roda JC, FC Groningen, and NAC Breda. With 31 undefeated matches in a row and with a 6-0 home victory at NAC Breda the highlight, N.E.C. reached European football again. The return match at Breda was a formality, but the team was also victorious. What followed was a great homage to many thousands of fans on the Goffertwei.[1]

The year became even more successful following early rounds of the UEFA Cup. In the first round, the club defeated Dinamo Bucureşti in two heartstopping matches. After a 1-0 winning home game, N.E.C drew 0-0 in Romania to reach the group-stage of the UEFA Cup. The club from Nijmegen was then drawn against larger European clubs Tottenham Hotspur, Udinese, Spartak Moscow, and Dinamo Zagreb. All the experts gave the club little chance of reaching the next round, but N.E.C. defied the odds. After a stunning match against Zagreb, with a goal from Dinamo in the last minute, there stood a disappointing 3-2 on the scoreboard. N.E.C. were perhaps the better team but gained no points. After this, English team Tottenham came to the McDOS Goffertstadion and won with a score of 0-1. The club from Nijmegen was on the bottom of the pool and was almost out of the tournament. But there was hope in the Netherlands after a 1-2 victory against Spartak Moscow in Russia with a very important goal from Lasse Schöne. N.E.C. played its last match in Nijmegen against Udinese. To go to the next round, N.E.C. and Tottenham had to win (from Spartak Moscow). Tottenham were behind and after 45 minutes, while there was a disappointing 0-0 on the scoreboard in Nijmegen. But in the 74th minute, there was a sensational moment: Tottenham scored twice to eventually draw 2-2 against Spartak and Collins John almost simultaneously scored to make the score 1-0 for N.E.C. With a second goal from Jhon van Beukering (his third European goal of the season), N.E.C reached the next round.

The last 32 draw of the UEFA Cup saw N.E.C. fixtured to play against big German club Hamburger SV. The fairytale ended for the club from Nijmegen when the Germans won 0-3 in the Goffertstadion and 1-0 in Hamburg. However, the progression into the last 32 capped off the most successful year in the club's history. N.E.C. was lauded for their terrific football and their sociability. Supporters were complimented in Europe, especially by Franz Beckenbauer, who said he had never witnessed such great ambiance from away-supporters and that Premier League clubs had never seen so many away-fans at a club-match (4,500).[2]


N.E.C. plays its home matches in the De Goffert stadium (12,500 seats). The stadium was originally opened in 1939 and featured a cycling track between the pitch and the stands. In 2000, the rebuilt stadium was opened. The club wants to expand the stadium to 20,000 seats in 2011.


Football club Vitesse of Arnhem is the main rival of N.E.C. The annual games between the two are called "de Gelderse derby." The rivalry has led to hooligans meeting after games that resulted in fights and public disorder.

Players & Staff

Current squad

As of 29 October 2011

For recent transfers, see List of Dutch football transfers summer 2011

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

No. Position Player
1 Hungary GK Gábor Babos
2 Hungary DF Zoltán Szélesi
3 Netherlands DF Rens van Eijden
4 Netherlands DF Bram Nuytinck
5 France DF Rémy Amieux
6 Norway MF Abdisalam Ibrahim (on loan from Manchester City)
7 Netherlands FW Leroy George
8 Netherlands MF Ryan Koolwijk (captain)
9 Netherlands FW Género Zeefuik (on loan from PSV)
10 Denmark MF Lasse Schøne
11 Netherlands FW Melvin Platje
14 Denmark DF Kevin Conboy
15 Netherlands DF Niels Wellenberg
16 Netherlands FW Stef Nijland (on loan from PSV)
No. Position Player
17 Czech Republic DF Pavel Čmovš
18 Netherlands MF Youri Loen
19 Netherlands DF Nathaniël Will
20 Netherlands MF John Goossens
21 Netherlands FW Cayfano Latupeirissa
22 Netherlands GK Cees Paauwe
23 Netherlands FW Nick van der Velden
24 Netherlands FW Dammyano Grootfaam
25 Netherlands MF Navarone Foor
26 Netherlands GK Marco van Duin
27 Netherlands DF Erwin Stadhouders
28 Hungary FW Márton Eppel (on loan from MTK Budapest FC)
30 Netherlands GK Joshua Smits
32 Hungary MF Krisztián Vadócz

On loan

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

No. Position Player
Sweden FW Erton Fejzullahu (to Mjällby AIF)
Netherlands FW Rick ten Voorde (to RKC Waalwijk)

Staff and management

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

No. Position Player
Netherlands Alex Pastoor (Manager)
Netherlands Ron de Groot (Assistant manager/Team manager)
Netherlands Wilfried Brookhuis (Assistant manager/Goalkeeping coach)
Netherlands Jack de Gier (Assistant Manager)
Netherlands Anton Janssen (Assistant Manager)
Netherlands Ruud Makaay (Scout)
Netherlands Ad Mellaard (Scout)
Netherlands Henk Grim (Scout)
Netherlands Carlos Aalbers (Technical Director)
Netherlands Jacco Swart (Common Director)
Netherlands Jan van Teeffelen (Chairman)

N.E.C. in Europe

Season Competition Round Country Club Score
1969/70 Intertoto Cup Group, match 1 Czechoslovakia MŠK Žilina 1-1, 1-2
Group, match 2 Sweden Örebro 0-0, 1-1
Group, match 3 Switzerland Bellinzona 2-0, 3-3
1978/79 Intertoto Cup Group, match 1 Belgium Antwerp 3-2, 0-2
Group, match 2 Germany Duisburg 4-2, 0-6
Group, match 3 France Bordeaux Total: 3-4
1983/84 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First Round Norway Brann 1-1, 1-0
1/8 Finals Spain Barcelona 2-3, 0-2
1986/87 Intertoto Cup Group, match 1 Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-3, 0-3
Group, match 2 Hungary MTK Hungária 0-3, 2-2
Group, match 3 Belgium RFC de Liège 0-1, 1-1
2003/04 UEFA Cup First Round Poland Wisła Kraków 1-2, 1-2
2004/05 Intertoto Cup Second Round Republic of Ireland Cork City 0-0, 0-1
2008/09 UEFA Cup First Round Romania Dinamo Bucureşti 1-0, 0-0
Group Stage Croatia Dinamo Zagreb 2-3
England Tottenham Hotspur 0-1
Russia Spartak Moscow 2-1
Italy Udinese 2-0
Third Round Germany Hamburger SV 0-3, 0-1

Domestic Results

Below is a table with N.E.C.'s domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.

N.E.C. records

Mario Been, one of N.E.C.'s most successful managers after a match against NAC Breda (6-0).
Former manager Johan Neeskens.
Record Notes Date
Highest attendance (competition) 32,000 Against Ajax 21-04-1968
Lowest attendance (competition) 1,000 Against Roda JC 14-05-1983
Biggest win 0-22 Against Overasseltse Boys 09-08-2008
Biggest win (competition) 0-7 Against FC Den Bosch '67 10-03-1973
Biggest loss (competition) 9-1 Against Ajax 05-11-1967
Match with highest score (competition) 3-7 Against RBC Roosendaal 04-01-1967
Most wins on a row 10 04-04-2008 until 30-08-2008
Most defeats in a row 10 03-10-1971 until 14-11-1971
Most matches without defeat 31 24-02-2008 until 21-09-2008
Most matches without win 16 22-01-1978 until 02-09-1978
Most matches without goal 7 03-03-1968 until 19-05-1968
Most matches without goal against 7 21-10-2005 until 18-12-2005
Top goalscorer Bjorn Vleminckx 23 2010-2011
Most goals in a competition-match Cas Janssens 4, Against FC Den Bosch '67 10-03-1973
Youngest player (competition) Jan Peters 17 years, 0 months, 25 days
Highest competition-rank Eredivisie 5th Place 2002–2003
Lowest competition-rank Eerste Divisie 10th Place 1964–1965
Most matches (Eredivisie) Sije Visser 342
Most goals scored (Eredivisie) Frans Janssen 54


1972-73, 1982-83, 1993-94, 1999-00
  • 1e Klasse: 3
1938-39, 1945-46, 1946-47



  • Hungary Ferenz György (1923–24)
  • England Smith (1929–30)
  • Germany Claus (1931–32)
  • Austria Longin (1932–33)
  • Netherlands Fons Lodenstijn (1933–36)
  • Netherlands Coen Delsen (1936–37)
  • Netherlands Bertus Schoester (1937–39)
  • England J. W. Julian (1939–40)
  • Netherlands Bertus Schoester (1940–42)
  • England George Charlton (1947–49)
  • Netherlands Jan Bijl (1949–54)
  • Netherlands Coen Delsen (1954–56)
  • Germany Ferdi Silz (1956–57)
  • Netherlands K. ter Horst (1957–58)
  • Netherlands Fons Lodenstijn (1958) (interim)
  • Netherlands Wim Groenendijk (1958–60)
  • Netherlands Joop de Busser (1960–61)
  • Netherlands Jan Remmers (1961–70)
  • Netherlands Wiel Coerver (1970–73)
  • Netherlands Meg de Jong (1973–74)
  • Netherlands Piet de Visser (1974–76)
  • Netherlands Hans Croon (1976–78)
  • Netherlands Leen Looyen (1978–81)
  • Netherlands Pim van de Meent (1981–85)
  • Hungary Sandor Popovics (1985–87)
  • Netherlands Leen Looyen (1987–91)

Notable players

Czech Republic
  • Germany Jörg Sobiech (1996–98)
  • Morocco Youssef El-Akchaoui (2006-10)
Netherlands Antilles
  • Sweden Jonas Olsson (2005–08)

Man of the Year

Season Name
2000/01 Netherlands Danny Hesp
2001/02 Netherlands Rob Wielaert
2002/03 Netherlands Rob Wielaert
2003/04 Netherlands Dennis Gentenaar
2004/05 Netherlands Peter Wisgerhof
2005/06 Netherlands Romano Denneboom
2006/07 Sweden Jonas Olsson
2007/08 Netherlands Youssef El-Akchaoui
2008/09 Denmark Lasse Schöne
2009/10 Suriname Lorenzo Davids
2010/11 Netherlands Ramon Zomer

Topscorers by season

Season Name Goals
1994/95 Netherlands Danny Hoekman 14
1995/96 Finland Antti Sumiala 9
1996/97 Finland Antti Sumiala 8
1997/98 Netherlands Emiel van Eijkeren 13
1998/99 Netherlands Jack de Gier 16
1999/00 Netherlands Jack de Gier 9
2000/01 Republic of Macedonia Gorgi Hristov 15
2001/02 Netherlands Frank Demouge 7
2002/03 Netherlands Youssouf Hersi 9
2003/04 Netherlands Youssouf Hersi 10
2004/05 Netherlands Saïd Boutahar 8
2005/06 Poland Andrzej Niedzielan 10
2006/07 Netherlands Romano Denneboom 9
2007/08 Netherlands Jhon van Beukering 11
2008/09 Netherlands Youssef El-Akchaoui 6
2009/10 Belgium Bjorn Vleminckx 8
2010/11 Belgium Bjorn Vleminckx 23

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History at official N.E.C. website". N.E.C.]. http://www.nec-nijmegen.nl/layout.php?p=3&page=3. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  2. ^ "Franz Beckenbauer about great ambiance N.E.C. Supporters". De Trouwe Honden. 2009-03-17. http://www.detrouwehonden.nl/dbid=106/tpl=1937. 
  3. ^ "Managers". N.E.C. Nijmegen. http://www.detrouwehonden.nl/dbid=59/tpl=1910/trainers. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 

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