Dutch Tigers

November 3, 2017

Hull City AFC have fans all across the world. Well known supporters groups are based in Norway and Australia, but also Holland houses at least a couple of dozens of Tigers fans. Some of them are expats, some of them are native Dutchmen who somehow fell in love with Hull City at some point in their lives. In 2014 the Dutch Hull City supporters group was founded. They are active on Twitter (@TigersNL) and Facebook (Hull City Nederland). Below, three Dutch Tigers introduce themselves.

My name is Mels Daalder. I’m 26 years old and I live on the island of Texel, 80 miles north of Amsterdam.

The first time I visited Hull City was in December 2006 in a Championship game against Cardiff City. This game was one of the best games in the season, we won by 4-1. We narrowly avoided relegation, finishing 19th in the league.

The atmosphere at the stadium was great and when I came back in Holland I decided to keep following this club. I’ve visited a City game almost every year ever since. I’ve seen some great games against Leeds United, West Ham, Manchester City, Charlton Athletic (away), West Bromwich Albion and Everton. Every week I check the live scores on internet and watch the highlights on Youtube.

My expectations for this season are mixed because we can win against any team in this league but we can also lose against any team. Hopefully we can sign some new players in the next transfer window and reach the play-offs but I think a mid table position is more obvious.

My name is Dennis Kloosterman, I’m 21 years old. Back in 2008, I played Online Football Manager with a group of friends. Everyone had picked a team already when I joined. Only a few sides were still available, one of which was Hull City, the team I eventually chose. Season after season, I guided City to the Premier League title, and none of my friends understood how I managed to do so. I started showing some interest in the real life version of the club, and slowly but surely I became a big fan.

On 4 May 2013, I was watching my local non-league team BAS Voetbal from Biddinghuizen, who were playing an important away game. Simultaneously, Hull City were playing their legendary home game against Cardiff City. During the game I closely followed all developments at the KCOM Stadium, and I was thrilled to learn we got promoted. The following season, I went to visit my first game at the KCOM Stadium, against Tottenham Hotspur. I’ve visited at least one game per season ever since. I even built a “Hull City man cave” recently, as you can see on the photograph included. If you have some spare merchandise for the man cave, do contact me!

The current season hasn’t been a great success so far. I feel Ehab Allam is the man to blame. He’s taken too many wrong decisions. Besides that, not offering concessionary pricing is unacceptable. The supporters form the lifeblood of a club, but many families are currently being driven away from our fan base.

But I remain confident that eventually, we will find our way out of this misery. It may take a while, but one day the feel good factor will return and our fan base will be united again. We are fighters, we have a wonderful stadium, we deserve to become a stable Premier League club.

My name is Dennis Matthijs, 22 years old, and I live in Rotterdam. I’ve been following Hull City for over nine years now. I can’t remember very well why it happened, but I fell in love with the club after watching a random game on television, and I’ve followed the Tigers ever since.

As soon as I turned 18, I travelled to Hull to visit my first game. I’ve been to four games now: two home games, and two away games: Lokeren and Fulham. Especially the away games were brilliant. I think I lost my voice on both occasions.

I hope to add another game later this season. Most likely an away game, as the current atmosphere at the club doesn’t make it very enticing to visit the KCOM Stadium. As for me, the sooner the Allams sell up, the better. Over the past four years, they have actively sought to divide our fan base. The empty seats hurt me a lot, as do the arguments that our own fans have often had with each other. I really hope that change will come at some point and that the ties between club and fans will be restored. I don’t even care what league it is we play in anymore – above all I just hope that the days will return that we have a well filled stadium and a club to be truly proud of again.

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