Away Trip to AZ Alkmaar
Aston Villa’s second away day in the Europa Conference League group stages is an always welcome trip to Holland. With Alkmaar situated less than an hour’s drive or half-an-hour’s train ride from Amsterdam, it’s the perfect double-whammy away day.
Here’s a collection of information on the post-match situation
‘Easy-going’ and ‘unproblematic’
After the AK Alkmaar ultras got a bad rep for storming West Ham VIP seating (the club were fined almost £70,000 by UEFA), it’s fair to say, that this was a bit of an anomaly from the normally welcoming AFAS Stadium. When MOMS has spoken to the likes of Ajax supporter groups and Football Supporters Europe, views have been largely positive when it comes to visiting AZ Alkmaar’s AFAS Stadium.
The Wildcard Dutch Police
There shouldn’t be any issues from the club and AZ fans, the only wildcard could be the Dutch police though, after their recent experiences when they clashed with Legia Warsaw players, officials and fans.
The police stated that some Legia supporters had grabbed batons and pepper gas from the police, and got in without tickets, which set the tone for the evening. Legia Warsaw away fans are admittedly notorious and after the game they were kept in for longer than expected. The Legia Warsaw team coach was also held back, which caused friction on the night with Legia players and officials being arrested, as all kinds of chaos ensued.
’20 minute’ Hold Back
WM Police have stated for a few days now they have been told there will be a 20-minute hold back for Villa’s away fans at the AFAS Stadium, but anybody who was in Warsaw (including MOMS), will know how time seems to extend and stretch in Europe, especially after football matches. The hold back in Warsaw was meant to be 40 minutes, but that spiralled to beyond the two-hour mark.
How the Legia Warsaw experience will influence the post-match situation for Villa fans (and the Villa team bus!) remains to be seen.
Access to Alkmaar Game
Apparently, no fans will be allowed into the away compound unless they arrive in shuttle buses or pre-booked supporters coach (away tickets only – not Cat 1 or Tier 1 tickets). Dutch police have advised anyone without a ticket to the game not to travel to Alkmaar, the game will not be shown live in any bars in Alkmaar and they state they have dispersal powers for anyone without a ticket.
It is thought that most of the Villa supporters travelling to Amsterdam without tickets will stay in the city and watch it there together.