Van der Voort on favourite club Ajax: 'Hopefully it will be an enjoyable month and not an annoying month'
Dutch football club Ajax will play PSV Eindhoven on Sunday in the first big game of the Eredivisie season. Dartsnews got in touch with Ajax fan Vincent van der Voort to mark the occasion and talk about his passion for the club.
Van der Voort's love for Ajax grew from an early age. His parents came from Amsterdam, while Van der Voort himself was born and raised in Purmerend, a city on the outskirts of the Dutch capital.
His first big memory of Ajax dates back to 1987, when Ajax won a European Cup match against Real Zaragoza amid torrential rain. The now 45-year-old Dutchman was not in the stadium for that tie, but could often be found at the former Ajax stadium De Meer.
''At the time you could buy tickets for the matches at a cigar shop and then I went to Ajax with some other guys from my area. It was amazing. I tried to go when I was able to," said Van der Voort.
He especially enjoyed seeing his football idol, Marco van Basten. “I was a big fan of him. For me, he is the best Ajax striker I have ever seen. When I think of him, I immediately think of that bicycle kick from him against Den Bosch. Van Basten was really a legend to me.''
Over the years, Van der Voort has seen a lot of special matches in person - first at De Meer, then at the Amsterdam ArenA, now known as the Johan Cruijff ArenA. ''In terms of atmosphere, the Champions League matches are the best. But I also really liked the match against Willem II [5-0, ed.] for the Dutch title in 2013.''
But his favourite match was a game against Feyenoord Rotterdam. In a memorable battle between two Dutch giants, Feyenoord scored in the first few minutes, but Ajax won 4-1 after scoring three goals in the last ten minutes of the game. ''That was in the Olympic Stadium in 1987. At the time fans from the away club were still allowed. The atmosphere in the stadium was very impressive.''
The Dutch Destroyer also has good memories of May 15, 2011. ''Ajax became champions against FC Twente on the last day of the Dutch league and on the same day I won a Pro Tour tournament against Phil Taylor in the final.''
Nowadays, Van der Voort can attend fewer matches due to darts obligations. "But if I have the chance, I'll go there. It is now a bit more difficult to get a ticket with all those season tickets.''
Enjoyable month or an annoying month
The match between Ajax and PSV will kick off at 15:45 GMT. Van der Voort is looking forward to the match, but knows it's far from a foregone conclusion.
'It is difficult to estimate what to expect. There was a winter break for two weeks and you don't know how everyone is doing. I hope we put on a good game and get three points. When Ajax plays at home, I think Ajax should be the favorite. Then you are actually obliged to win.''
Good friend Michael van Gerwen is a PSV fanatic, though that fact doesn't cause tension between the two Dutch friends. ''Not really. If one club has won against the other, you will let the other know, but we are not provoking each other all day. He can try, but then I won't respond.''
After PSV, Ajax face a number of interesting matches against the Dutch top clubs this month. The schedule works out well for Van der Voort, who has no darts tournaments scheduled for this month.
“In that respect it is nice because you can see everything. The work remains important, but this is a great month for watching football of course. There are so many great matches. Twice against AZ Alkmaar and once against PSV and Feyenoord. I hope it will be an enjoyable month and not an annoying month.''