SC Heerenveen

Sportclub Heerenveen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈspɔrtklɵp ˌɦeːrə(n)ˈveːn]; West Frisian: Sportklub It Hearrenfean) football club that plays in the Eredivisie, the top level of football in the Netherlands.

SC Heerenveen
Full nameSportclub Heerenveen
Nickname(s)De Superfriezen (The Super Frisians)
Founded20 July 1920 (1920-07-20)
GroundAbe Lenstra Stadium
ChairmanLuuc Eisenga
ManagerJohnny Jansen
2018–19Eredivisie, 11th
WebsiteClub website


Sportclub Heerenveen was founded on 20 July 1920 in the town of Heerenveen, Friesland, as Athleta.[1] It changed name twice, first to Spartaan and then to v.v. Heerenveen in 1922.[1] While the Netherlands was occupied by Germany, Heerenveen won three successive North of the Netherlands championships, and following the end of World War II it went on to win the same title six times in a row; the club's dominance partly ascribed to the presence of Abe Lenstra.[1] During this period, Lenstra led Heerenveen to a famous victory over Ajax in one of the most noted games in Dutch domestic football history.[2] Trailing 5–1 with 25 minutes remaining, the Frisian team inexplicably fought back for a 6–5 victory.[2]

During the 1950s, Heerenveen regional dominance faded and after Dutch football turned professional Lenstra left to join Sportclub Enschede, before the club he departed was relegated to the Tweede Divisie.[1] By the end of the decade, Heerenveen was in the Eerste Divisie, but found itself relegated again.[1] In 1969–70, the Frisian club won the Tweede Divisie to return to the Eerste Divisie and for two seasons in the 1970s, the club was close to achieving promotion to the top-flight Eredivisie.[1] By 1974, the club was in financial trouble and to ensure its survival it was split into amateur and professional sections, the professional part being renamed sc Heerenveen.[1]

In the 1980s, Heerenveen twice made the promotion playoffs, but were unsuccessful both times.[1] It finally reached the Eredivisie in 1990, becoming the first Frisian club to reach the top level, at the expense of near-neighbours Cambuur.[2] The achievement was overseen by Frisian coach Foppe de Haan. Heerenveen's first season in the Netherlands' top division was not at all successful and it was relegated, before returning in 1993, though they reached the final of the KNVB Cup while still an Eerste Divisie club.[2] Having established itself as a top-flight club, Heerenveen moved to a new stadium, named after their most celebrated player, the Abe Lenstra Stadion, and reached the final of the KNVB Cup for a second time.[2] The 1998 semi-final in the cup competition was lost to Ajax. Because Ajax and the other finalist, PSV, had both qualified for the cup final, a decision match was needed to fill in the vacant spot for the next season's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Heerenveen had to play against the other losing semi-finalist, Twente. Heerenveen won that match in which Ruud van Nistelrooy scored his last goal for Heerenveen. The match ended 3–1.

Heerenveen became regular competitors in the UEFA Cup, and in 1999–2000 finished second in the Eredivise, its highest ever finish, and qualified for the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League.[1]

The club was led from 1983 until September 2006 by president Riemer van der Velde, the longest tenure of any president with a professional club in the Netherlands. As the results of recent transfers that include Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Afonso Alves, Michael Bradley, Miralem Sulejmani, Petter Hansson and Danijel Pranjić (and earlier players like Jon Dahl Tomasson, Marcus Allbäck, Erik Edman, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Igor Korneev and Daniel Jensen), Heerenveen is one of the most financially secure Eredivisie clubs. A 2010 report by the Dutch football association showed that Heerenveen is the only Eredivisie club that has a financially secure budget.[3] Under the tenure of Trond Sollied, Heerenveen won its first KNVB Cup, also its first ever major trophy. Trond Sollied, however, was sacked on 31 August 2009 due to a weak opening of the season and a conflict with the board.

On 17 May 2009, the club defeated Twente 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Dutch Cup for the first time after a 2–2 draw in the final, with Gerald Sibon scoring the winning penalty.[4] On 13 February 2012, it was announced that Marco van Basten would replace Ron Jans, who had led Heerenveen for two years, as team manager for the 2012–13 season.


The club plays its home matches at the Abe Lenstra Stadium, which opened in 1994 and holds 26,100 people. Throughout the years, the club developed several plans to further expand the stadium. One of the plans was to extend at least one side stand towards the pitch, as seen in English football stadiums. Due to deteriorating league results and financial limitedness, however, those plans were shelved. It is uncertain whether or not the club will ever carry them out. Before the move to the Abe Lenstra Stadion, Heerenveen played at the Sportpark Noord. The club's training facilities are regarded as world class, which is said to be a major factor in their recruitment of younger players. The name of the clubs facilities is sportpark Skoatterwald. The facilities are shared with VV Heerenveen and Sc Heerenveen (women).

Colours, crest and anthem

The crest on the club emblem is the symbol of the flag of Friesland. The flag of Friesland is based on the arms of the 15th century. The stripes and lovehearts represent the districts of Friesland and how much people love them. A unique tradition in the Dutch Eredivisie is that the Frisian national anthem is played and sung before every domestic match. UEFA does not allow this tradition in European matches. Nevertheless, the anthem is sung by the supporters anyway.


SC Cambuur

Heerenveen retain a very fierce rivalry with SC Cambuur. One of the reasons of the rivalry is the short distance between the two clubs. Because of that the clubs often refer to each other as DKV which stands for Dertig Kilometer Verderop (Thirty Kilometers Beyond) so that they don't have to mention each others' names. However, the biggest and also the most confusing reason is the background of the clubs. Many people who aren't involved in the rivalry find it difficult to understand. Most of the Heerenveen fans are from small villages from the entire province (and even outside it) and are very proud of their Frisian identity. Since the 80's the club have been expressing this Frisian pride to the rest of the Netherlands. The Frisian flag, the Frisian anthem, all Frisian symbols were linked to the club, which made Heerenveen the face of Frisia. Because of this Cambuur slowly disappeared in the shadow of Heerenveen, as a reaction to this Cambuur fans started distancing themselves from the Frisian identity. Nowadays Cambuur don't consider themselves Frisian even though they are from the capital of the province. They now call themselves Leeuwarders aka people from the city. Heerenveen fans are mockingly called boeren (farmers) because Heerenveen isn't a city and the fans mainly live in small villages. Because of the successes of Heerenveen and the meager performances of Cambuur including almost going bankrupt, the rivalry was almost forgotten. When Cambuur got promoted back to the Eredivisie in 2013 by winning the 2012/13 season of the Jupiler League the rivalry got revived. Before the meeting on 29 September 2013 the game hadn't been played for 13 years, giving Cambuur a great opportunity to prove themselves. Heerenveen won that game 2-1. The away game later in the season was won 3-1 by Cambuur.

FC Groningen

The absence of Cambuur caused FC Groningen to be the nearest Eredivisie team and soon it became rivals with Heerenveen. Strikingly, both northern sides used to maintain more or less of a friendship in the past. Therefore, this Northern Derby rivalry is only based on geographical location. Because most Heerenveen fans have always considered Cambuur as main rivals, this derby is often referred to as a surrogate derby. Traditionally, the winner claims the title Pride of the North. Days before the game, Heerenveen and Groningen fans tease each other by means of playful actions, usually with no violence. Heerenveen fans once stole the centre spot from the Oosterpark stadium, and raised the Frisian flag at the Martinitoren, the highest tower in Groningen, combined with a banner saying "SCH op eenzame hoogte" (SCH on lonely height).[5] The front yard of a Groningen chairman once got filled with rubble from a construction site. This was because the construction of the Euroborg had to be halted due to a major design mistake. Groningen fans countered by painting a statue of all-time Heerenveen hero Abe Lenstra green and white, the colours of Groningen.[6] They also transformed a viaduct near Heerenveen to green and white.

A year later, in the 2001–02 season, Groningen fans awarded Heerenveen player Anthony Lurling the title of "Biggest cheat of the season" and handed him therefore a sewing machine. In that same week the town signs of Heerenveen were changed to "Hoerenveen It Sucks" (Whore-veen) by the Groningen supporters. The following season, Groningen fans teased the Heerenveen following again, this time by establishing a border post on the border of Groningen and Friesland.[7]


Domestic results

Below is a table with sc Heerenveen's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.

European competition

SC Heerenveen played 16 seasons in one of the European club football competitions.

score marked with * = first played match
1995UEFA Intertoto CupGroup 4 Næstved BK2-1
Ton Pentre7-0
Békéscsaba Előre4-0
União de Leiria0-1
Round of 16 Farul Constanța4-0
Quarter-finals Bordeaux0-2
1996UEFA Intertoto CupGroup 5 Sligo Rovers0-0
FBK Kaunas3-1
1997UEFA Intertoto CupGroup 1 FC Dinamo-93 Minsk0-1
Polonia Warsaw0-0
MSV Duisburg0-2
Aalborg BK8-2
1998-99UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round Amica Wronki3-1 *1-0
Second round Varaždin2-1 *2-4 (aet)
1999UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Hammarby IF2-0 *2-0
Semi-finals West Ham United0-10-1 *
2000-01UEFA Champions LeagueGroup C Valencia0-11-1
2001UEFA Intertoto Cup Second round Liepājas Metalurgs6-12-3 *
Third round Basel2-31-2 *
2002-03UEFA CupFirst round Național București2-00-3 *
2003UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Lierse4-1 *1-0
Semi-finals Koper2-0 *0-1
Finals Villarreal1-2 *0-0
2004-05UEFA Cup First round Maccabi Petah Tikva5-0 n.p. *
Group G Benfica2-4
VfB Stuttgart1-0
Dinamo Zagreb2-2
Third round Newcastle United1-2 *1-2
2005-06UEFA Cup First round Baník Ostrava5-00-2 *
Group F Dinamo București0-0
CSKA Moscow0-0
Levski Sofia2-1
Third round Steaua București1-3 *1-0
2006-07UEFA Cup First round Vitória de Setúbal0-03-0 *
Group D Osasuna0-0
2007-08UEFA CupFirst round Helsingborgs IF5-3 *1-5
2008-09UEFA Cup First round Vitória de Setúbal5-21-1 *
Group E Milan1-3
VfL Wolfsburg1-5
2009-10UEFA Europa League Play-off round PAOK1-1 (a) *0-0
Group D Sporting CP2-31-1
Hertha BSC2-31-0
2012-13UEFA Europa League Third Q-round Rapid București4-0 *0-1
Play-off round Molde1-20-2 *
^1 Due to safety concerns in Israel, the first leg was cancelled by UEFA.
^2 Played in Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon.

Current squad

As of 2 September 2019[8]

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

No. Position Player
1 GK Warner Hahn
2 DF Sherel Floranus
3 DF Daniel Høegh
4 DF Andreas Skovgaard
5 DF Lucas Woudenberg
6 MF Hicham Faik (captain)
7 FW Nemanja Mihajlović
8 FW Chidera Ejuke
9 FW Jens Odgaard (on loan from Sassuolo)
10 MF Alen Halilović (on loan from Milan)
11 FW Mitchell van Bergen
13 MF Jordy Bruijn
14 DF Ibrahim Drešević
No. Position Player
15 DF Đoàn Văn Hậu (on loan from Hanoi FC)
16 DF Ricardo van Rhijn
17 FW Anders Dreyer (on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion)
18 DF Sven Botman (on loan from Ajax)
20 MF Joey Veerman
21 MF Rodney Kongolo
22 MF Emil Frederiksen
23 GK Filip Bednarek
24 GK Trevor Doornbusch
26 FW Arjen van der Heide
28 MF Rami Hajal
31 MF Hamdi Akujobi
32 MF Jan Ras

Notable former players

Players listed below have had junior and/or senior international cap(s) for their respective countries before, while and/or after playing at Heerenveen.

Managerial history

Women's team

In 2007, SC Heerenveen created a women's football team, which competed first in the Vrouwen Eredivisie and since 2012 in the BeNe League. While it has ranked mostly in the table's bottom positions, in 2011 it reached the national cup's final, lost against AZ.

Match statistics

All competitions
  • Biggest home win: SC Heerenveen - FC Oss 11-1; KNVB Cup (21 December 2011)
  • Biggest score: Ton Pentre AFC - sc Heerenveen 0-7; Intertoto (2 July 1995)
  • Largest double result: Helsingborg IF - sc Heerenveen 8-6 (3-5 and 5-1); UEFA Cup 1st Round (2007)
  • Most goals in a season: 88 goals, 2007/08
  • Most goals in a game: Afonso Alves 7 (also Dutch record); sc Heerenveen - Heracles (7 October 2007)
  • Biggest home win: sc Heerenveen - Heracles Almelo 9-0 (7 October 2007)
  • Biggest game: Willem II - sc Heerenveen 1-6 (23 February 2001)
  • Largest home defeat: SC Heerenveen - AFC Ajax 0-5 (11 April 2012)
  • Fastest penalty for: sc Heerenveen - sc Cambuur (19 October 2014)
Champions League
  • Biggest home win: SC Heerenveen - Olympiakos Piraeus 1-0 (17 October 2000)
  • Most spacious stay: none
  • Highest draw: Valencia CF - sc Heerenveen 1-1 (7 November 2000)
  • Largest double result: SC Heerenveen - Olympique Lyon 1-5 (2000)
European Cup II
  • Biggest home win: SC Heerenveen - KS Amica Wronki 3-1 (17 September 1998)
  • Biggest game: KS Amica Wronki - sc Heerenveen 0-1 (1 October 1998)
  • Largest double result: sc Heerenveen - KS Amica Wronki 4-1 (1998)
  • Biggest home win: SC Heerenveen - Maccabi Petach Tikwa 5-0 (30 September 2004), SC Heerenveen - FC Baník Ostrava 5-0 (29 September 2005) and SC Heerenveen - FK Ventspils 5-0 (16 December 2009)
  • Biggest game: Vitória Setúbal - sc Heerenveen 0-3 (14 September 2006)
  • Largest double result: Helsingsborg IF - sc Heerenveen 8-6 (2007)
Intertoto Cup
  • Biggest home win: SC Heerenveen - Aalborg BK 8-2 (19 July 1997)
  • Biggest score: Ton Pentre AFC - sc Heerenveen 0-7 (2 July 1995)
  • Largest double result: FHK Liepajas Metalurgs - sc Heerenveen 4-8 (2001)

See also


  1. "The history of Heerenveen". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  2. "sc Heerenveen: EVERY DUTCHMAN'S SECOND FAVORITE TEAM". Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  3. "Financiële problemen voor profclubs". RTL Nieuws. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  4. "Heerenveen prevail in Dutch final shoot-out". 17 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  5. "Frisian flag in Groningen". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  6. "The painted statue". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  7. "Trots van het Noorden". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  9. van Cuilenborg, C. (Ed.) (2007). Voetbal international, seizoengids 2007–2008. (p. 92). Amsterdam: WP Sport Media BV.
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