Eindhoven football clubs face long waiting lists

Long waiting list to play football
Photo credit: Studio040

More than a thousand people, especially children, are in Eindhoven
on the waiting list to play at a football club. According to the KNVB (Royal Dutch football association), the problem exists in other cities too but the situation in Eindhoven is very acute.

“Some people spend as much as one and a half to two years on the waiting list,” says Jan van den Broek, chairman of RPC (Roosten football club). Also at the clubs Brabant, Unitas ’59, Acht, and DBS (strong through brotherhood) hundreds of people are waiting for a spot.

“Everything is completely full,” says board member Christian Hermans of football club Acht, which has now imposed a membership freeze. “A large number of the children on the waiting list never will get their turn with us.”

Not enough fields and volunteers

Waiting lists are getting longer because clubs have too few pitches to allow even more players to play football. Also there are clubs with too few volunteers. Without parents helping with training and coaching, a new team cannot start.

At RPC, they have found a solution to this. “If you (or your parents) don’t want to volunteer, you don’t even get on the waiting list.
People are willing to provide occasional support but to find structural volunteers is a very big problem. Sometimes you get the reproach: ‘We pay dues anyway, so solve it.'”


At football club DBS in the expansion district Meerhoven, there is also a long waiting list. There, they see the club particularly filling up with children of expats. Leon Klaassen, board member youth affairs: “43 per cent of our members between the ages of 4 and 8 were born abroad and have a foreign passport.” Added to this are the children of expats who were born here and have a Dutch passport.

The club has been able to clear some of the waiting list, but still has 135 new members in the waiting room. For most of them, there is no room this season. The club is looking for solutions. “We will start on Saturdays at half past eight with our matches. The last match does not start until 17.30.
We would like to add extra changing rooms and more lighting at our pitches but we are still in talks with the municipality about that. Also we are still looking for a sponsor.”


At sports club Unitas ’59, about two hundred players are also eager to get started. “But we are at maximum capacity,” says board member Mark Kortleever. According to him, the club can grow, but needs help from the municipality. We have been waiting for a second artificial turf pitch.”

Due to the long waiting lists, parents are registering their children earlier and earlier. “There are parents who at birth already put the children on the waiting list,” says chairman Van den Broek of RPC.
The fields are used as much as possible. But that does have a downside. “After the winter break, we are playing football on sand because there is no more grass growing,” says the chairman. “We are working on solutions but at the moment we cannot continue to grow.”


The municipality reveals that it is in talks with the football clubs and the KNVB.”We are looking at new and creative solutions to use the fields more intensively and to spread the members better over all the football clubs,” says a spokesperson.

Eindhoven News Editorial team
Source: Studio040

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