I've been following Hull City since 2008, when I was 12 years old. I've always had a passion for English football and after watching the play off final against Bristol City I got inspired by the story of Hull City, the sleeping giant that, after 104 years of mediocrity, finally reached the top flight. I really liked our colours and our crest, and I resolved to follow Hull City' games in the next season. During the sensational months that followed I completely fell in love with the club. I've kept following Hull City closely ever since. In 2014 I visited a game at the KC for the first time. It was cold, it was a crap game and the atmosphere was flat, but the thrill of finally being there after having followed Hull City from abroad for six years made it to one of the best days of my life. I also visited the European away game in Lokeren, which is just 20 miles away from where I live. A great day, despite the hooligan incident afterwards which was really frightening.
Since those two trips my love for Hull City A.F.C. has completely escalated and I'm now actively working on building a Dutch Hull City fan club. English football is quite popular in Holland and I'm sure that there are quite a lot of HullCity supporters here. The only problem is that it's difficult to find them. Thanks to social media (Twitter @TigersNL, Facebook 'Hull City Nederland') I've found about ten people (including two expats from Hull), of which there are three or four with whom I've got regular contact via the internet. Recently I've even met one of them personally and we watched City's home game against Chelsea in a Rotterdam pub. By keeping my Facebook, Twitter and the website up to date, I hope to, over time, attract more Dutch Hull City supporters so that eventually I can develop concrete plans for an official fan club.
Hull City Nederland
It is a pleasure to have Dennis Matthijs writing a few blogs for us throughout the coming season.
A VIEW FROM HOLLAND #1
Hi everyone. Like some of the other Tigerlink Champions I'll be writing some pieces for Tigerlink throughout the 2015/16 campaign.
First of all thanks to Peter Johnson and the rest of the Tigerlink team for helping me to promote Hull City in Holland. Through social media I've already found a few other Dutch Tigers and I hope
that the cooperation with Tigerlink will help me to further develop my project. 'Hull City Nederland' are active on Twitter (twitter.com/tigersnl) and Facebook (facebook.com/tigersnl).
Last Saturday I was delighted to learn that the Football Association once again rejected the club's name change application. Although I wasn't too worried about the outcome as pretty much nothing had changed from last year, it still was a great relief when the confirmation was finally there. Some say a name is just a name, but Hull City A.F.C. is the club I love and I don't think Hull Tigers would work for me. We have to thank Hull City Supporters' Trust for all the fantastic work they've done. Let's hope that the owners will now finally drop the name change for once and for all, reverse the rebranding and start looking for other ways to help the club forward.
The new season starts in a few weeks and to be fair it seems unlikely to me that City will be one of the clubs that will be pushing for automatic promotion. While our rivals are making signing after signing, we are only trying to sell players at the moment. The impact of the departures of McShane, Rosenior, Quinn and Ince will be felt and we will probably lose more players soon. Jelavic, N'Doye and Hernandez will have to leave either way, and I fear we might lose Brady, Chester, Huddlestone and Elmohamady as well. All of them are being chased by Premier League teams whilst having just 12 months left on their contracts... Although the club has started talks with some of those key players over new contracts, I'd be surprised if they sign new deals at City when they have the opportunity of playing in the top flight and earning a lot more money.
I hope to be at the KC again soon. I've been to two City games in my life and I'm planning to add some more in the coming season. Sheffield Wednesday or Leeds United at home would be great. Should the owners pursue the name change though, I'll consider boycotting the KC and go for one or two away days in London. Craven Cottage, Griffin Park and The Valley are among my favourite grounds in England and I'd love to visit them as a Hull City supporter.
Let's hope Brucey will make some signings soon and we will be battling to get back to the Premier League immediately. With regard to the UK City of Culture event, it is very important to have Hull City playing in the top flight.
A VIEW FROM HOLLAND #2
Great to hear from Dennis again with his take on how the season is progressing;
Hello fellow Tigers fans. Here's the second edition of my monthly-or-so Tigerlink blog. The season is well underway now and things seem to be going reasonably well for City. Bruce has made some brilliant signings and the team has looked good in the first few games. A draw at Wolves was sandwiched by home wins against Huddersfield and Fulham and a sore but not disastrous defeat at Charlton followed. The epic away day at Accrington Stanley was a welcome intermezzo. With the name change finally being dead and buried, the atmosphere at the KC seems less toxic and it's actually fun again to follow Hull City.
Of course it's still too early to judge whether we have what it takes to push for automatic promotion. The current squad is strong in all areas, but I'm afraid we can't afford to lose many more of our Premier League quality players if we want to compete for the title. Unfortunately, the likes of Ahmed Elmohamady, Tom Huddlestone, Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez are still more likely to leave than to stay, especially as all of them have buyouts in their contracts. The window isn't opened for much longer, but since almost half of the summer transfers take place on deadline day nowadays, I expect there's still quite some movement to come at the KC Stadium.
It's now about a year to the day that City played the two historic games against Lokeren. It feels like an age since we played in Europe and were looking forward to what was supposed to become the greatest season in our history. I attended the away game at the Daknamstadion, which is just a 30 minute ride from where I live. It was a great day and to be honest, it still hurts that we got knocked out so early in the tournament. We should have passed through many more great European nights last year and I doubt we will ever see the Tigers play in Europe again in our lifetimes. Some blame Allan McGregor, whose howler gave Lokeren the 1-0 win at their ground, but personally I think I can never forgive Steve Bruce for lining up the reserves in what in my opinion was one of the biggest game in our history.
Speaking of Allan McGregor - it seems that the moment to drop him has now arrived. A keeper can make mistakes, but he's made far too many in the past year and he just doesn't seem to be able to get his confidence back. I haven't seen that much of Eldin Jakupovic, but I wouldn't feel comfortable to have him as our first choice goalie either. Bruce should consider signing a new one.
A concluding note on the Livermore case - luckily it won't take much longer before the FA will finally make a decision on the length of his ban. Last week the papers wrote about the struggle Jake has had to cope with the loss of his new-born baby and according to Steve Bruce there have been more personal problems for the midfielder. Although I feel for Jake, I'd say the mitigating circumstances are still anything but a valid excuse to take drugs when you're a professional footballer. He has brought himself and the club in big trouble, but since I can understand what he's had to go through, I do hope the club and the fans will forgive him and we will see him playing in a City shirt again one day.
Hull - UK City of Culture 2017
'We are a social media based Hull City AFC supporters group 'serving the Tiger Nation at home and abroad'. We also promote tourism and the economy of Hull and the East Riding. We hope to use Hull City's return to the Premier League as a platform to promote all things Hull and maximise the opportunities presented by the Tigers' elevation to the top tier.'
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