VVV and Excelsior seek reprieve
The opening round of the play-offs has already been completed, as
clubs from the Eerste Divisie target promotion alongside champions
RKC Waalwijk, and eight teams are still battling for two places
alongside the Dutch elite. VVV take on Volendam for the right to
tackle on Zwolle or Cambuur for a place in the Eredivisie, while
Excelsior face Den Bosch with the winners going forward to play
Helmond Sport or Veendam. VVV travel to 2008 second-tier champions
Volendam for the first leg of their play-off after finishing a
miserable season 17th in the Eredivisie. Zwolle finished 10 points
clear in second place in the second tier and face Cambuur looking
to return to the Eredivisie for the first time since 2004.
Long-serving full-back Albert van der Haar was part of the last
Zwolle squad to be relegated from the Eredivisie, and believes the
club have played the best football in their division this season.
“The season is not finished yet – we played the best football in
the Eerste Divisie, were always a class apart and scored often and
early in games. Cup ties against Willem II, FC Twente gave
additional confidence,” Van der Haar said. “In my long career at FC
Zwolle, I have only seen us twice before play the best football.
Last season we only lost four times, including twice against RKC.”
Cambuur have not sampled Eredivisie football since the 1999/2000
season. Excelsior almost avoided the play-offs when they beat
fellow strugglers Vitesse Arnhem 4-1 on the final day of the
Eredivisie season, but missed out on the four-goal margin they
needed. Excelsior, who were promoted through the play-off route
last season, face a Den Bosch side who finished eighth in the
Eerste Divisie. Helmond Sport and Veendam finished third and fourth
respectively in the second tier. They go head to head tomorrow,
with both sides aiming to reach the highest level of Dutch football
for the first time since the 1980s.