Perhaps a club with one of the more obscure names in European football Venlose Voetbal Vereniging Venlo or VVV are a Dutch club located in Venlo, a city in the south-eastern region of Netherlands, near the German border.
Home territory for the club is the Stadion de Koel a neat but small stadium of 8,000 which was opened on the 19th of March 1972 with a match between VVV Venlo and Cambuur Leeuwarden.
Only recently have the club returned to playing in the top tier Eredivisie; bouncing back and returning to the Eredivisie in 2017 where they have played since.
Due to the club’s humble rate of on the field success (only a KNVB cup win in the 1950’s is of any note) the home stadium has hardly changed in appearance since its opening. Only minor periods of stadia refurbishment have occured these largely happening in lieu of promotions to the Eredivisie from the second tier Eerste Division.
The most distinctive feature of the De Koel is that it lies in a den, which translates to Koel in the Dutch dialect that is spoken locally. The dressing rooms for the players are located on top of high located banks, which means that the players have to walk down an open-air flight of stairs to reach the pitch surrounds.
While the club is rightly proud of its surrounds VVV have been planning a move to a new stadium which would almost double the capacity to 15,000 seats. At various points an agreement has been reached both with commercial partners and the local municipality to transform the stadium. However, due to successive relegations and promotions the lack of league stability at VVV has continually put the start of any project in jeopardy.
The stadium lies on the Kaldenkerkerweg, which starts in the city centre of Venlo and continues through to Germany. The border with Germany sits only 1.6km from the stadium meaning that German speaking fans are attracted to following the club despite giants Borussia Monchengladbach being located 33km to the east.