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sc Heerenveen (Frisian: SK It Hearrenfean) is a Dutchmarker football club currently playing in the Eredivisie.


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

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. By the end of the decade Heerenveen were in the Eerste Divisie, but they found themselves relegated again. In 1969-70 the Frisian club won the Tweede Divisie to return to the Eerste Divisie and for two seasons in the 1970s were close to achieving promotion to the Eredivisie. By 1974 the club were in financial trouble and to ensure survival was split into amateur and professional sections, the professional part being renamed sc Heerenveen.

In the 1980s Heerenveen twice made the promotion playoffs, but were unsuccessful both times. They finally reached the Eredivisie in 1990, becoming the first Frisian club to reach the top level, at the expense of near-neighbours Cambuur Leeuwarden. 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 they were relegated, before returning in 1993, though they reached the final of the KNVB Cup whilst still an Eerste Divisie club. Having established themselves as a top-flight club Heerenveen moved to a new stadium, named after their most celebrated player, the Abe Lenstra Stadionmarker and reached the final of the KNVB Cup for a second time. The 1998 semifinal in the cup competition was lost to AFC Ajax. Due to the fact Ajax and the other finalist PSV Eindhoven both qualified for the cupfinal a decision match was needed to fill in the vacant spot to the next UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Heerenveen had to play against the other losing semifinalist, FC Twente. Heerenveen won that match in which Ruud van Nistelrooy scored his last goal for sc Heerenveen. The match ended 3-1.

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

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 and Danijel Pranjic, Heerenveen is one of the most financially secure Eredivisie clubs. Under tenure of Trond Sollied, Heerenveen won their first KNVB Cup in the club's history. Trond Sollied was sacked on August 31. 2009 due to a weak opening of the season.

On May 17 2009 they defeated FC 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.

The team play their home games at the Abe Lenstra Stadionmarker which opened in 1994 and holds 26,800 Heerenveen supporters.

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 waterlily leaves represent the districts of Friesland. A unique tradition in the Dutch eredivisie is that the Frisian national anthem is played and sung before every domestic match. The UEFA doesn't allow this tradition in European matches. Nevertheless the anthem is sung by the supporters anyway.


Current squad

Out on loan


See also


  1. van Cuilenborg, C. (Ed.) (2007). Voetbal international, seizoengids 2007-2008. (p. 92). Amsterdam: WP Sport Media BV.

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