Almere City — a team with no history.
Fans, and indeed clubs, from all around all love to boast of their club’s decorated pasts. whether this is Preston North End’s 1888/89 invincible season, or Nottingham Forest fans recalling of their tremendous success under Brian Clough. With such admiration for history amongst these clubs, it appears that there is a culture of looking down on clubs without successes of the distant past to name. Think of the stick Chelsea and Manchester City fans get for daring to be purchased by wealthy owners.
At least those sides have a history, especially coming from cities with history coming out of their ears in London and Manchester.
Almere doesn’t have the same right to boast.
In fact, at the time the Eredivisie was founded, back in 1956, Almere as a city straight up didn’t exist, there wasn’t even land where the city now stands.
Between 1959 and 1968 the land that Almere now occupies was, as is the Dutch way, reclaimed from IJsellmeer, with the first buildings starting to sprout up in the mid 1970s. Fast forward to present day, and there is over 200,000 people living in the city.
Now with football clubs relying on the history of the communities for notoriety, and in some cases to stay in business, its easy to see why Almere would struggle, there wasn’t a notable football team in the planned city until 2001.
In 2001, after ambitions from Almere city council to produce a football team that can play at the highest level. As a result, FC Omniworld were born. However, following a council election, and local party Leefbaar Almere (Livable Almere) acquiring control over the council, the project was cancelled, causing the side to fail to win admission to the professional leagues.
Private investors were found, and a 3,000 capacity stadium, Yanmar Stadium, was constructed, and Omniworld were admitted into Eerste Divisie, the dutch 2nd tier.
Things didn’t exactly get off to a wonderful start for Omniworld, with their would be first real match being called off because of heavy rain. They eventually did get going, however, finishing 19th in their first ever season in the league.
In 2010, Omniworld changed their name to AFC Almere City, with the name changing yet again to Almere City just a matter of weeks later.
And that’s about it, really.
The club haven’t been promoted, nor have they been relegated, in the 15 years since they were admitted to the league. I guess notable players such as Vincent Janssen and Nordin Amrabat are something to boast about? They’ve not even had any cup success, they’ve never got further than the third round of the KNVB Cup.
Are Almere City a success?
Competitively? Not really, but they’re hardly a failure either, they’re still standing as a club.
With the fans? Again, they’re not exactly selling out every game, but an average attendance of 2,336 ranks them 11th in the Eerstie Divisie, and is nothing to turn your nose up at.