A quick shout out to Dutch side FC Twente (nicknamed The Tukkers or The Reds) for reaching the Champions League for the first time in their history. Like a more famous team nicknamed The Reds (Liverpool FC), “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is loudly sung in the stadium before every kick-off. Twente are based in the city of Enschede, which has a population base of about 150,000, but take their name from the Twente region.
Twente recently beat out Ajax in the playoffs to gain a berth in the Champions League third qualifying round. Their scoring leader this season was Blaise Kufo, a Swiss football player of Congolese (DRC) origin, who bagged 22 goals. Blaise has led Twente in scoring four consecutive seasons since arriving from Hannover 96 of the Bundesliga.
The win over Ajax means they will only need to win one two-legged tie to make the group stage and have a nice cash infusion into the club. This comes on the heels of an expansion to their stadium which started in January 2008 and is expected to be ready by September 2008, at the start of the new season. The expansion will take the capacity to 24,000 and there are also future plans to expand the stadium to 40,000 spectators.
Current FC Twente coach Fred Rutten is leaving the club and take up the reins at German side Schalke in the summer so a new manger will need to be found and there is some speculation as to who the new man could be.
Articles linking Steve McClaren with the manager’s job at Dutch club FC Twente have increased since his agent admitted it was an option for the former Middlesbrough and English national team coach. No less an authority than Sir Bobby Robson has suggested the move would be good for McClaren.
However, despite all the speculation Twente spokesman told SkySports that they have no intention of hiring the former Middlesbrough boss. “Steve McClaren was in the ground because he wanted to watch a good game of football in the Netherlands. We have not decided on a new coach yet. We have just qualified for the Champions League and it will be decided in time.”
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