A club from the Champions League that trains at an amateur club: it happened to SV CWO this summer. The Vlaardingen football club, which plays under the smoke of Rotterdam, hosted the Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk for two weeks last summer.
That club will be Feyenoord’s opponent in the eighth finals of the Europa League tomorrow evening. Despite the warm ties with the Ukrainians, SV CWO chairman Bianca Post still hopes that the Rotterdammers will win: “But we are not sad if Shakhtar Donetsk continues. We wholeheartedly wish that club,” she concludes.
Shakhtar was unable to prepare for the new football season in his own country because of the war, so contact was made with amateur club SV CWO. In June, Post received an email from PR Sport, an organization that arranges training camps for foreign football clubs, among other things, but was not so keen at first.
“In that e-mail it was stated that the organization had a ‘fantastic deal and offer’ for CWO. Every association is being spammed with this,” she tells Rijnmond.
Only when Post discussed the proposal with her husband did she understand that it was a Champions League club. “I saw his eyes shine at that name. So apparently it was a team from the Champions League.”
“I really had no idea. Then I called the board and head coach Jeff Stans and they also got shiny eyes. They immediately said that we had to do this.” The board and head coach of the club from Vlaardingen immediately gave permission to the club from Ukraine.
‘Stone rich in experience, bonding and atmosphere’
The amateur club has received compensation for the stay of the Ukrainians, but emphasizes that it has not become rich at all: “We have become very rich in experience, bonding and atmosphere. CWO has received volunteers. Young boys have risen within the association CWO has gained exposure and goodwill with this, which is priceless,” said Post.
And the Ukrainian club was also satisfied with how everything was organized in Vlaardingen. “This was special not only for CWO, but also for Shakhtar. That team had not played for months because of the war, because the competition was at a standstill.”
Post noticed, partly through a conversation with the team manager, that the players and trainers had to get used to when they arrived in Vlaardingen. “The man had stress in his body and ended up in the Netherlands, where everyone was happy and cozy.”
“That man really had to switch gears in the first few days. We literally saw him thaw out. It was all awkward and crazy.”
Whether Shakhtar will report again in Vlaardingen in the run-up to the duel with Feyenoord? “Soon after the draw, I responded to Shakhtar Donetsk’s Instagram account that they can come and train here.” But so far the club has not yet taken up that offer.
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