Ajax, long the crown jewel of the Eredivisie, will compete in the UEFA Cup in 2008-2009. FC Twente defeated Ajax on aggregate to claim a spot in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League. Interestingly enough, Twente played their home leg of the Dutch playoff in the city of Emmen as their home stadium in Enschede is currently being renovated. Upon completion, the stadium will be known as the Grolsch Veste (Grolsch Fortress).
The stadium is named for the club’s sponsor – the famous Dutch beer. The Grolsch Fortress was formerly known as the Arke Stadium. Twente now join league champion PSV Eindhoven in the next installment of the UEFA Champions League. FC Twente ended the regular season with 17 wins, 11 draws, and 6 losses for a total of 62 points.
So just who are these FC Twente guys? Here’s a break down of The Reds key players.
Goalkeeper – Sander Boschker
Recently called up to the Dutch provisional squad for Euro 2008, Boschker made several quality saves against Ajax and the goalkeeper is a major reason for the club’s success in 2007-2008.
Forward – Blaise Kufo
The 32 year-old Swiss striker’s two goals were enough for Twente to overcome Ajax. On April 7th 2008, Kufo resigned with the club until 2010. In 155 league appearances, he has 85 goals. Blaise ended with 21 regular season goals in 2007-2008. He has been the top goal scorer at the club since 2003-2004.
Midfielder – Stein Huysegems
While Stein hasn’t seen a great deal of first-team minutes, one has to assume that he will begin to figure more prominently at the Fortress of Beer!