Willem II Tilburg

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Willem II Tilburg
Basic data
Seat Tilburg , Netherlands
founding 1896
Colours blue-red-white
president Jan van der Laak
Board Jack Buckens
Website willem-ii.nl
First soccer team
Head coach Adrie Koster
Venue King Wilhelm II Stadium
Places 14,700
league Eredivisie
2019/20 5th place

Willem II , commonly known in German-speaking countries as Willem II Tilburg , is the name of the professional football club in the city of Tilburg ( province of Noord-Brabant ) in the Netherlands . The club was named directly after King Wilhelm II , i.e. not after the (no longer existing) Willem II cigar factory in Valkenswaard.


The club colors are red-white-blue. Nicknames: Tricolores, Superkruiken


1896–1954: Founding and amateur football

The association was founded on August 12, 1896 in Tilburg. At the time, it was Gerard de Ruiter who brought about the birth of the club. After a year the name was changed to Willem II Tilburg, which is still worn today. The godfather was Wilhelm Friedrich Georg Ludwig von Oranien-Nassau , Willem II for short. The reason for this was that he moved his military headquarters to Tilburg and died here in 1849. In 1904 the club joined the KNVB , the Dutch Football Association. When there was no paid football in the Netherlands, Willem II became champion twice. The first success came in 1916. The city had to wait for the second championship until after the Second World War. It wasn't until 1952 that the league was won the second time. The KNVB club cup was won in 1944.

1954–1960: 1st professional champion and the beginnings of the Eredivisie

In 1954, the KNVB introduced professional football in the Netherlands. Tilburg won the championship in the first year. A total of 56 teams started in this title round. Four squadrons ( first class A-D ) were formed, whose first-placed teams played out the champions in group matches. With eleven points ahead of Sparta Rotterdam , Willem II was able to confidently win Group B. In addition to Willem II, the teams from NAC Breda, PSV Eindhoven and EVV (today: FC Eindhoven ) also qualified for the championship round . With three wins and two draws from six matches, the Tilburg team became the first Dutch professional football champion ahead of NAC. This meant that the Tilburg team was qualified for the newly introduced European Cup for the 1955/56 season. However, Willem II refused to participate and so PSV Eindhoven was the first Dutch club to play in the European Cup. Players of the championship team were: Chris Feijt , Jan Smolders , Jo Mommers , Piet van Bladel , Jef Mertens , Janus Wagener , Piet van Beers , Jan Brooijmans , Rinus Formannoy , Frans van Loon , Jan van Roessel , Piet van Neer , Cees Dikmans , Jan van de Luijtgaarde , Sjel de Bruyckere , Toon Becx and Piet de Jong .

In the following year, the championship was reduced to two seasons of 18 teams ( Hoofdklasse A + B) in preparation for the establishment of the single-track Eredivisie, which was scheduled for 1956 . Tilburg reached the 6th place in its season, which did not qualify for the championship finals, but for a founding membership in the Eredivisie . Willem II could not confirm his performances of the past two years and had to go to the second division as penultimate in the table . However, the immediate return to the Eredivisie took place. While they only narrowly escaped relegation in 1959, Willem II secured a secure eighth place after the 1959/60 season.

1960–1990: The lean years, 17 seasons Eerste Divisie

After three more years in the Dutch upper house, it was again relegation in 1963. It was noteworthy, however, that Tilburg had to relegate as a cup winner. The club reached the final of the KNVB Cup via Racing Club Heemstede , Ajax Amsterdam , MVV Maastricht and Alkmaar '54 . On June 23, 1963, they met ADO Den Haag, who is based there, in the Zuiderpark Stadium . Willem II secured this title with 3-0. The goalscorers for the Red-White-Blue were Frits Louer , Kees Aarts (Aarts moved to The Hague shortly afterwards) and Willy Senders . This qualified the club for the 1963/64 European Cup Winners' Cup . But in the first round it was over for the Tilburg team. After a remarkable 1: 1 in the home game against Manchester United , they lost 1: 6 in the return encounter. This 6-1 defeat against the English representative on October 15, 1963 is the biggest defeat in a UEFA competition to date. After two years of abstinence from the first Dutch league, the team recovered and was able to play again for two seasons (1965-1967), but was only in the second division from 1967 to 1979. Tilburg fans experienced many disappointing years at that time. Often the club was about to slip into the third division. However, you could always save yourself. The only highlight was the opening of the first football school in the Netherlands on February 1, 1974. Midfielder Henk Vriens was one of the players at that time who was always loyal to the club. In 1978/79 it finally succeeded again to play for promotion. At the end of the season, third place was enough for coach Henk de Jonge's team to qualify for the Eredivisie. Players of this success were, among others, Anthonius Verkerk , Bud Brocken , Toine van Mierlo and Henk van Rooy . After a good eighth place in the first year after returning, the team had to orientate themselves downwards again in the following seasons. The consequence was that the next descent followed in 1984. In 1987 the fourth ascent. With fourth place, the 1987/88 season was the most successful since the 1955 championship.

1990–2000: National establishment and participation in the Champions League

From then on, Willem II played in the Eredivisie, but was usually found in the gray midfield of the table. Between 1991 and 1995 the club was looked after by Jan Reker , whose best placement came in 1993/94 with eighth place. In March 1995 he was replaced by Theo de Jong . In 1997, the former Ajax coach Co Adriaanse was hired , who helped the club to regain a better reputation. With him in office, the team finished 5th and qualified for the UEFA Cup . After Dinamo Tbilisi was clearly beaten in the first round , the team was eliminated in round two against Betis Sevilla . In the league, the club from Tilburg surprised by winning the runner-up. The team scored 69 of its own goals this season, more than ever before or since. Players like Sami Hyypiä , the young Joris Mathijsen , Delano Hill , Adil Ramzi and Tomás Galásek , who later took on leading roles at other clubs, wore the Tilburg jersey at that time. In 1999/00 the team took part in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. In a group with Spartak Moscow , Girondins Bordeaux and Sparta Prague , however, there was not much to gain. Only against Bordeaux and Moscow were they ever drawn. At that time, the loss of defense chief Sami Hyypiä, who moved to Liverpool in summer 1999, weighed heavily . The club completed the first Champions League game in the club's history on September 15, 1999 against Spartak Moscow. The Adriaanse-Elf lost 1: 3 against the Russian capital club. The first goal scorer in this competition for Willem II was Arno Arts , who shortened to 1: 2 in the meantime. So far the last scorer in the tournament of the European champions was Ousmane Sanou in a 1-1 draw on October 26, 1999 in a 1-1 draw against Moscow. This was also the first point win in this competition. After the bad performance in the Champions League, things didn't go well in the domestic league either. Adriaanse left the club before the end of the season. Eventually only the ninth place was achieved.

2000–2011: Back to mediocrity - until the descent

Hans Westerhof came as the successor to Adriaanse . Although he kept the team away from the relegation ranks, successes were largely absent. In 2002/03 , the club made it into the UI Cup in eleventh place in the table , but was eliminated in round two after 2-1 and 1: 3 against the Swiss club FC Wil . Last year , in the same competition, it was against the Russian club Krylja Sowetow Samara after the third round (1: 3 and 0: 2). People like Martin van Geel and Dirk Scheringa , who ran the club in the background, were poached. Players like Joris Mathijsen and Kew Jaliens , who were top performers in previous years, left the club regularly . In 2005 they reached the final of the KNVB Cup again, but had to admit defeat to PSV Eindhoven 4-0. Since PSV also won the championship, Willem II qualified for the 2005/06 UEFA Cup . After 2-0 and 3-1 in the first round of the competition against AS Monaco , however, it ended early. The last goalscorer for Tilburg in an international competition so far was Anouar Hadouir . Many new soccer teachers took care of the coaching office in the following years. However, the club sank more and more in the lower half of the league table. In 2005/06 it was only seventeen, which meant going into relegation. There they secured relegation against FC Zwolle and De Graafschap .

For the league season 2008/09 Willem secured a place in the table in the secured midfield. With 37 points you had too few to qualify for the qualifying round for the UEFA Europa League , but also seven points ahead of the relegation place. With only 35 goals, the team behind De Graafschap (24 goals) scored the fewest in the league. The top scorer in the club was the Dutchman Frank Demouge with fourteen goals, who scored more than a third of his club's goals.

With only one win on the opening match day and five defeats in a row, the club started the 2009/10 season badly . By the seventeenth matchday, only three more wins could be achieved, and the club was close to relegation. Shortly after the start of the second half of the season, Alfons Groenendijk was sacked as head coach and Arno Pijpers was appointed as his successor. The former coach of the Kazakh national soccer team made his debut with a 2-1 win against VVV-Venlo . But he also found it difficult to lead the team out of the unsuccessful situation in the subsequent games, and the club separated from him again in April. Until the end of the season, the team was looked after by Theo de Jong , who was responsible for the club as a coach between 1995 and 1996. In the end, the team was 17th out of 18 teams and had to try to keep the class through the relegation games. After successes over FC Eindhoven and the Go Ahead Eagles , this was then managed, so that the club was allowed to play in the Eredivisie in the 2010/2011 season. In the summer of 2010, the top performer and team captain Maikel Aerts was sold to the German club Hertha BSC . He's been a guarantee for staying up in the league in recent years. Other important players who left the club were Saïd Boutahar , Frank Demouge , Sergio Zijler , Jens Janse , Frank van der Struijk , Ibrahim Kargbo and the former Dortmund Mehmet Akgün . A total of 21 footballers turned their backs on Willem II. In addition, the club was looking for a new coach before the 2010/11 season after de Jong took over the post on an interim basis. In June, the unknown Gert Heerkes was introduced as the new head coach. At his side was John Feskens as assistant coach. The most important new signings were the Finn Juha Hakola and the Austrian Andreas Lasnik . In addition to these, 13 other actors signed a contract in Tilburg. The team started the new season miserably. Heerkes only scored his first point in the 0-0 win against Vitesse Arnheim on the eighth day of the match . In April 2011 Heerkes was on leave, Feskens and the second co- trainer Raymond Vissers jointly took over the role of head coach until the end of the season. At the time, Willem II was five points behind the penultimate VVV-Venlo, in last place in the table. But in the remaining four games of the season, the coaching duo failed to save the club from direct relegation. On the penultimate matchday it was already clear that Willem II would have to make his way to the Eerste Divisie after 24 years of excellence.

Since 2011: Establishment as an elevator team

In the 2011/12 season, Tilburg was able to reach fifth place in the 2nd division, which entitled to participate in the play-offs. A victory over Sparta Rotterdam made it into the final. After a 0-0 away result and a 2-1 home win against FC Den Bosch , the direct promotion was made. In the 2012/13 season they rose again from bottom of the table in the Eredivisie. After a renewed promotion, Willem II was ninth in the class in 2014/15. In the 2019/20 season, which was canceled prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic , Willem II occupied fifth place in the table at the time of the cancellation, which entitles him to participate in the second qualifying round for the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League .

Logo history

useful information

Record player

  • With 483 league games, John Feskens is the record player for Willem II Tilburg. He was active for the club between 1982 and 1997.
  • Piet de Jong holds the record for most goals for Willem II Tilburg. In the period from 1947 to 1961, the attacker scored 216 goals. The most Eredivisie goals scored Coy Koopal . There were a total of 94 hits.
  • Tinus van Beurden was the first Tilburg player to be nominated and used for the Dutch national football team .
  • The Willem II fans voted Jan van Roessel Player of the Century. The former striker played 168 times for Tilburg and scored 152 goals.
  • In the summer of 2006, Mounir El Hamdaoui was the most expensive purchase in the club's history at 1.1 million euros (€). The following year he moved to league competitor AZ Alkmaar for € 5.75 million . Thus, it is also Willem II's most expensive sale.
  • Jatto Ceesay has played the most UEFA competition matches for Willem II so far. He has represented the Red-White-Blue at European level seventeen times.
  • A total of eight players hold the record for the most goals in UEFA tournaments for Willem II Tilburg. No one scored more than two hits. The most famous record holders are the former Dutch international Denny Landzaat , the Moroccan international Tarik Sektioui and the Belgian Tom Caluwé .

Record games

  • The club completed the first Champions League game in the club's history on September 15, 1999 against Spartak Moscow. Against the Russian capital club, the team lost 3-1. The first goal scorer in this competition for Willem II was Arno Arts , who shortened to 1: 2 in the meantime. So far the last scorer in the tournament of the European champions was Ousmane Sanou in a 1-1 draw on October 26, 1999 in a 1-1 draw against Moscow. This was also the first point win in this competition.
  • The biggest defeat in a UEFA competition to date was for Willem II Tilburg on October 15, 1963 in the European Cup Winners' Cup at the away game at Manchester United. At that time the club lost 6-1.
  • The Tilburg-Kicker celebrated the biggest victory in a tournament of the European Football Association on September 15, 1993 in a 3-0 home win against Dinamo Tbilisi .


  • Since the club colors remained red, white and blue even during the war years , including the colors of the Dutch flag, Willem II was cheered on by the fans of the opposing club during this time (probably out of patriotism).
  • The German Kurt Zaro was the first foreigner to represent the association's colors in 1956.


Willem II has been using the King Wilhelm II Stadium on the A58 Breda - Eindhoven motorway on the southern edge of the city for home games since 1995 . It holds 14,700 spectators.


Current squad 2020/21

As of August 23, 2020

No. Nat. Surname birthday in the team since
01 NetherlandsNetherlands Robbin Ruiter 03/25/1987 2020
24 NetherlandsNetherlands Connor van den Berg 03/18/2001 2018
BelgiumBelgium Jorn Brondeel 09/07/1993 2020
03 NetherlandsNetherlands Freek Heerkens 09/13/1989 2013
04th NetherlandsNetherlands Jordens Peters (C)Captain of the crew 05/03/1987 2012
12 AustraliaAustralia Dylan Ryan 06/10/2000 2017
13 NetherlandsNetherlands Leeroy Owusu 08/13/1996 2020
18th NetherlandsNetherlands Miquel Nelom 09/22/1990 2019
22nd NetherlandsNetherlands Victor van den Bogert 08/12/1999 2012
25th SwedenSweden Sebastian Holmén 04/29/1992 2019
27 GermanyGermany Derrick Koehn 02/04/1999 2020
29 CuracaoCuracao Justin Ogenia 02/05/1999 2011
08th SpainSpain Pol Llonch 07.10.1992 2018
16 NetherlandsNetherlands Rick Zuijderwijk 04/13/2001 2010
17th NetherlandsNetherlands Driess Saddiki 08/09/1996 2018
21st BelgiumBelgium Mike Trésor Ndayishimiye 05/28/1999 2019
23 GermanyGermany Gorkem Sağlam 04/11/1998 2020
07th NetherlandsNetherlands Ché Nunnely 02/04/1999 2019
09 NetherlandsNetherlands Paul Gladon 03/18/1992 2019
10 GreeceGreece Vangelis Pavlidis 11/21/1998 2019
11 GermanyGermany Mats Koehler 05/02/1998 2019
14th BelgiumBelgium Elton Kabangu 02/08/1998 2019
20th GhanaGhana Kwasi Okyere Wriedt 07/10/1994 2017

Well-known former players


Name of the player Period comment
NetherlandsNetherlands Maikel Aerts 2006-2010 • Active for Hertha BSC from 2010–2012
NetherlandsNetherlands Bud chunks 1975-1981
• 343 league games for Willem II Tilburg
GambiaGambia Jatto Ceesay 1995-2005 • Former Gambia international
• 236 league games for Willem II Tilburg
BelgiumBelgium Mousa Dembélé 2005-2006 • Multiple Belgian international
NetherlandsNetherlands John Feskens 1982-1997 • 432 league games for Willem II Tilburg
• 2010–2013 assistant coach at Willem II Tilburg
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Tomáš Galásek 1996-2000 • former national player of the Czech Republic
• former player at 1. FC Nürnberg and Borussia Mönchengladbach
NetherlandsNetherlands Jean-Paul van Gastel 1990-1996 • Former national player of the Netherlands
• 137 league games for Willem II Tilburg
• Formative player in the mid-1990s
FinlandFinland Sami Hyypia 1995-1999 • former national players from Finland
• 2009-2011 for Bayer 04 Leverkusen been active
NetherlandsNetherlands Kew Jaliens 1999-2004 • Former Dutch national player
• 147 league games for Willem II Tilburg
FinlandFinland Joonas Kolkka 1995-1998 • Active for Borussia Mönchengladbach from 2003–2004
NetherlandsNetherlands Denny Landzaat 1999-2003 • Former Dutch national player
• 148 league games for Willem II Tilburg
NetherlandsNetherlands Joris Mathijsen 1998-2004 • Former national player of the Netherlands
• Active for Hamburger SV from 2006–2011
NetherlandsNetherlands Marc Overmars 1991-1992 • Former Dutch international
MoroccoMorocco Tarik Sektioui 2000-2004 • Former Morocco international
NetherlandsNetherlands Jaap Stam 1995 • Former Dutch international
United StatesUnited States Earnie Stewart 1990-1996 • Former national player of the USA
• 170 league games for Willem II Tilburg and multiple national player

Tilburg's trainer

Hans Westerhof (2000-2002)
Mark Wotte (2002-2004)
Robert Maaskant (2004-2005)
Andries Jonker (2007-2009)


Name of the trainer Period comment
CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia František Fadrhonc 1949-1956
NetherlandsNetherlands Henk de Jonge 1978-1980
NetherlandsNetherlands Bert Jacobs 1980-1982
NetherlandsNetherlands Jan Brouwer 1982-1984
NetherlandsNetherlands Jan Notermans 1984-1985
NetherlandsNetherlands Piet de Visser 1985-1990 • Promotion to the Eredivisie 1987
• 4th place in the Eredivisie 1988
NetherlandsNetherlands Adrie Koster 1990-1991
NetherlandsNetherlands Piet de Visser 1991
NetherlandsNetherlands Jan Reker 1991-1995 • Head coach between October 1991 and March 1995
NetherlandsNetherlands Theo de Jong 1995-1996 • Head coach between March 1995 and March 1996
ScotlandScotland Jimmy Calderwood 1996-1997 • Previously assistant coach to Theo de Jong
NetherlandsNetherlands Co Adriaanse 1997-2000 • 2nd place in the Eredivisie 1999 (best placement in the club's history)
Champions League participant 2000/01 (out in the group phase)
NetherlandsNetherlands Hans Verel 2000
NetherlandsNetherlands Hans Westerhof 2000-2002
NetherlandsNetherlands Mark Wotte 2002-2004
NetherlandsNetherlands André Wetzel 2004
NetherlandsNetherlands Robert Maaskant 2004-2005 KNVB-Pokal final participant 2005 (defeat against PSV Eindhoven )
NetherlandsNetherlands Dennis van Wijk 2006-2007
NetherlandsNetherlands Andries Jonker 2007-2009
NetherlandsNetherlands Alfons Groenendijk 2009-2010
NetherlandsNetherlands Mark Schenning 2010 • In February 2010 interim coach for a league game
NetherlandsNetherlands Arno Pijpers 2010 • Head coach between February and April 2010
NetherlandsNetherlands Theo de Jong 2010 • Head coach between April and June 2010
NetherlandsNetherlands Gert Heerkes 2010-2011 • Head coach since June 2010
NetherlandsNetherlands John Feskens 2011 • Interim trainer
NetherlandsNetherlands Jurgen Streppel 2011-2016
NetherlandsNetherlands Erwin van de Looi 2016-2018
NetherlandsNetherlands Reinier Robbemond 2018 • Interim trainer
NetherlandsNetherlands Adrie Koster 2018-

The women's team

In 2007 the club founded a women's team especially for the newly founded Eredivisie for women . Edwin Petersen became the first trainer . Willems women started the season well, with 5-2 wins on November 29, 2007 against FC Twente Enschede and February 7, 2008 against SC Heerenveen , they set a record with the highest-scoring games. With two 5-0 away wins, she set the mark for the highest profits. At the end of the 2007/08 season they had the most scored with 41 goals. Striker Karin Stevens became the league's top scorer. The Belgian Femke Maes was elected the best player. Nevertheless, it was only enough for the runner-up title behind AZ Alkmaar . For a long time they also played for the KNVB Cup . On May 10, 2008 the team reached the semi-finals of the tournament, where the Willem women met FC Twente. The game was lost 1: 3, so that shortly before the end they failed to win a title. The following year started badly. This time it suffered heavy losses. On October 16, 2008 against AZ Alkmaar, the team clearly lost their away game with 2: 5. On the last day of the 2008/09 season , AZ Alkmaar and Willem II were two teams with 46 points each at the top of the table. Both teams met on the last day of the game, so the championship was decided between these two clubs. Due to the poor goal difference, the WIIT had to leave the field as the winner. In front of the home crowd, however, they disappointed and a 6-0 defeat shattered their championship dreams. Since ADO Den Haag also won their last game 3-0, the Willemer women also had to give up second place, so that it was only enough to third. With Karin Stevens, Dominique Vugts (ten goals each) and Kirsten van de Ven (nine goals), the team had the most goal-hungry attack in the league. The top scorer was Sylvia Smit from SC Heerenveen. In the KNVB competition, all seven professional teams were withdrawn from the tournament for the round of 16 due to overlapping dates, so that the amateur clubs won the trophy among themselves. The team got off to a good start in the 2009/2010 season and was able to win the first three games, but lost the first match with the AZA 2: 3 on the 4th matchday . After that, the season was very mixed. Overall, the year ended after twenty games with eight wins, two draws and ten defeats. This meant third place in the final statement. Renée Slegers was the best attacker on her team with five goals. In the national women's cup competition, the club was only eliminated in the semi-finals after penalty shoot-out against eventual cup winners FC Utrecht. In 2010/11 , for the new season, the Dutchman Peter Coumans was introduced as the new coach. He previously trained young people in the youth department of FC Eindhoven and PSV Eindhoven . Coumans replaced Mark Schenning , who only took over from Edwin Petersen last year.

Individual evidence

  1. Video: Second leg: Manchester United - Willem II Tilburg 6: 1 on britishpathe.com
  2. a b c d e Willem II Tilburg in the uefa.com database
  3. ^ Willem II Tilburg: Kader 1979/1980 on weltfussball.de
  4. a b Match report: Willem II Tilburg - Spartak Moscow 1: 3 (0: 2) on weltfussball.de
  5. a b Match report: Spartak Moscow - Willem II Tilburg 1: 1 (1: 0) on weltfussball.de
  6. Match statistics AS Monaco - Willem II Tilburg 2: 0 (1: 0) on footballdata.de
  7. Match statistics Willem II Tilburg - AS Monaco 1: 3 (0: 0) on footballdata.de
  8. Hertha signed Maikel Aerts on June 3, 2010 on herthabsc.de
  9. Gert Heerkes nieuwe trainer Willem II from June 10, 2010 on trouw.nl (Dutch)
  10. Eredivisie 8th matchday: Utrecht shocks Ajax and PSV benefits thanks to the problem of Reis on October 4th 2010 on rs.goal.com
  11. John Feskens vervangt Gert Heerkes bij Willem II. ( Memento of 18 April 2011 at the Internet Archive ) Voetbal International on 15 April 2011
  12. Zes spelers blijven bij Willem II. De Telegraaf -Telesport from May 2, 2011
  13. Selectie , willem-ii.nl
  14. ^ Andries Jonker.
  15. Peter Coumans nieuwe trainer Vrouwen Willem II. July 26, 2010 on voetbalcentraal.nl (Dutch)
  16. Edwin Petersen verlaat vrouwen Willem II.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. May 20, 2009 on willem-ii.nl (Dutch)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.willem-ii.nl  

Web links

Commons : Willem II Tilburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files