South West Wales

400 Dutch fans to cheer on Swansea in Wembley final

Dutch fans get their hands on play-off final tickets
Image caption Dutch fans from Den Haag get their hands on play-off final tickets

A group of 400 supporters from Holland are travelling to Wembley for Swansea City's Championship play-off final against Reading on Monday.

The majority of the fans follow ADO Den Haag, who Swansea have close relations to, and will deck a section of the Swans end in green and yellow.

But they will be hoping for double play-off glory as Den Haag are in a final of their own on Sunday.

Swansea target the Premier League while Den Haag eye the Europa League.

"The fans came here and they paid for the tickets last week," said John van Zweden, who is a director at Swansea City, but based in Holland.

"We have 400 tickets in the same area and the ticket office sent them by special delivery to my shop and the supporters have now collected them."

Swansea have built up a relationship with Den Haag over a number of years through businessman Mr van Zweden, who has supported the Swans since the 1970s.

Dutch links

His love affair with the Swans came after he became a pen pal of a Swansea teenager with whom he is still friends.

Mr van Zweden is now a director at Swansea City who have played friendlies against Den Haag during a number of pre-season tours.

Swansea's Dutch links do not just end there.

One of the squad members, Ferrie Bodde, was signed from Den Haag in 2007, while fellow midfielder Kemy Agustien joined after having a trial on last summer's the tour.

Swansea's other Dutch squad member is goalkeeper Dorus de Vries, who joined from Scottish side Dunfermline in 2007.

The Den Haag fans expect to be in party mood by the time they reach Wembley on Sunday.

They played the first leg of their play-off against FC Groningen on Thursday winning 5-1 with the second leg, a three-hour away trip, taking place on Sunday afternoon.

The winners will claim a place in next season's Europa League.

"Straight after the game, there's no celebration because a lot of the fans will travel to London," said Mr van Zweden.

"I also promised the guys in my wallpaper shop to go to a Swansea game and I told them to have two days off.

"That will be the Monday and Tuesday because I want them to have a party."

More on this story