AZ Alkmaar

(Redirected from AZ'67)

Alkmaar Zaanstreek (Dutch: [ˈɑl(ə)kmaːr ˈzaːnstreːk]), better known as AZ Alkmaar or simply AZ (pronounced [aːˈzɛt]), is a Dutch professional football club from Alkmaar and the Zaan district. The club plays in the Eredivisie, the highest professional football league in the Netherlands, and hosts home matches at the AFAS Stadion.

AZ Alkmaar.svg
Full nameAlkmaar Zaanstreek
Nickname(s)Kaaskoppen (Cheeseheads)
De Kaasboeren (The Cheese Farmers)
Short nameAZ
Founded10 May 1967; 55 years ago (1967-05-10)
GroundAFAS Stadion
Executive director
Technical director
Robert Eenhoorn
Max Huiberts
ChairmanRené Neelissen
Head coachPascal Jansen
2021–22Eredivisie, 5th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

AZ has won the Eredivisie twice, in 1980–81 and 2008–09. In the same season as their first league title, they also reached the UEFA Cup Final, which they lost to Ipswich Town. In addition, the team has won the KNVB Cup on four occasions and one Johan Cruyff Shield.


1910–1972: Foundation and first yearsEdit

AZ was founded on 10 May 1967 as AZ '67, the result of a merger of Alkmaar '54 and FC Zaanstreek.[1] Alkmaar '54 was founded as a professional team in April 1954 to play in the 10-team NBVB league, created because the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) refused to organize a professional league (the KNVB took over in 1955). Alkmaar '54, and by extension AZ, played the very first professional match in the Netherlands: on 14 August 1954, they won 3–0 at home against Venlo '54, with Klaas Smit scoring the first (and third) goal.[2] After winning the Eerste Divisie in 1960–61, it played one year in the Eredivisie.

FC Zaanstreek had been playing since 1910 as the Kooger Football Club (KFC). KFC had nearly become national champion in 1934 through a narrow loss to Ajax in the finals.[note 1] The team became professional in 1955. In 1964 the professional part of KFC was renamed FC Zaanstreek, while the amateurs played on as KFC.

Also in 1964, the brothers Cees and Klaas Molenaar, former players and trainers for KFC and owners of a growing appliance store chain, sought to create a powerful football team in Zaanstreek by merging the two local professional teams: KFC and Zaanlandsche Football Club. After the ZFC leadership thwarted this attempt, the Molenaars successfully merged FC Zaanstreek with Alkmaar '54 in 1967. FC Zaanstreek had finished 7th and Alkmaar '54 12th in 1966–67 Eerste Divisie. The team would be based in Alkmaar, though the second team originally trained and played in Koog aan de Zaan.[1][4]

1972–1985: The Molenaar yearsEdit

Partially through the hiring of expensive foreign players, the new club soon acquired large debts. In 1972, the Molenaar brothers bailed it out and invested heavily in the club, to the point that AZ '67 were successful in the late 1970s and early '80s, regularly playing European football from 1977 to 1982 while also winning three KNVB Cups over that period.

After four close league campaigns, AZ finally became Dutch champions in 1981, becoming the only team other than the "big three" of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV to do so in a 44-year period spanning from 1965 to 2009 (when AZ once again won the league title). They won the title with overwhelming power, winning 27 of 34 matches and only losing once, while scoring a club record 101 goals and conceding just 30. That same season, AZ reached the final of the UEFA Cup, losing 5–4 on aggregate to Ipswich Town. The next year, in the European Cup, they lost in the second round 3–2 on aggregate to Liverpool.

Georg Keßler was AZ's manager over most of these years (1978–82), while star players included: Kees Kist, the club's highest ever goalscorer with 212 goals and the first ever Dutchman to win the European Golden Boot in 1979 when he scored 34 goals in a season; Jan Peters, who played 120 matches for AZ during this period scoring 30 goals from midfield; and Hugo Hovenkamp, who played 239 matches in defence for AZ from 1975 to 1983, as well as receiving 31 caps for the Netherlands national team from 1977 to 1983 and playing each match in UEFA Euro 1980 while an AZ player. Additional stars included John Metgod, who spent six years at AZ playing 195 matches as a defender, scoring 26 goals including a goal against Ipswich Town in the final of the UEFA Cup. Like Hovenkamp, Metgod was also included in the Dutch squad for Euro 1980. Meanwhile, Danish forward Kristen Nygaard spent ten years at AZ, scoring 104 goals in 363 matches between 1972 and 1982.

1985–1993: The interim yearsEdit

Co-owner Cees Molenaar died in 1979. AZ's fortunes deteriorated after his brother, Klaas Molenaar, left the club in 1985. After several mid-table finishes in previous seasons, AZ was relegated in 1988 from the Eredivisie, ending the season on 28 points from 34 matches and falling to the Eerste Divisie due to the superior goal difference of Roda JC. This relegation was significant since it occurred just seven years after the club's historic domestic double and marked the end of AZ's first period of success in Dutch football. Following this, AZ spent much of the next decade in the second tier, struggling to find a return to the top flight.

1993–2009: The Scheringa yearsEdit

The involvement of businessman Dirk Scheringa in the mid-1990s marked the revival of the club as AZ returned to the Eredivisie, winning the 1997-98 Eerste Divisie title. The club achieved consecutive finishes around the middle positions in the league until ending up in third place in the 2004-05 Eredivisie season, AZ's highest position for 23 years. In the summer of 2006, the club moved to a new 17,000 capacity stadium, AZ Stadion.

Despite playing strongly for the majority of the 2006–07 season, AZ's season ended in disappointment. First, entering the last matchday of the 2006–07 Eredivisie season, AZ led PSV and Ajax on goal difference at the top of the league table, but ended up third after losing their last match against 16th placed team Excelsior, AZ played with ten men for 80 minutes. Additionally, AZ then lost the KNVB Cup final to Ajax 8–7 after a penalty shoot-out, while also falling to Ajax over two play-off matches for participation in the Champions League. After the season, key players like Tim de Cler, Danny Koevermans and Shota Arveladze left the team.

AZ versus Larissa in a 2007–08 UEFA Cup match.

A remarkable run ended in the 2007–08 season: after AZ lost a group stage match against Everton (3–2) in the UEFA Cup, the club's unbeaten run of 32 home matches in European competitions – lasting from 1977 to 2007 – ended. AZ had a poor season, suffering elimination in the first round of the KNVB Cup and the group stage of the UEFA Cup, as well as finishing the 2007–08 Eredivisie in a disappointing 11th place. Towards the latter stages of the season, in March 2008, AZ manager Louis van Gaal had initially tendered his resignation, but after protests the players and directors, he rescinded his resignation.

The 2008–09 season had an unpromising start after two opening defeats against NAC Breda and ADO Den Haag. However, starting with a 1–0 victory over defending league champions PSV, AZ did not lose a match in its next 28 matches, including a run of 11-straight matches where AZ did not concede an opposition goal. Three weeks before the end of the season, AZ became Eredivisie champions, edging nearest title rivals Twente and Ajax comfortably. This was a historic achievement for the club as this was the first title-winning season for 28 years, and it also meant a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Being league champions, AZ qualified for the Champions League for only the second time. It was drawn into a group alongside Arsenal FC, Standard Liège and Olympiacos but only took four points from six matches and finished bottom of their group.

2009–2014: Advocaat–Verbeek yearsEdit

For the 2009–10 season, Ronald Koeman succeeded Louis van Gaal, who had departed to manage Bayern Munich after leading AZ to the championship. Koeman was officially hired on 17 May 2009, but on 5 December, AZ announced he was no longer in charge of the club after losing 7 of his first 16 matches. Former Rangers and Zenit Saint Petersburg manager Dick Advocaat took over for the remainder of the season. Under Advocaat, AZ achieved solid results and secured European football for the next season.

For the 2010–11 season, AZ appointed Gertjan Verbeek as its new manager. They finished the 2010–11 Eredivisie in fourth place, thus securing Europa League football for the next season, while in the KNVB Cup, AZ reached the last eight, where they were beaten by rivals Ajax by a 1–0 scoreline. AZ also finished third in their Europa League group, thus failing to qualifying for the competition's knockout round.

In the 2011–12 season, AZ finished fourth in the Eredivisie, though performed significantly better in cup competitions, reaching the semi-finals in the KNVB Cup (losing to Heracles after extra time) and the quarter-finals in the Europa League. In the latter, the club ultimately lost to Valencia after having defeated Udinese, Anderlecht, Malmö FF, Austria Wien, Metalist Kharkiv, Aalesund and Baumit Jablonec to reach that stage.

On 21 December 2011, during the quarter-finals of the 2011–12 KNVB Cup, a 19-year-old Ajax fan invaded the Amsterdam Arena pitch in the 36th minute with Ajax winning 1–0, attacking AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado. The fan slipped and Alvarado kicked the fan twice, prompting the referee to issue the goalkeeper a red card. Following this, AZ manager Gertjan Verbeek ordered his players to leave the pitch for the dressing room in protest. The match was later played on 19 January 2012, with Alvarado's red card rescinded; AZ won 3–2.

The 2012–13 season started in the Europa League with a qualifying play-off round against Guus Hiddink's Anzhi Makhachkala. AZ was hammered 6–0 on aggregate. Disappointingly, AZ finished tenth in the 2012–13 Eredivisie, although the club won the 2012–13 KNVB Cup after defeating PSV 2–1 in the final. As cup winners, AZ automatically qualified for the 2013–14 Europa League.

In September 2013, just one day after emphatically beating PSV, at the time the league leaders, Verbeek was dismissed as first team manager by the club due to "a lack of chemistry" between management and players.[5] He was replaced by Dick Advocaat for the remainder of the season until a permanent replacement could be found. Advocaat took AZ to the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup, the quarter-finals of the Europa League and eighth in the league, ultimately losing to Groningen in the Europa League play-off final round (their 58th match of the season, a club record).

2014–2019: Van den Brom yearsEdit

The 2014–15 season began with a new manager, former Heerenveen manager and Ajax great Marco van Basten. However, after just three matches into the season, Van Basten resigned as manager to become assistant manager under Alex Pastoor, citing heavy stress as the main reason.[6] Pastoor was the interim manager during two matches under Van Basten's absence and received the official title on 16 September, but contract negotiations failed and he left the club just two days later. A week later, John van den Brom was appointed manager. Under Van den Brom, AZ quickly rose up to the sub-top, eventually finished the season in third place, surpassing Feyenoord on the final season's matchday and qualifying for the 2015–16 Europa League.

The 2015–16 Eredivisie started with AZ selling most of its first-team players from the previous season during the summer transfer period. As a response, AZ bought players from other Dutch clubs, notably Vincent Janssen from Almere City, Alireza Jahanbakhsh from NEC and Ben Rienstra from PEC Zwolle. In December, it was announced free agent Ron Vlaar signed a contract until the end of the season after training with the club for a few weeks prior.[7] Vlaar quickly became team captain and helped lift AZ from tenth place to a fourth-place finish in the league. Along this rise, new signing Vincent Janssen scored 27 goals for the club, earning him the Eredivisie top goalscorer title. In the 2015–16 KNVB Cup, AZ made it to the semi-finals, losing 3–1 to Feyenoord. AZ won the first two qualification rounds to qualify for the 2015–16 Europa League group stage, but finished last in their group.

At the start of the 2016–17 Eredivisie, AZ sold last season's performer Vincent Janssen to Tottenham Hotspur and long-time midfielder Markus Henriksen to Hull City. In the 2016–17 Europa League, AZ finished second in Group D, surviving the group stage for the third time in five seasons.

Since 2019: Slot–Jansen yearsEdit

After an excellent 2019/20 season in which AZ beat league leaders Ajax home and away, aided by consistent performances from youth academy talents such as Teun Koopmeiners, Myron Boadu, Calvin Stengs and Owen Wijndal, the season was forced to end early due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joint on points with Ajax at the top of the table, AZ were given second place on goal difference, and subsequently earned Qualification to the Champions League second qualifying round.

A poor start to their 2020/21 Eredivisie campaign saw AZ draw five games in a row, before eventually picking up a victory against RKC Waalwijk on the 1st of November 2020.

AZ also struggled in European competitions this season. Despite a strong start, with a 3–1 extra time come back against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League qualifiers, the club lost 2–0 to Dynamo Kiev several weeks later, seeing them fall back into the Europa League. After victory against Napoli and Rijeka early in the pool stages, AZ was on track to advance, though lost to Real Sociedad away, obtained a 0–0 draw in the reverse fixture, and also drew 1–1 with Napoli. Following these results, AZ needed to defeat Rijeka away to advance. However, the departure the week before the game of manager Arne Slot saw an unorganised team lose 2–1 to Rijeka, ending their European dream.

Coaching staffEdit

Position Staff
Manager   Pascal Jansen
Assistant manager   Robert Franssen
  Kenneth Goudmijn
Goalkeeper coach   Nick van Aart
Fitness coach   Niels Kok
Chief Scout   Carlos Aalbers
Scout   Arthur Numan
  Koen Veenstra
  Lars Engel
  Hugo Hovenkamp
Head of Medical   Rob Tamminga
Club doctor   Ingrid Paul
Physiotherapist   Martin Cruijff
  Frank Renzenbrink
Team Manager   Ari Menmi
Technical director   Max Huiberts

Current squadEdit

As of 1 February 2023[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   AUS Mathew Ryan
2 DF   JPN Yukinari Sugawara
3 DF   GRE Pantelis Chatzidiakos (3rd captain)
4 DF   NED Bruno Martins Indi (captain)
5 DF   HUN Milos Kerkez
6 MF   NED Tijjani Reijnders
7 FW   DEN Jens Odgaard
8 MF   NED Jordy Clasie (vice-captain)
9 FW   GRE Vangelis Pavlidis
10 MF   NED Dani de Wit
11 FW   SWE Jesper Karlsson
12 GK   NED Hobie Verhulst
13 GK   ESP Sem Westerveld
No. Pos. Nation Player
14 MF   USA Djordje Mihailovic
16 MF   NED Sven Mijnans
17 FW   TUR Yusuf Barası
19 FW   NED Myron van Brederode
21 FW   NED Ernest Poku
22 DF   NED Maxim Dekker
23 FW   SWE Mayckel Lahdo
25 MF   NED Riechedly Bazoer
27 DF   BEL Zinho Vanheusden (on loan from Inter)
28 MF   NED Zico Buurmeester
31 DF   NED Sam Beukema
34 DF   NED Mees de Wit

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   NED Mees Bakker (at De Graafschap until 30 June 2023)
GK   DEN Peter Vindahl Jensen (at 1. FC Nürnberg until 30 June 2023)
MF   NED Kenzo Goudmijn (at Excelsior until 30 June 2023)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   NED Peer Koopmeiners (at Excelsior until 30 June 2023)
FW   NED Jelle Duin (at AGF until 30 June 2023)

Jong AZEdit

Participating in the Eerste Divisie, the reserve squad of AZ trains and plays their home games in Zaanstad.

Stadium and sponsorEdit


AFAS Stadion, AZ's home venue in Alkmaar. Photo includes the old roof and the old name, 'DSB Stadion'.

AZ play its home matches at the AFAS Stadion, located in the southern part of the city of Alkmaar. The stadium, which is directly owned by the club, was opened in 2006 and replaced the old Alkmaarderhout venue as the DSB Stadion. The stadium currently has a capacity of 17,023. During its design stages, the name Victorie Stadion was frequently used, referring to the Dutch War of Independence, the phrase "In Alkmaar begint de victorie" (Victory begins in Alkmaar) in particular. Until now, this name has not been officially in use, the board instead opting for sponsorship deals because of financial motives. However, to this day, the name maintains a good share of support among the fans.

To further increase revenue, AZ's board of directors decided to expand the capacity of the new stadium to at least 30,000 somewhere in the future. The extension will be realised by constructing a second tier to three of the four stands. The main stand with all technical areas, VIP and sponsor and media facilities will remain in place. These plans, however, were put on hold after the DSB bankruptcy and there are no current plans to increase the capacity.

In October 2009, sponsor DSB Bank was declared bankrupt. The stadium name temporarily changed from DSB Stadion to AZ Stadion, as it was considered undesirable that the stadium was linked with a non-existent bank. In February 2010, a new main sponsor was found in construction works service provider BUKO, based in Beverwijk.

A year later, in the 2010–11 season, AFAS Software [nl] took over as official stadium sponsor. The current external name of the ground is the AFAS Stadion.

On 10 August 2019, the roof of the stadium partially collapsed. No people were injured during the incident.[9] As the result AZ spent the rest of the year playing home matches at the Cars Jeans Stadion in The Hague whilst the damaged roof was being removed, before returning to the stadium on 15 December 2019, beating Ajax 1–0 in their first match back.[10] AZ played the rest of the 2019/20 season, until the COVID-19 pandemic cut it short, without a roof. During the 2020/21 season, a new roof was installed, held up by 20 crane-like arms on three sides and a so-called mega truss on the main stand.[11] The renewed stadium, which also included a capacity upgrade of nearly 2,500 seats for a new total capacity of 19,500, was officially opened on September 11th, 2021, before the home game against PSV.[12]

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsorsEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1977–1982 Adidas
1982–1986 Sony
1986–1988 Lotto Electrolux
1988–1989 Swingbo
1989–1990 Reebok Reebok
1990–1993 Hi-Tec Frisia
1993–1998 Hummel
1998–1999 Kappa
1999–2001 none
2001–2002 Umbro
2002–2004 Actus Notarissen
2004–2005 Frisia
2005–2006 DSB
2006–2008 Quick
2008–2009 Canterbury
2009–2010 Quick BUKO
2010–2011 AFAS Software
2011–2015 Macron
2015–2019 Under Armour
2020– Nike



AZ Eredivisie Results 1976 to 2009


1 As Alkmaar '54
2 As KFC in the Eerste Klasse C, precursor of the Tweede Klasse in the first year of professional football in the Netherlands.

AZ in EuropeEdit

Below is a table with AZ's international results in the past seasons.

UEFA current rankingEdit

As of 13 January 2021[14]
Rank Country Team Points
64   Lille 30.000
65   Spartak Moscow 29.500
66   AZ 28.500
67   Gent 27.500
68   Krasnodar 26.500

Domestic resultsEdit

Below is a table with AZ's domestic results since the introduction of professional football in 1956.

Notable (former) playersEdit

For a list of former AZ players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:AZ Alkmaar players.

The players below had senior international cap(s) for their respective countries. Players whose name is listed represented their countries while playing for AZ and its predecessor AZ'67.



  1. ^ Klaas en Cees Molenaar had been at this match and blamed Ajax' late equalizer on a mistake by the referee; they claimed they then swore to once become national champion with their team, with which they succeeded 47 years later.[3]


  1. ^ a b "AZ Historie - De fusie van Alkmaar Zaanstreek" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 11 December 2021.
  2. ^ Alkmaar '54 en Venlo spelen allereerst profduel (in Dutch), Algemeen Dagblad, 25 June 2008.
  3. ^ Rob Bruins Slot and Dirk Jan Roeleven, AZ, of: hoe maak je een topclub, VPRO, Andere Tijden (in Dutch)
  4. ^ Martin Rep, Hoe het profvoetbal verdween uit de Zaanstreek (in Dutch), De Orkaan, 10 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Eredivisie: AZ Alkmaar announce surprise sacking of coach Gertjan Verbeek".
  6. ^ "Van Basten doet stap terug bij AZ, Alex Pastoor nieuwe trainer".
  7. ^ Association, Press (7 December 2015). "Former Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar joins AZ Alkmaar until end of season". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Spelers". AZ. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Dak van AZ-stadion gedeeltelijk ingestort". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Samenvatting AZ-Ajax (1-0)". Het Parool (in Dutch). Het Parool. 15 December 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Mega Truss: nieuw hoogtepunt". (in Dutch). AZ. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Spetterende show bij heropening AZ-stadion. 'Gefeliciteerd met jullie nieuwe huis. Geniet ervan!' [video]". Noord-Hollands Dagblad (in Dutch). Noord-Hollands Dagblad. 12 September 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  13. ^ (21 March 2014). "UEFA Europa League quarter-final draw". UEFA.
  14. ^ "UEFA rankings for club competitions". UEFA. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2022.