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Almere City
Almere City FC logo.PNG
Full name Almere City Football Club
Nickname(s) De Zwarte Schapen (The Black Sheep)
Founded 14 September 2001; 22 years ago (2001-09-14), as FC Omniworld
Ground Yanmar Stadion
Ground Capacity 4,501
Owner Lesley Bamberger
Chairman John Bes
Manager Alex Pastoor
League Eredivisie
2022–23 Eerste Divisie, 3rd of 20 (promoted via play-offs)
Third colours

Almere City Football Club is a Dutch professional football club based in Almere, Flevoland. Founded in 2001, they play in the Eredivisie, the top tier of Dutch football. They host their home matches at the Yanmar Stadion.

The club builds on former clubs from Amsterdam and is a result of ambitions of the Almere city council to play an active role in top sports. To that end, the sports club Omniworld was formed, which consists of a volleyball branch, a basketball branch and a football branch. Prior to the 2010–11 season, the club was renamed to Almere City FC.


Early history

Almere City can trace its history back to 1976, with the merger of DWS, Volewijckers and Blauw-Wit into FC Amsterdam. Disgruntled DWS supporters founded their own club, De Zwarte Schapen, named after their nickname, which translates as "Black Sheep". The club quickly rose through the ranks of Dutch amateur football, eventually reaching the Hoofdklasse. After several violent incidents on the pitch and a six-month suspension by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the club moved from Amsterdam to nearby Almere and changed its name to Sporting Flevoland.

FC Omniworld

FC Omniworld logo
Club's logo from 2001 to 2010

That name was changed to FC Omniworld in 2001 as a result of the efforts of a consortium (in which the city of Almere was a participant) to bring professional sports to Almere. These plans included a basketball club (BC Omniworld, now defunct), a volleyball club (VC Omniworld, now defunct) and the football club (FC Omniworld). However, when the Leefbaar Almere party became the largest party in the city council in 2002, the community withdrew from the project. This caused the club to fail the criteria for admission to the professional league in 2004.

Private investors were found, and the club managed to meet the first two criteria for admission (among which is a balanced budget) in late 2004 and early 2005. After FC Omniworld's stadium (the 3,000 seater Yanmar Stadion) and pitch were approved by the KNVB as well, the club met all criteria for admission, and joined the 19 clubs already in the Eerste Divisie. The club's first official match would have been held on 12 August 2005 against BV Veendam. However, the referee postponed the match shortly before the kick-off because heavy rain had made the artificial turf pitch unplayable. The club's professional debut came a week later, in an away match against FC Eindhoven, a 2–0 defeat. FC Omniworld registered its first official goal a few days later, in a 2–3 home defeat against FC Den Bosch, as Juan Viedma Schenkhuizen scored to make the score 1–2 in the 37th minute. Omniworld's first league point was achieved a week later, on 29 August against Go Ahead Eagles (2–2). The club's first victory came on 16 September, when Fortuna Sittard were defeated 3–2. In its first season, Omniworld finished in 19th place with 29 points from 38 matches. Forward Sjoerd Ars ended in fifth place in the top goalscorer ranking, with 17 goals.

Ars was transferred to Go Ahead Eagles for the 2006–07 season, but the results for Omniworld improved. The club achieved 41 points from 38 matches, finishing the season in 16th place. The 2–7 home match defeat FC Zwolle on 16 March 2007 resulted in the then-worst defeat in the club's short history.

Almere City

Early struggles (2010–16)

In March 2010, the club was renamed AFC Almere City before being changed again a few weeks later to Almere City FC, as the "AFC" prefix was deemed to be too reminiscent of the club's partners AFC Ajax. In their second match of the 2010–11 season, they were defeated 12–1 by Sparta Rotterdam, who equalled Ajax's Dutch league record win, with Johan Voskamp scoring a Jupiler League record eight goals on his debut.

Almere City finished dead last in the Eerste Divisie during their initial 2010–11 season, but were heeded from relegation due to the bankruptcy of RBC Roosendaal. In the following years, the team struggled to maintain consistency, and even suffered a relegation scare during the 2013–14 season.

Five-Year Plan and promotion (2016–present)

Under the guidance of manager Jack de Gier, the team underwent a revival, finishing in the top-10 for three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2019. In 2016, This culminated in their highest-ever league finish of 7th place in the 2018–19 season under head coach Ole Tobiasen. The same year, CEO John Bes in consultation with the club's supervisory board implemented a "five-year plan" which aimed to transform the club into a sustainable and professional football organisation, with an ultime goal of reaching the Eredivisie.

In August 2019, the club announced plans of building a new grandstand and a club office building. The grandstand was completed during the 2020 winter break and increased the capacity of the stadium from around 3,000 to 4,501 spectators.

During the 2020–21 season, Almere City marked the conclusion of its prestigious five-year plan with a record-breaking season. The team achieved an impressive 75 points and scored a record-breaking 75 goals, securing a fourth-place finish in the final standings, which was considered a historic achievement for the club. However, the club's pursuit of promotion was unsuccessful as they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by NEC with a 4–0 defeat, during interim management under Jeroen Rijsdijk. During this period, the club's striker, Thomas Verheydt, set a new club record by becoming the first player in the club's history to score 20 goals in a single season, surpassing the previous record held by club legend Vincent Janssen. Despite the initial success, the club's good form was short-lived as they struggled in the 2021–22 season and could only manage a disappointing 14th-place finish.

During the 2022–23 season, Alex Pastoor's first full season in charge of the team, Almere City secured their highest league finish to date by finishing third in the Eerste Divisie. In June 2023, after a thrilling play-off run, the club gained promotion to the Eredivisie for the first time in their history by defeating Emmen, who was the first 16th place team to reach the playoff final under the new format, 4–1 on aggregate in the final.


Eerste Divisie

Club name

  • FC Omniworld (2001–2010)
  • AFC Almere City (2010)
  • Almere City FC (2010–present)

Current squad

No. Position Player
1 Netherlands GK Nordin Bakker
2 Curaçao DF Sherel Floranus
3 Netherlands DF Joey Jacobs
4 Netherlands DF Damian van Bruggen (captain)
5 France DF Loïc Mbe Soh (on loan from Nottingham Forest)
6 Spain MF Álvaro Peña
7 Netherlands FW Jason van Duiven (on loan from PSV Eindhoven)
8 Netherlands MF Danny Post
9 France FW Thomas Robinet
11 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Yann Kitala (on loan from Le Havre)
14 Spain MF Pascu
15 Netherlands MF Peer Koopmeiners (on loan from AZ)
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Adi Nalić
No. Position Player
17 Norway FW Kornelius Normann Hansen
18 Austria GK Samuel Şahin-Radlinger (on loan from Austria Wien)
19 France FW Yoann Cathline (on loan from Lorient)
20 Netherlands DF Hamdi Akujobi
21 Belgium MF Milan Corryn
22 France DF Théo Barbet
24 Comoros FW Faiz Mattoir
25 Netherlands DF Christopher Mamengi
26 Switzerland GK Stijn Keller
27 Netherlands FW Rajiv van La Parra
28 Netherlands MF Stije Resink
36 Netherlands MF Marcelencio Esajas
39 Netherlands MF Jochem Ritmeester van de Kamp

Out on loan

No. Position Player
Netherlands DF Thomas Poll (at Cambuur until 30 June 2024)
Suriname FW Jeredy Hilterman (at Willem II until 30 June 2024)
No. Position Player
Netherlands FW Bradly van Hoeven (at Emmen until 30 June 2024)

Club officials

Position Staff
Chairman Netherlands John Bes
Manager Netherlands Alex Pastoor
Assistant manager Netherlands Jeffrey Talan
Goalkeeper coach Netherlands Serge van den Ban
Performance coach Netherlands Lucas Posthuma
Video analyst Netherlands Max Buis
Scout England Jack Austin
Head of physiotherapy Netherlands Geert van der Heiden
Physiotherapist Netherlands Jeroen Bijl
Material Netherlands Herman Koster
Netherlands Ronald van Bruggen
Team Manager Netherlands Jasper Meeder

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Almere City FC para niños

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