IN PROFILE: PEC Zwolle

By SFC Media time Fri 24 Jun Club

Southampton will begin their pre-season tour of Holland with a friendly against PEC Zwolle.

Saints will take on the Erdevisie side on Saturday 23rd July, a day after touching down in Netherlands, as they step up their preparations for the 2016/17 campaign.

 

The game is the first in a trio of matches on the trip, which also includes fixtures against FC Twente and FC Groningen.

 

Zwolle have enjoyed some notable success in the past few seasons, finishing eighth in the Dutch top-flight last season and sixth in the campaign before that – a year in which they also won the KNVB Cup.

 

Here, we provide an in-depth profile of the Blauwvingers.

History

 

The roots of the club can be traced back to 1910, and its original incarnation, known simply as PEC.

 

Zwolle was added to the name in 1971 and, seven years later, they won promotion to the Eredivisie for the first time in their history.

 

The club would hit financial trouble in the early 1980s, but were then taken over by businessman Marten Eibrink, with the name changing to PEC Zwolle ’82 to reflect the new era.

 

After bouncing between the Eredivisie and the Dutch First Division, the club again hit financial trouble and was declared bankrupt in 1990. This prompted the emergence of a new structure, with the team becoming FC Zwolle, with players such as Jaap Stam going on to feature for them.

 

After returning to the Eredivisie in 2012, the club again changed its name, back to PEC Zwolle. They have enjoyed notable success since then, finishing 11th on two occasions, and then sixth and eighth in their four years since returning to the top-flight, while winning their first ever KNVB Cup with a thumping 5-1 win over Ajax in the 2014 final.

 

Manager

 

The club’s current boss, Ron Jans, took over his hometown club in 2013 and has been a popular figure ever since.

 

The 57-year-old started his playing career with the club, making more than 150 league appearances as a striker, and his first season as manager saw the team win the KNVB Cup, against Ajax.

 

Jans guided the team back to the final of the competition the following season, but on that occasion they were beaten 2-0 by Groningen, missing out on reclaiming the trophy. However, they secured their best ever Eredivise finish, of sixth.

 

Jans previously has been in charge of Groningen and Heerenveen, as well as Belgian side Standard Liège.

 

Last season

 

After their sixth-placed finish in 2014/15, PEC Zwolle couldn’t quite match that achievement last term. However, they still achieved eighth in the Eredivisie, marking it out as one of the best seasons in their history.

 

They began the campaign with a six-game unbeaten streak, winning four of those matches, but their form was a little more erratic after that.

 

There were plenty of highlights along the way, however, with Zwolle notably beating Feyenoord 3-1 at home in February.

 

Their eighth-placed finish was enough to get them into the Eredivisie’s play-offs for a Europa League spot, but they were beaten over two legs by Utrecht.



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