The Tukkers, The Red, and boring Twente – FC Twente have had their fair share of nicknames since their establishment in 1965. It’s a young club, where in Holland, there is true footballing excellence and heritage, and although FC Twente doesn’t always get their time in the sun – the club will always be known as the Pride of the East. Any fan, especially members of ULTRA VAK-P, will tell you that supporting FC Twente is born out of love, requiring blood, sweat, tears and patience. Upon entering De Grolsch Veste, FC Twente’s stadium, opposition teams and fans are thrown into a bubbling cauldron of pyrotechnics, colourful choreography, tifos, and the ever-present roar of the FC Twente faithful.

Given how passionate the club’s supporters are, it’s fitting that FC Twente and Meyba have come together to finally give the club another chance to grasp the stars. FC Twente had to endure many hardships before finding success; in 1974, they lost the Eredivisie title on the final match day to rivals Feyenoord, and then went on to lose the UEFA Cup Final the very next year to German side Borussia Monchengladbach. During the 80s and 90s, the club enjoyed middling success but were never able to challenge for the title – this period was marred by the team crashing out of the KNVB cup against Ajax’s youth team in 2001. 

Unremarkable results and unexpected capitulations compounded with the club going bankrupt in 2003, putting FC Twente on the brink of liquidation. Fortunately, key personnel changes led to the club enjoying a fruitful period of results and growth. There was a genuine excitement whirling around the club which culminated in FC Twente winning their 1st ever Eredivisie title in 2010. Steve McClaren, their head coach, became the first Englishman in nearly 50 years to lead a Dutch club to the championship title. This win, however, became their flash in the pan. After decades of mid-table obscurity, the club would have their European hopes quickly snatched away when Steve McClaren resigned in 2011.  

During the 2014-2015 season, FC Twente were deducted points by the KNVB due to financial mismanagement, which continued into the 2018/19 season when they were relegated from the Eredivisie. This was a spectacular fall from grace that could’ve been likened to a Greek tragedy. It was the 1st time in 34 years that the club had been relegated. 

Remarkably, FC Twente were able to gain promotion the very next season, and even managed to finish fourth in 2021. Jan Streuer, who had been the club technical director since 2020, sought to integrate youth players, while relying on more experienced players to form a mature backbone of the team – a strategy that was popular with famous Barcelona teams of the past, including the ’92 ‘Dream Team’.

For the 2022/23 Eredivisie season, Meyba will join FC Twente as their kit partner, with both looking to make a well-deserved comeback to the world stage. FC Twente is the first Dutch football team that Meyba has partnered with, and Johan Cruyff, the Dutch mastermind that enabled Barcelona and Meyba to be so successful, would be so proud. 

Meyba is joined by fellow Spaniard, Julian Pleguezuelo, who established himself at FC Twente in 2019. Pleguezuelo was a graduate of Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy and regular for the Spanish national team at youth level. As a teenager, Pleguezuelo was coveted by many teams in the English Premier League and ultimately chose to sign with Arsenal partly due to their strong Spanish contingent. Pleguezuelo joined FC Twente after failing to be given opportunities and England, and his career has been given a new lease on life, cementing himself as a first-team regular in the heart of the Tukkers defence. Like Julian, Meyba is looking to make a splash, and with FC Twente, a team that has persisted through difficult hardships to reach spectacular highs, the proof is in the pudding.  

No longer just a flash in the pan – Meyba and FC Twente are here to stay! Lookout for the FC Twente 22/23 Football Jersey Collection, arriving soon! 

August 17, 2022 — Oscar Willer