One of Saskatchewan's most successful Clubs originated with Dutch immigrants.
George Vanderploeg founded the original Hollandia Soccer Club in Saskatoon in 1955. At this time, all players were Dutch immigrants who had come to Saskatoon from the Netherlands, commonly known as Holland. Members of the original team included Robert Terstall, Henk Dykstra, Peter Vogel, Martin and John Nyssen, Ben Piggelen and Henk Ruys, for whom the first indoor soccer centre in Saskatoon is now named. Club records show a formal board and officers dating back to 1955.
In 1961, the Saskatoon Soccer League became the Northern Saskatchewan Soccer League, and Hollandia was a part of this league. In 1962 Hollandia experienced one of its most successful years by going undefeated. This was the Club's first title since its inception in 1955. Hollandia also won the President's Cup in this season, and went to the Provincial Championship final where they lost to Regina Concordia. This newfound success was partially due to the decision to allow players other than those of Dutch decent on the team.
The 90's: A New Era
In the early 90's, three youth players approached Terry Rule about forming a new team. Terry Rule subsequently approached Huw Morris to coach the team. The initial meeting was held at Evan Hardy Collegiate, and Hollandia was chosen as the team name on the suggestion of Robbie Pastoor who was of Dutch origin. Marion Hind was instrumental in affiliating the Hollandia team with the Silverwood Community Association. A group consisting of Janet Lindsay, Huw Morris, Owen Jubinville, Ray Carrie and others who were involved in the Silverwood Community Association, approached Henk Ruys and the Netherlands society for financing to form the Hollandia Youth Club.
In 1994, Percy Hoff was appointed Head Coach at the University of Saskatchewan. The University Huskies players, along with a few non-students were kept together during the summer, and participated in the Saskatoon and District Soccer Association League as the Hollandia Huskies. In its first year this senior team finished second in the Provincial Championships, then won two Provincial Championships and represented the Province at Club Nationals in Edmonton and Winnipeg.
In 1996, Saskatoon Youth Soccer introduced a zoning bylaw, meaning that players could only play for teams from the area in which they resided. Five zones were established: on the east side Aurora, Lakewood and Eastside, on the west, Saskatoon United Soccer Club, and Hollandia in the north part of the city. The zones each had technical directors and Percy Hoff took on this role with the club. Percy has remained a consistent and influential presence with the club for the three decades since!
The New Millennium/Olympic Bronze
Hollandia players continued to show their ability with the appearance of many players on Provincial teams, and also at Regional and National training camps. Amy Vermuelen, Kerr McLeod and Keegan Thomas all earned places on Canadian national teams and represented their country in international games.
Our most famous graduate Kaylyn Kyle was a part of the highly successful Canadian Women's National Team that won Bronze at the 2012 London Olympics and gold at the 2011 Pan American Games. Kaylyn often cites Percy Hoff as an early influence on her playing career and visits Saskatoon regularly to offer training to the next generation of athletes.
In September of 2011, Hollandia Impact, a women's team, represented Saskatchewan at the National Club Championships. The same year HUSA Academy made history by being the first ever Saskatchewan team to win a National Senior Champinship. Many of the players on the HUSA squad had cut their teeth at Hollandia, and it proved to be a proud season for all of Saskatchewan's soccer family. 2011 unfortunately also saw the passing of Henk Ruys who had served the Saskatoon soccer community so well for many years.
Today and Tomorrow
Hollandia continues to set the benchmark for technical program delivery in Saskatoon and despite being the smallest zone in terms of eligible players, we continue to increase our numbers when other zones are seeing declines in registration. This is due in large part to our extraordinary community of players, families, and volunteers, who ensure that Hollandia has a bright future. The club now offers programming to Under 7 through Under 19 age groups. Hollandia continues to be a strong advocate at the local and provincial levels for not only our members and community but for all players in our province. Our purpose, "Enhancing our community by inspiring people to enrich their lives through soccer" is a global one which we strive to accomplish by working collaboratively with other zones, local, and provincial authorities.