TURN seven on the famous Alpe d’Huez mountain stage of the Tour de France is known as Dutch corner.

The hordes from Holland descend on the ski resort to turn it into a sea of orange that swallows up the peloton.

It won’t be on quite the same scale at Valley Parade tomorrow afternoon but City will have a Dutch corner of their own for the Shrewsbury game.

Thirty-five football fans have taken the overnight ferry from Rotterdam to continue a tradition. This will be their 11th group trip to watch English football and numbers have swelled rapidly.

The majority of the travellers, like organiser Jeroen Koon, are Feyenoord fans.

Some he has known for almost 25 years and the rest he first met in the Czech Republic at a Champions’ League tie against Sparta Prague.

They continued to bump into each other regularly at games and were all there to see Feyenoord lift the UEFA Cup in 2002.

A friendship developed between the expanding group as they followed the Dutch side home and way. But he admits away travel in Holland has become a pain – “a lot of matches you have obligatory travelling by coach” – and Feyenoord’s success in Europe began to flounder.

A few had started to make the odd trip to England to see a game and the interest began to grow.

So five years ago, Koot booked ferry tickets for ten fans – “it got me some discount to be honest” - and a couple of taxis the other side of the North Sea. They went to watch York City and the pictures on Facebook quickly spread the word.

Numbers expanded to 16, then 32 and now the 35 which fills the coach waiting for them at the docks.

This is their 11th group trip which has previously taken in the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster, Barnsley, Grimsby and Halifax.

Destinations are decided by their proximity to Hull – the boat back sails at 7am on Sunday – and to coincide with international breaks so they don’t miss a Feyenoord game.

Koot is a confirmed Anglophile as well as ground-hopper and this will be his sixth trip this year. The next is already planned for Feyenoord’s Europe League clash at Old Trafford.

He became hooked on English football from watching the FA Cup final as a youngster.

He said: “Those matches at Wembley were really from a different world for us Dutch; the singing, the packed crowd, the national anthem.

“I still like English football a lot, but especially the lower leagues. We like the whole culture surrounding it – the pubs near the grounds, the pies and the friendliness of the English people in general.

“For me, as the organiser, it’s about friendship and having a good laugh. My wife joins me every time and she is also a big fan of England and some of the typical British sub-cultures and cuisine.

“We also visit matches in countries surrounding us, like Belgium and Germany. Belgium has some true gems among the grounds in the lower leagues but it’s not a shadow on visiting a match in England.

“It’s not something I do for a business and only friends, and some friend of friends, can join. It’s very hard to count to 35 on a Saturday morning after a night on the boat!”

City fan James Stables, who has got to know them through watching Feyenoord, organised the tickets in the upper tier of the main stand.

“I sent an email and within an hour James Mason got back to me,” he said. “The service was absolutely outstanding.

“James couldn’t do enough. The club now are right where you want them to be – great on and off the pitch.”

A few have been to Valley Parade before, diverting there one pre-season after a Feyenoord friendly in England was called off at the last minute. But Koot is looking forward to savouring the “real atmosphere” this afternoon.

“During the 1980s a few moments in football made a great impact on my generation of fans,” he added.

“Heysel, of course, and Hillsborough but also the fire at Valley Parade. We will pay respect at the memorial outside the ground to commemorate that it could have been anyone visiting a match never to return home.

“I’ve dragged the group to a very poorly-attended game at Halifax and some dull new grounds in Rotherham and Doncaster. No offence but the Netherlands is full of Lego-style grounds too.

“So they will enjoy an attendance in good voice in a proper English ground – and a good win for Bradford of course!”