Alkmaar Zaanstreek, commonly known as AZ Alkmaar or AZ, is a Dutch football club based in the city of Alkmaar. They currently feature in the Dutch Eredivisie.
AZ were founded on May 10,1967 as AZ ’67 after Alkmaar ’54 and FC Zaanstreek were merged together. The club began to start success as soon as they were formed and even became the Dutch champions in 1981 and reached the UEFA Cup final that year.
However after the club’s (virtual) owners Cees and Klaas Molenaar departed from the club in the early 1980s and AZ were relegated from the Dutch top flight in 1988.
Then along came businessman Dirk Scheringa in the mid 1990s and revived the club. In 1998, 10 years after they had been relegated, AZ leapt to the Dutch first division.
In the 2004-2005 campaign, AZ played in the UEFA Cup and shockingly reached the semi-finals. They also finished third in the Eredivisie that season and played in the UEFA Cup next season.
AZ play their home matches at the DSB Stadion that can entertain a crowd of 17,023. They moved to the recently only in the summer of 2006. Previously AZ used to play at the Alkmaarderhout that could host only 8,390.
AZ are coached by the former FC Barcelona coach Louis van Gaal.
Some of the club’s major achievements include:-1 Dutch Eredivisie title-3 KNVB Cups