AZ new home Quick 07/08 football kit

As well as seeing the players in action for the first time when they take on amateurs VV Strijen on 14 July, fans will also see AZ sporting their new home kit for the 2007/08 season made by Quick .

The new design is based on the shirt worn in Alkmaar at the time professional football had just been introduced in the Netherlands. Exactly fifty years ago, in the 1957/58 season, Alkmaar’54’s home colours were bright red shirts with white sleeves, a white collar and white shorts. AZ's first crest, unveiled in 1957, featured the Torenburcht, a 13th century fortress that has long since disappeared.

The old crest features in a subtle way on the new shirt. The fortress is a link with the city of Alkmaar as it is still to be found in the city arms. AZ will unveil the new away kit for the 2007/08 season later this month.

AZ, an initialism for Alkmaar Zaanstreek, is a football club from Alkmaar, the Netherlands. It was founded on May 10, 1967 as AZ '67, the result of a merger of Alkmaar '54 and FC Zaanstreek. In the Netherlands the club is known as AZ, but internationally Alkmaar is often added.

Owing to the commitment of businessmen Cees and Klaas Molenaar, AZ '67 was successful in the late seventies and early eighties. In 1981 they became Dutch champions and UEFA Cup finalists. Things went downhill after the Molenaar brothers left the club. In 1988 AZ were relegated from the Eredivisie.

The involvement of businessman Dirk Scheringa in the mid-nineties marked the revival of the club. AZ returned to the Eredivisie in 1998. In 2004-05 they reappeared in the UEFA Cup tournament, advancing to the semi-finals. They also finished third in the Eredivisie that season, again qualifying for the UEFA Cup, after spending most of the season in the top two spots. A remarkable achievement, since AZ is financially not a big club and it does not have a similar fanbase like their Eredivisie rivals: AZ's home ground in the 2005-06 season, the Alkmaarderhout, had a spectator capacity of 8,390.

In the summer of 2006, the club moved to a new 17,000 capacity stadium, the DSB Stadion. Due to a larger than expected demand for tickets, the new ground will probably be expanded to 30,000 in 2008 by adding a second tier.

The club manager is Louis van Gaal, who succeeded Co Adriaanse after the 2004-05 season. In April 2007 Louis van Gaal signed an extension of his contract to 2010, which included clauses related to possible jobs as a national coach in future.

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