Physical benchmark: Keuken Kampioen Divisie & Tweede Divisie

17 MARCH 2021

The Tweede Divisie is the highest amateur level in the Netherlands. In recent years it has been noticed that more and more amateur clubs have come relatively far in the KNVB Cup tournament. IJsselmeervogels reached the 1/8 final of the KNVB Cup in 2015, but was narrowly beaten 0-1 by SC Heerenveen. In 2017 Swift eliminated the pros of Vitesse on a football field in Amsterdam and in the same year the amateurs of AFC beat the white lions of Telstar with impressive figures (5-0). A year earlier (2016), football association Sint Bavo (better known as VVSB) even managed to beat FC Den Bosch 2-3 in the quarterfinals and then keep FC Utrecht 0-0 for 72 minutes in the semi-finals. Is the Second Division on the rise towards the professional clubs from the Keuken Kampioen Divisie? Can these amateur teams participate in the Dutch professional league (s)? In this blog a physical benchmark between the Tweede Divisie and the Keuken Kampioen Divisie based on GPS player data.

In the overview below, the match data of players from the Tweede Divisie is compared with the match data of players from the Keuken Kampioen Divisie. In general, the Keuken Kampioen Divisie scores 10% -12% higher on most parameters. The total distance is approximately equal, slightly more sprint meters (> 20 km / h) are covered in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie than in the Tweede Divisie and the number of Hi-accelerations (> 3 m / s) is also slightly higher than the professional clubs. This is of course not surprising since the professional clubs train 4-5 times a week. Tweede Divisie clubs train “only” 2-3 times a week. If you want to train more towards the benchmark as a Second Division club, use a good ratio between VCT and the match.

Figure 1: Keuken Kampioen Divisie vs Tweede Divisie benchmark (GPS data period 9/1/2019 – 1/3/2020)

What is striking, however, is the difference in Hi-intensity sprint meters (> 25 km / h). On average, more than 162 Hi-intensity sprint meters are made in a Tweede Divisie compared to 145 in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie. This is striking, as you would expect this to be higher per league level. The difference is often made between elite, professional, and semi-professional, as is also apparent from a benchmark between the Premier League, Eredivisie and U21. An explanation for this difference could be that the games in the Tweede Divisie are a lot more open, which creates a lot of room to counter (and to make hi-intensity sprint meters). The more open the game, the more Hi-intensity sprint meters are made.

Despite the fact that there are physical differences between the two competitions, this does not necessarily mean that this is a measure to progress one round in the KNVB Cup tournament. This benchmark does not take into account the tactics or mental aspects within a team, which are also important to deliver a good performance. The guidance and time that a professional player has to prepare for a match are a lot longer than the amateur players. These often have a full-time job or study in addition to training and competitions.

Still, it remains interesting to follow the Second Division teams in the KNVB Cup. A cup fairytale is and remains the charm of the tournament to stunt against professional clubs, despite the numbers.

Do you want to know more about how your team can achieve the benchmark? Please contact us at and ask about the possibilities.