In August 1996 St. Catharines Wolves undertook a tour of the Netherlands. The Canadian National Soccer League club left Canada on August 8, fresh from a 1-1 draw with Toronto Italia. 550 fans, the largest crowd of the season, had turned up at Roma Park in St. Catharines on July 31st to watch the two teams in a league match.

On Sunday August 11, 1996, St. Catharines Wolves played against Emmen at Stadion De Meerdijk in Emmen. The Dutch club had finished the 1995-96 season in second place in the final standings of the Dutch Eerste Divisie, the second tier of professional soccer in the Netherlands. Emmen had just played a pre-season friendly against English Second Division club Bradford City, winning the match 1-0.

Notable players in the Emmen side were Finnish international Mika Nurmela; Alfons Arts, formerly of PSV Eindhoven, MVV and Go Ahead Eagles; centre back Peter Uneken, who after a long playing career became the manager of Jong PSV; and Surinam-born Ulrich Wilson who had spent the 1987-88 season with Ipswich Town in England. Emmen’s coach was former Eredivisie-goalkeeper Azing Griever.

Former St. Catharines Roma Wolves midfielder Martin Dugas started the match for the Canadian team against Emmen. Dugas had joined Dutch club Cambuur-Leeuwarden after the 1994 Canadian National Soccer League season. After two seasons and 18 league games he was released by Cambuur in the summer of 1996. He returned to Canada and joined Edmonton Drillers in October 1996.

Rick Titus scored the only goal of the game after 31 minutes on a header. The closest Emmen came to scoring came through Frank Weldvijk’s effort in the 82nd minute.

Two players from Wolves, Rick Titus and John Williams, received yellow cards during the match.


Emmen: Richard Elsinga; Peter Uneken, Alfons Arts, Jan Van Raalte, Ulrich Wilson; Etienne Barmentloo, Michel Van Oostrum, René Grummel, Mika Nurmela; Roy Stroeve, Erwin Leurink. Subs: Veldwijk (46 min for Uneken). Steve Van der Broek (46 min for Arts). Tristan Ooms (46 min for Wilson). Meijerman (46 min for Nurmela). Doombos (64 min for Stroeve). Erwin Nijhius (46 min for Leurink).

St. Catharines Wolves: Dino Perri; John McNeil, Peter Sarantopoulos, McIver Brooms, Jerry Opriani; Lucio Ianiero, Peter Gastis, Rick Titus, Carlo Argohitto; Paul Moore, Martin Dugas. Subs: Hansard (46 min for Gastis), Gary McGuchan (85 min for Moore), John Williams (25 min for Dugas), Tom Bernardi (46 min for Williams).