Updates from the under 12s to under 14s in Holland this week
During this week, our under 12s, under 13s under 14s Academy squads are currently on tour in Holland.
Lead Foundation Phase Coach Matt Chart has provided us with a tour diary from the team hotel....
Players and staff arrived at Sixfields a little bleary eyed on Monday for the 5.30am meet time to depart on the coach at 6am. A smooth journey down to Dover and across the channel to Dunkirk meant we got to France at lunchtime ready for the 5 hour drive to Holland. We arrived just after 6pm at the fantastic hotel and went straight in to dinner. After dinner we walked down to the fantastic training facilities for a training session which consisted of lots of small sided games for the boys to stretch their legs and work off the energy from being on the bus. We then headed back to the hotel and the boys went to bed.
We met at breakfast at 8am and then headed up to train, working on some ideas and patterns of play for the games that evening. Lunch followed and then the boys had some free time to chill, some decided to go in the pool and play water polo and volleyball. We then made use of the fantastic meeting room facilities with match analysis equipment and medical room with physio equipment to help prepare the players for the upcoming games. We then departed for our first round of games vs DTS, a short 20 minute journey from our hotel. The facilities were fantastic and after two competitive games, the U12/13 squad won their game and the U13/14 squad were defeated. We were invited in to watch the Barcelona vs Juventus Champions League game and eat our packed lunches and left at half time to head home.
After breakfast we had a light recovery session to help the players recover and prepare for the next round of games. We then used the free time to go for a drive into Arnhem to allow the players to see a bit more of Holland. We then met back up with the bus and drove to Vitesse Arnhem’s stadium for a quick look, an interesting looking ground! Next was lunch back at the hotel and another team meeting to watch back footage of the previous night’s games. The players were tasked to pick out specific categories of highlights from the snippets of footage we watched and present back to their team mates.
We then headed off to our games against Willem II, an Eredivisie (Dutch top flight) academy. Our opponents were technically excellent and presented a different challenge to the previous day’s games. This time the U13/14 team acquitted themselves better and were narrowly beaten, whereas the U12/13 team were a goal behind at half time before fading away as the second half progressed. Again we played on fantastic pitches and it was great for our boys to experience the challenge of facing different styles of football and we returned to the hotel with lots to think about in terms of problem solving before Thursday’s games.