Easter U13’s Development Squad Holland Tour
Our Under 13s Development squad have recently been on tour to Holland. You can read their tour diary below!
Day 1, Friday 14th April
The squad departed from Sixfields at 2.30am, leaving to catch our ferry from Dover at 07:30am. We arrived in Calais at 09:30am. We settled down on the coach for a long drive to Holland passing through the north east of France and then on to Belgium. After a travel break and a long hold up due to Bank Holiday traffic we finally arrived in Eindhoven, Holland: the home stadium of PSV Eindhoven, where we had an amazing guided tour of the stadium and learnt all about the history of the club. Then we finished off with a look around the club museum and the trophy room before going in to the club shop.
After leaving PSV, we headed to our hotel which was about 40 minutes away. Once we were all checked in and unpacked, we went down for our evening meal. Then straight to bed as we had an early start in the morning.
Day 2, Saturday 15th April
After an early, healthy breakfast, we were on the coach by 07:30am, on route for the tournament in Uden. Once the team was checked in and after a good warm up, the squad were set up ready for their first match. Kick off was at 09:00am against Udi ‘19, a Dutch side. The first game of the tournament was really good, with Udi playing some quality football, keeping us in our own half for the first 5-10 minutes. Then we settled down and started playing our own game and taking more control. NTFC eventually won the game 5-1. We played another two games, winning 4-2 against RKVV VCW, another Dutch side. The final game was another win, 5-3 against KB, a Danish team. All teams played well, with some very good goals being scored. As a result, on the opening day of the tournament we finished winners of our group, which meant we qualified for the next round on Sunday afternoon. After a successful and enjoyable day, we returned to the hotel, relaxed in the pool area for a couple of hours before we went out to the local bowling alley. We returned to the hotel for dinner, before lights out at 10pm.
Day 3, Sunday 16th April
After another healthy breakfast, all players were given a couple of hours’ free time to relax in their room, before setting off on the coach for our second day of football. We were drawn in Pool D, which included two Dutch sides: FC De Rakt and Meliana Voetbalschool.
So, after a slow start from us in our first game against Meliana, we found ourselves 2-0 down inside 5 minutes. With lots of hard work and some good football, we managed to get back in to the game and ended up winning 4-3. Our final game saw us against FC De Rakt, where a win would put us through to the final. In a very competitive game against a very good side, unfortunately we lost 3-0. Finishing second in Pool D meant that our final game was a play off for third or fourth place. Again, after some great football from both teams, we ended up winning 3-0 against Udi ’19 and came third in the tournament overall. The boys each received a medal and were presented with a trophy for finishing third.
After a long day of football, we returned to the hotel to get ready for dinner at 8pm. An early night was needed for our early start to return back to England.
Day 4, Monday 17th April
Having packed and cleaned our rooms, we met in reception for our final breakfast. The coach set off for home at 9am and after making good time we were able to catch an earlier ferry, allowing us to get back to Sixfields at 7pm where we were met by parents and family.
Thank you to all players who travelled, you represented the club superbly and we are very proud of you all.
The club are already looking forward to entering a team for next year’s tournament!