Monday 6th August
We were up for 9:30 on Monday morning ready to report back to training. Although legs were a little stiff from Saturday’s game the boys were out and ready to train for 11:00am. Training consisted of various technical practices and possession drills.
The session focused on what we needed to improve on from Saturday, keeping possession. After the morning session we walked the short distance back to the hotel before having lunch at 2:00. We were given the afternoon off from training; this meant most of the boys ended up swimming or playing tennis. After a big dinner, we had more time to do do activities within the hotel: table tennis, tennis, pool etc.
Tuesday 7th August
Back to normal on Tuesday reporting for a 8:30 breakfast, ready to train for 10:30. The sun was back out on Tuesday morning and legs were fresh again. Again the training session had large amounts of technical practices, as well as shape work; we practiced breaking the lines in midfield and getting the ball into the strikers.
This was followed by lunch at 2:00; we had a couple of hours to relax in the rooms before we had to report back out to the pitches for a short sharp session. Splitting into groups the focus was on finishing; which in evidence from the last game, needed to improve. To finish the day we walked back to the hotel for a much needed dinner and a chance to put our feet up in our rooms.
Wednesday 8th August
Wednesday was all about preparation for the game the next day. Waking up at 8:00, once again we reported for a 8:30 breakfast. We let the food go down, and were back out onto the training pitch once more ready for the morning session. With a few tired faces, we started training with a few team games.
The training session which followed was short and sharp; with us playing 5-a-side games. From training we had more free time to use the hotels endless facilities, ranging from golf, to spa area.
That evening we went for an iconic bike ride around Delden; trying not to get lost we managed to get back to the hotel before dinner. The boys then went back to their rooms before resting up for the game the following day.
Thursday 9th August
Thursday brought the last game of Holland and the boys were confident we would remain unbeaten. We woke up for 9:00am, and reported for a cooked breakfast at 9:30. We had 20 minutes to ready our things, before getting on the bus to the game.
We arrived after an hour, in the baking heat. It was important for everyone to take on plenty of water, as the heat was intense. The game was a fast and heated affair with not many chances; with it 0-0 at half time it was quite an even game with the defenders having most of the ball.
The second half started much better, by playing the ball deep and pressing high. Ultimately pressing created our 2 second half goals, with us dispossessing them high up. De Graafschap never really looked like scoring and the game ended up being quite a comfortable victory.
With a happy trip back to the hotel the boys were looking forward to the BBQ that evening. In all we were more than ready to be heading home in the morning, after finishing the tour of Holland unbeaten.
Friday 10th August
End of a great tour and a huge learning experience for all involved.