It was an early start for the boys in red. Heathrow was the first destination on the way to Amsterdam. We arrived at the airport with time to spare, boarded the plane smoothly and were all very excited to be on our way.
As soon as we arrived at the hotel, it was straight off for our first training session on a 3G pitch. This was very enjoyable and it felt good to burn some energy after a lot of waiting around and sitting down. The training session was brief but was a lot of fun – a few little games were what the lads needed after a long day.
To end a really good day we had a bowling competition. A lot of banter was flying around and to make things worse the staff won!
An early night was needed to recuperate our strength for the day ahead and we all slept well. The buffet breakfast was very tasty and hit the spot nicely.
The team boarded the bus which took us to our first training session with the Managers of FC Utrecht. Jean Paul De Jong, who took the session, was Manager of the Youth and Reserves.
He started off the session with an in-depth talk about his prestigious career including the silverware at Ajax and Feyenoord. We turned up to training thinking we would pick up the “total football” motto instantly. Instead it was a simple passing and moving drill to start with and possession to follow. It turned out to be a lot of hard work but very enjoyable.
This was followed by a buffet lunch then a swim and steam room in the hotel. After relaxing and making use of the hotel facilities it was off on the coach for our afternoon session taken by Head of Youth Tim Coe and Technical Coach Geoff Warner.
A few little injuries were picked up but nothing too serious. A quiz at the end of the day summarised the relaxed mood in the camp.