On Sunday we arrived in Papendal at the National Olympic Hotel and the facilities have been excellent.
The hotel is home to various activities such as BMX, Women U19’s Handball and Archery.
On Monday, we had a team game of ‘Pitch and Putt’ followed by training from 3pm-5pm taken by our own club coaches. Afterwards we watched the all the important game between Wycombe and Walsall, in which Walsall won 3-2.
Tuesday started with an early rise and breakfast at 8am, followed by training between 10am and 12am again conducted by our coaches. In the afternoon we took an adventure into the city of Arnhem which involved seeing Vitesse Arnhem FC’s home ground.
Afterwards we experienced the Arnhem War Memorial, which was a touching experience in which we learnt a lot about the local history during the Second World War.
The arrival of Wednesday saw us conduct our match preparation. We trained lightly but it was still a good tempo. After training we had our rest time between 11am-2pm and to be honest most of the lads just slept.
We had lunch at 2pm and some of us just kept to the spaghetti bolognese for a lighter pre-match meal option. We set off for Den Haag at 3pm, we travelled for an hour and a half before arriving and when we did all the lads were in good spirits looking forward to the game.
It was a hard fought match in which we believed we played well in and could have won if it was for better finishing.
We felt that ADO Den Haag’s style of play was very new to us as they were less physical than other opponents, however they kept the ball much better.
Considering that this was a big learning curve for us, I think that we adapted well to overcome their style of play to dominate the game in periods.
The final score was 0-0 however taking into consideration the amount of chances we created, we feel as if we could have had won convincingly.
On Thursday, we had a well deserved lie in until 9.30am.
Afterwards we had an hour and a half training session with the legendary Ajax, Feyenoord and Dutch International, Rob Witschge. He took into consideration that we had a game the day before and just concentrated on the passing technique and shape of the team when attacking.
It was a very good learning experience as he gave us new passing drills and ideas on the Dutch style of play. We had the afternoon off, where some of us played pitch and putt, darts and pool.