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Jon Haynes - Walsall FC

Football Football Football

02/08/11 |

Day 5

Once again after a reasonably light day on Thursday it was back to work this morning.

We got back up back at the early time of 8:00am for breakfast. After eating breakfast we had a reasonably long journey to the SVV training facilities so we could train on grass and get use to pitches ready for the games we will be playing next week.

On the coach alot of the lads were still in good spirit after our good result on Wednesday night. Once we got to the training facilities all of us got our boots on and were ready to have a good training session.

The training session was of a very high tempo with alot of possession work, starting with 1v1’s in middle and a rest period on the outside. It eventually progressed onto a 7v7 in the middle.

This was also a good training session for me as for the first time since my dislocation i was able to join in on the outside. The lads trained very hard and also got out of doing extra running because the tempo of the session was good.

However the lads didn’t get out of a gruelling press up and sit up session at the end of the morning. Once that was finished we headed back to the hotel to have some dinner and get ready for a light afternoon session on the Astroturf for a shape session.

Walsall Training

However on way back to the hotel we went on a detour to look at the Feyenoord ground from the outside. We headed back to the hotel and got chance to have dinner and a good two hours to chill before going back out to do some shape work ready for a second game of the tournament against Wycombe at the Papendal.

On the evening we had dinner and then had another team bonding event which was this time Bowling. In my lane we made the game interesting by having a ywo euro bet on the game to make in bit more competitive.

However think couple of us wish we hadn’t because we soon realised how poor we were and that one of the lads (Keiron Morris) was decent.

On the plus side at least the managers couldn’t boast about being better than us unlike the night before.

Once bowling had finished all of us were able to chill and get some rest ready for a final day at the hotel which was sure to be a fun and packed day.

Day 6

The morning soon came round and once again it was a early get up as the day ahead was very busy.

We all went down at the regular time of 8:00am for something to eat. However me and the other injured lad had to be up for 7:00am as we had a 40 minute jog around the forest and streets by our hotel. The scenery around the hotel was nice and it was amazing how much space and grass they have got around the area.

After eating we had 30 minutes to chill before heading out onto the Astroturf to have a bright and quick morning session to keep our fitness up. As the lads were out training, the injured players were in gym on the bike and doing weights before going to play some games in the pool.

After freshening up and having dinner it was time for our tour around Amsterdam and then on evening going to watch the Ajax and FC Twente in their comparison to our Community Shield.

Alot lads were excited to see the surroundings of Amsterdam and to see the game and atmosphere inside the Amsterdam Arena. This meant the journey to Amsterdam was a very enjoyable one with lads very excited and in good spirits.

Once we got to Amsterdam, our coach driver took us around on bus to show us some of the places in Amsterdam before we were able to walk around and experience them ourselves.

The coach driver parked up and then all the lads went off as one into the centre to explore the surroundings and see what parts were good in the area.

As it was a Saturday and the game was this evening there was a lot of football fans in the centre making a day of the weather, having a drink and something to eat before watching the game this evening.

As we were in our club tracksuits alot of Dutch people were asking where we were from and asking us why we were there.

Also while walking around we saw the Scunthorpe players also walking around experiencing Amsterdam.

We got talking to them and were looking forward to spending time with them at the Papendal next week.

It was a good experience to see what was in Amsterdam and what the people were like in Holland. I think all the lads and coaches enjoyed the experience around Amsterdam and were now looking forward to the game.

After a quick 20 minute coach ride we were there at the stadium. Outside the stadium there was a great atmosphere, people singing down to the ground and hundreds of people queing outside the food vans before entering the game.

Amsterdam Arena

All the lads got their food and then entered the Arena. Once we had walked up the stairs and made our way to our seats, we were amazed by the atmosphere inside and the amount of Ajax fans at the game.

The game was very high tempo and the teams played some very attractive football especially Ajax however FC Twente went 1-0 up in the first half after converting a penalty after a clumsy mistake by a Ajax defender.

This was the score at half time however Ajax could of scored a couple as they hit bar twice and the FC Twente defence did well to keep them out.

The second half was much of the same and was made harder for the leaders after they had a man sent off.

Ajax made this count and got back on level terms with a bullet of strike. However FC Twente kept playing football and were rewarded when their right winger cut in and curled one in the top bin of the goal.

They were able to hold on to the win even though Ajax mounted a lot of pressure on their defence in the closing stages.

After game we were driven back to the hotel. After a long and busy day alot of the lads were tired and felt it was good to have a early night and be ready to travel to the new hotel we will be stopping in for the second week.