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Michael Kalu - Watford FC

My First Taste Of Dutch

27/07/11 |

Day 1

After a very early wake-up, we all met up at the club’s ground – Vicarage Road. At no surprise 99 per cent of the lads turned up looking half asleep including myself.

The coach arrived at 8am in the morning to take us to London Stansted airport and as usual there was a rush towards the doors to secure and claim preferred seating positions. All the suitcases were loaded onto the coach but I must say that the Driver struggled to load up Stephan Hamilton’s huge suitcase which looked like it was made out of titanium.

We arrived at the airport at 9.30am but the checking in procedure seemed to take a life time with everyone still appearing tired except Dereece Gardener who was bursting with excitement in the anticipation of the plane taking off.

Our flight was at midday and it was a fairly quick flight in which it seemed the taking off and landing was longer than the actual flight itself. When we arrived at the hotel we had to quickly settle down as we had a light training session later on that evening.

We took a coach up to ADO Den Haag’s training facility but the coach driver went the wrong way so we ended up arriving later than planned however it was a nice short session which allowed players to get a feel of the new environment. However there were a few rusty touches which were clearly blamed on the jet lag even though the flight was only half an hour.

We then got back to the residence and had a great chicken and rice dinner before bed time curfew but I must add we managed to squeeze in a few beatings on FIFA 11 on the Playstation 3.

Day 2

My alarm was set for 8am which actually meant nothing as I ended up ignoring it for a much needed extra 10 minutes sleep.

I went down and tucked into a nice breakfast shortly after, before we travelled back up to ADO Den Haag for a morning training session with their youth team coach called Wym Van Laar.

He took us for the shortest warm up in history which was to the delight of many of the lads and then got straight into a one touch passing drill followed by crossing and finishing and then finally shooting from 30 yards which surprised most of the boys as it was something we weren’t used to but it must be the Dutch way.

We certainly didn’t complain as they have produced the likes of Robin Van Persie who is a long shot specialist.

We then travelled back to the hotel for some lunch and we had some time to chill and relax. It was then back to the training complex for an evening session with our own Watford coaches, the session was supposed to be pretty light but the enthusiasm of the lads completely changed that.

It was a very good session, which included Coach Dave Reddington first hand experiencing some quick feet from myself during the possession game.

It was then back to the hotel for dinner and a pool session with the physio Kev, which gave some of the boys a chance to display their poor swimming ability and then it was once again bed time.