Saturday was the day of our second game, this time against NEC Nijmegen. It was also the day we were to transfer hotels for the second half of the tour and so the previous night we had packed our bags in preparation.
The game was on 3G turf and so unfortunately prevented two of us from playing due to previous knee operations. The match started at a high tempo and continued to throughout. NEC were very good on the ball and so it made it difficult for us to close them down and break down possession.
At half time it was still a no score draw however both teams had chances to take the lead. During the second half the referee awarded them with a very questionable penalty that NEC took full advantage of to take a 1-0 lead.
This almost infuriated the boys on the pitch and they responded rapidly equalising with a clinical finish from Jordan Bove. The game ended in a 1-1 draw which was an okay result due to the fact the officials where not swinging any decisions our way.
From there we transferred to our hotel which is packed full of things to do including table tennis, tennis, bowling and much more!
The next day we were granted a full day off and headed to Amsterdam with the two other teams Cheltenham and Derby. The day started off with a guided tour around Amsterdam Arena, Ajax’s home stadium.
This was a great experience as the stadium is amazing and a dream to play in for all young footballers. Later on that afternoon we were ‘let loose’ around Amsterdam in order to get lunch and witness some of the surroundings. All I can say is it met all the stereotypes…
In the evening we returned to the Amsterdam Arena in order to watch the equivalent of the charity shield over in Holland which was contended for between Ajax and PSV.
The game was amazing, the atmosphere was like no other due to the ground having a roof. All the lads paid full attention to the game and absorbed a lot form some of the world’s best players.
Today, we returned to a double-session of training and fortunately got an opportunity to have a question and answer session with Steve McLaren. Training was a good blow in preparation for the game tomorrow we have against Vitesse.
The session with McLaren was a once in a life time opportunity and was a chance to be inspired by one of the greatest managers. All the lads prepared various question in order to get what we wanted out of the session. Things such as the transition of styles from country to country were a major talking point in the session.