After the Second Years’ epic bowling performance on Thursday night, we started to concentrate on the match we had coming up on the Friday night.
LFE had set up a great fixture against Eredivisie outfit Vitesse from Arnhem.
Although we knew it would be a tough game, we fully believed in the quality that we had in the team.
On Friday morning, we trained at the local training facility, once again at SVV Zutphania. We worked on some shape play in the morning which would hopefully help us deal with the sublime movement of the Dutch.
Having prepared ourselves as much as we could, we set out on the coach to Vitesse’s training ground – Papendal, which is also the Olympic centre and where we will be staying next week.
All the preparation in the world could not have prepared us for the speed in which Vitesse came out of the blocks. The speed and accuracy of their slick passing and movement took us all by surprise. With the opposition recording a countless number of shots in the opening stages, it was no surprise that they opened the scoring.
A long diagonal ball was headed down into the box for a midfielder runner to score a simple finish.
As the game developed our midfielders’ influence started to grow and we started to cope with Vitesse’s movement very well. We felt that we had come to terms with their tactics as the half time whistle blew. With fresh motivation from the coaches, we started the second half very well. With 60 minutes gone, we completed a full flowing move with a clinical finish from Nathan Mavila having done all the hard work himself.
With extra pressure being exerted from Vitesse, we were being bombarded with long range shots. With every player out on their feet, Vitesse had one more long shot which unfortunately found the top corner leaving keeper Matt Ingram no chance.
As the Dutch are taught, “when winning, keep the ball”, and that is exactly what they did with some great technical play until the final whistle. Although we were gutted for losing, we were very pleased with the effort and the way we equipped ourselves against an outstanding team.
To read a full match report please click here
The next day we were absolutely shattered but we were looking forward to our day out in Amsterdam which would conclude in the equivalent of the Dutch Community Shield played between Ajax and FC Twente.
The day began with a light pool session for those involved for the majority of last night’s game, while everyone else took a stroll down to the training pitch for a session of their own.
Judging by the banter flying around in the pool spirits were still high despite the defeat, the relaxing pool a welcome relief for the tired legs.
After a light lunch, the boys hopped onto the coach bound for Amsterdam. Upon arrival, we immediately noticed that Amsterdam was significantly different from any English city.
There was organised chaos all around us, a number of us almost colliding with Dutch cyclists. We found that it was an interesting experience to say the least with numerous places of amusement.
In the evening, we were entertained by FC Twente and Ajax in a very interesting game where both teams demonstrated the Dutch way of passing and moving with Twente running out 2-1 winners.
With everyone exhausted from the day we headed back on the coach and got home at midnight – we all headed straight to bed! Tomorrow we move on to our second base at Papendal. I will report back on our next two games, against Walsall on Monday and SVV on Wednesday.