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Josh Lelan - Derby County

The Feyernoord Test

10/08/12 |

Friday 3rd August

On Friday morning we woke up at 8:00; reporting for breakfast at 8:30. Once finished we had half an hour to get ready for training. We left the hotel ready to train, looking forward to the guest coaches we had that morning.

In the baking heat the coaches from Den Haag took the warm up; this ended up being more like a fitness test after the amount of running we did. Both coaches had a good sense of humour, with their focus being on technique and tactical play.

For the hour of play we took part in various passing drills. The tactical part of the session taught us various ways to play up against the formations we would come across when playing Feyenoord the next day

Once finished we headed back to the hotel for a meal and the afternoon off. Before the evening meal we headed into Den Haag city centre to shop and see what the Hague had to offer. We caught the tram back to the Hotel by mostly guessing the signs; Ready to relax that evening before the Feyenoord game.

Derby Training

Saturday 4th August

Reporting for a light breakfast at 9:30; we set about finding and packing our things. We checked out from the hotel at 11:00am, making our way up to Feyenoord for the game. After the 30 minute drive we arrived at the ground. The weather was very hot as it approached kick off so we made sure we took on enough fluid.

The pitch was quality, with a small stand on the side. In the early part Feyenoord were the better team, with plenty of possession, however not doing much with it. the boys were well organised, so despite not keeping the ball well enough we never really felt like would were likely to concede.

In the second half we grew into the game, playing forward more and being less rushed on the ball. Feyenoord did score two quick goals against the run of play; but we showed character to comeback with two goals of our own. In the end with the chances created we could of even gone on to win.

From there we had to have a rushed shower and bite to eat, as we had secured tickets for the game that evening between Den Haag and Newcastle United. This turned out to be not the best game to watch, with both teams keeping the ball for long periods, with little attacking play.

Inevitably the game ended 0-0, and we set off once more towards Delden and the new Hotel. The trip took 2 hours, so once we got to Delden most people wanted to just get to their rooms. The rooms were small like apartments with around 5 boys in each; so it was never going to be easy to sleep.

Sunday 5th August

Up early today for our trip to Amsterdam. The bus took us into the city and soon we arrived at the fantastic Arena Stadium – home to Ajax. We did a stadium tour that lasted around an hour, during which we learned about the history of this famous club.

Tour of The Hague

The guide showed us the changing rooms and technological feats of the stadium. From here went towards the city centre of Amsterdam, and were given an hour to explore just a few of the things Amsterdam has to offer. We then reported to the canal front for a tour off the many canals of Amsterdam. This tour contained lots of historical facts, although the tour was too long and the boat was a little slow; everyone enjoyed the experience of exploring the various canals.

After spending a couple more hours in Amsterdam and grabbing a bite to eat; we hopped back onto the bus to the Amsterdam Arena. By the time we took our seat behind the goal for the grudge match between Ajax and PSV, the atmosphere was already building. The game kicked off and almost instantly PSV took the lead, the game was dominated by long periods of possession, with PSV holding a much stronger attacking threat.

The game ended 4-2 to PSV which was no surprise with Ajax missing key players. After the game we headed back to Delden for a quick bite to eat before relaxing in the rooms and bed.