After a game on Wednesday we drifted into recovery mode and with a fair few of the lads now feeling fatigued we were given a lie-in until 9:30am.
Then it was out for a recovery session which was finished off with a few games of head tennis.
After lunch we went for a short bike tour through the local town. It was a small town, but it was nice to see the area and look at the different architecture. Our ride back to the hotel included a quick pit-stop for snacks.
When we got back to the hotel we were left to our own devices until dinner at 8pm so half a dozen of us decided to make use of the indoor tennis courts. It started off as a bit of fun but ended up as competitive 5 set marathons though my defeat to Brandon (Haunstrup) also brought about a John McEnroe style reaction!
After dinner we had a quick meeting to talk about the game. We discussed things we had spoken about before the game and how we’d successfully achieved a lot of things but still had plenty of areas to improve upon.
We also got told that we weren’t going to participate in the LFE tournament on the penultimate day due to a lot of niggles and injuries leaving us with 11 fully fit players. With our first competitive game just a few days away next Tuesday against Exeter and a match the following Saturday our stance was probably correct.
The last day on the tour was an early start so we could train and still watch the games in the tournament. A lot of the lads are now extremely tired as we’ve worked hard over the last 12 days.
We went over to watch Sheffield United vs Bradford which ended 1-1, the same result as the first game between Bradford vs Birmingham.
Straight after the game Sheffield had to play Birmingham which also ended 1-1 and the teams therefore ended up in a three-way penalty shoot out to decide the finalists.
Bradford and Birmingham progressed and it was the side from West Yorkshire qho started on the front foot going ahead in the first 10 minutes.
Birmingham responded though with two quick goals before adding a third to seal their win.
The hotel had organised a barbecue as the last meal of the tour and it was a great way to finish it all off. The food was unbelievable and we really enjoyed the meal, some speeches were made and all the staff at the hotel were thanked and also our guide (Stijn) was given a bottle of wine and a Portsmouth tracksuit as a thank you.
We had a fantastic trip and everything has been of a really top standard. The facilities, the staff, the accommodation, the opponents of teams we’ve played, the trip to Amsterdam etc. it’s been a great experience for everyone and I think everyone that participated in the tour has enjoyed themselves. Personally, I’ve learnt a lot both on and off the pitch and that’s the main reason we came out here. As a team, we’ve all learned more about each other and we’ve gelled as a team. That was our main goal on the tour, ‘to create a better team atmosphere’ and we’ve definitely done that.
To finish it all off I want to say a big thank you to LFE who were in charge of the tour, they’ve done an amazing job putting it all together, a big thank you to Training trips who have also been a major factor helping the LFE out and keeping the tour well organized and also a massive thank you to all the staff at the Golden Tulip and Aparthotels who made it even better with great service throughout our stay. I would definitely recommend this tour to everyone!