LFE’S pre-season tour programme has been hailed as providing Apprentice players with an “invaluable experience”.
That comment came from Walsall youngster Jon Haynes but has been echoed by fellow Apprentices from Scunthorpe Utd, Watford and Wycombe Wanderers.
All in all 74 Apprentices from four Football League sides spent two weeks in Holland with each club hosted by a top Eredivisie outfit in week one of the tour.
Feyenoord, FC Utrecht, ADO Den Haag and NEC Nijmegen made their training facilities and coaching staff available to the English clubs in an exchange of ideas and football philosophies.
As well as learning on the pitch players from all four clubs were given the opportunity to sample the Dutch culture.
Away from competitive element of a youth tournament and training at state-of the-art facilities the itinerary included visits to the Arnhem War Memorial and day trips to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Arnhem.
The Apprentices were also keen spectators at the Amsterdam Arena as they watched FC Twente beat Ajax 2-1 in an entertaining Dutch Super Cup Final.
LFE Project Manager Dan Jolley said:
“On a professional basis it’s a great opportunity for them as players to experience different styles of play, coaching and tactics while on a cultural level it should help them all to develop as individuals.”
“Overall the trip was a great success, it was a good bonding trip and a lot of the lads enjoyed their time here not just in the football but all the other activities we got involved in” added Haynes.
For Wycombe Wanderer’s midfielder Max Kretzschmar the two weeks has left a lasting imprint on his football brain. “It would be very hard for me to pick highlights from the tour because the whole two weeks has been a great experience however, the match against Vitesse sticks in my mind because personally because I took a lot from it.”
“I learnt about the Dutch movement in midfield and fluidity of the players moving to receive the ball and I’ll be looking to replicate that in the future.”
“It has been an incredible tour as all the teams have been able to experience another culture.”