We started our journey to Holland early in the morning, 5:30am, from the Riverside Stadium. From there we had a short journey to Newcastle Airport where we departed to Schipol (Amsterdam). The flight only lasted 55 minutes leading to a quick 45 minute drive to the Van der Valk Hotel Glitze-Rijen where we dropped off our gear and had our dinner.
Following dinner, the squad picked up their traditional Dutch bicycles and rode to the training facilities for a light technical session ahead of our game the following day. To finish the long day we had an evening meal and got a well needed sleep.
Day 2 was the day of our first game against FC Twente. We woke up at a reasonable 7.45am, ready for breakfast. After that we had a light tactical session to embed the set plays and game plan in our heads for the fixture. We then had a light lunch followed by a 1 hour bus journey to the ground. The surface was not too bad and the vibe in the changing room was positive, everybody was up for the occasion. It was a hard game but we managed to win 1-0 with a very good defensive performance. We headed back to the hotel for tea and to bed.
Today we travelled to NAC Breda for a coaching session from their Academy Manager and U19 coach. The session was very familiar from what we experience in England and the same messages were said, which I think many clubs try to enforce. We then received a tour around their new ground which was a good experience differing from Middlesbrough’s ground. On the evening we had tea and did some educational work.