Julie from the Rayburn Sports Team joined Longsands Academy on their Football tour this October in the Netherlands. She gives us a play-by-play on the groups 4 day tour, packed with sports, football ground visits and trips to McDonalds.
DAY ONE – OFF WE GO
After and early start travelling solo down to Dover, I met the team at the passenger terminal and we headed for The Netherlands. When we arrived at the hostel and after been fed and watered, we had our first (and last) moment of relaxation.
DAY TWO – AMSTERDAM AND ARENAS
The adventure begins! Arriving at Amsterdam Centraal Station we headed off to explore the city. The team had the time for a photo opportunity as we arrived at the famous ‘iamsterdam’ sign before we took a break for lunch – they couldn’t wait to visit a Holland McDonalds.
We headed back to Amsterdam Centraal Station to depart for the Amsterdam ArenA. Greeted by an Amsterdam fan tour guide, we were taken around the stadium to visit the control rooms, press boxes and home and away changing rooms. The tour ended in the Ajax Museum and fan shop, giving the group a chance to see all the trophies and purchase keepsakes – all the boys brought miniature footballs to kick around outside.
In the evening the team had their first fixture against HSV Odin’59. The U13 had a victory of 4 – 3 with the U15 keeping up this streak with a win of 6 – 0.
Did you know? – The grass for the AJAX FC stadium is grown by a local farmer and transported to the stadium when needed.
DAY THREE – TRAINING FOR A WIN
With a very early start, we made our way to the home of AZ Alkmaar for the training session. The team had an hour and a half training session with the professional youth coaches on the training pitch, practicing footwork, technical and dribbling skills whilst I sat and watched them with stunning views of the stadium! These sessions can be tailored to the group’s preferences.
After the training, with the boys raring and ready to go, we headed to their second fixture at FC Castricum. Welcomed by a Union Jack flag the team got straight onto the pitch to warm up. With music blasting through speakers to create a real life football atmosphere, the team got ready to head out onto the pitch. The U15’s played first this time against FC Castricum, with a triumphant win of 8 – 2 followed by another amazing win of 6 – 0 by the U13’s.
With another smashing victory for the team, we headed to Walibi World for our final few hours of adventure. We were lucky enough to visit during the Halloween Fright Night event – I’m not a fan of scary things to I avoided this at all costs – but the rest of the group enjoyed them and were adrenaline-fuelled for the rest of the day!
DAY FOUR – GOODBYE HOLLAND!
It was time to say goodbye to Holland. With four wins under their belt, the Longsands Academy headed back to the UK!
- Watching the team being trained by professional coaches whilst having the view of the stadium was amazing!
- Taking them all that way for them to win every game was great – it definitely upped their confidence.
- The Thai curry made by the families of the players at FC Castricum!