Footballers traveled to Holland during Easter Break

BCHS Years 8-10 footballers had a football filled four days of fun in Rotterdam, Holland.

The visit started with a stadium tour at the iconic Amsterdam ArenA of Ajax FC, with displays of former European successes and countless domestic awards. Students had behind the scenes access to stadium media suites, press conference room, president’s box and dugouts which topped off a fascinating visit. Then students made a  quick transfer across to League rivals Feyenoord to watch their fixture against fellow Rotterdam club Excelsior. Last year’s Champions Feyenoord dazzled the fans with a 5-0 victory, giving the boys plenty of inspiration for their forthcoming training sessions with the Feyenoord Academy.

 A student’s highlight of this day was seeing Van Basten’s Golden Boot up close in the Ajax Museum.

 After a day of travelling and a day watching the professionals play, the boys were itching to get on the pitch themselves. First up was the introductory session with the Feyenoord coaching, focusing on the development of their prestigious ‘Total Football’ system, with 1v1 challenges, close control practices and small sided games. A brief stop for lunch before the second session – moving on to a crossing and finishing and speed games, where Mr Walker showed everyone exactly how it was done. That evening the boys had the opportunity to display their newly developed skills with a showcase fixture against a local side. The highlight of the three tough games was the Year 10s hard fought draw with a dramatic last gasp equaliser.

A student’s highlight of this day was competing against the local teams and scoring twice for the Year 10 team

The students’ second stadium tour took place at De Kuip, the famous Feyenoord stadium where we’d seen the first team win the previous weekend. The tours were guided by highly knowledgeable club staff who told tales of the great players past and present. The club shops were raided for replica shirts, tracksuits, fridge magnets and even a stylish watch before heading on to ten-pin bowling where Mr White stole the show with a score in excess of 170! Another training session with ex-player Mikey Obiku and his team followed, in this session the boys were challenged on their close control, more 1v1 skills and finishing from distance. That evening back at the hotel, the boys proved they weren’t sick of football yet, sitting around together watching the Champions League – witnessing an outrageous overhead kick by Ronaldo, sure to be tried out in training the following day. 

The trip was completed with a round-robin tournament, coach’s knockout challenges and a final presentation – with all participants receiving an autograph and a certificate from coach Mikey before heading home. Special mentions to the men of tour – Malachy Adams (Yr. 8), Michael Jenkins (Yr. 9) and Jude Wood (Yr. 10).