JEREMY Newton files his latest tour diary from the Academy tour of the Netherlands.
THE Under-13s, 14s and 15s made the trip to Rotterdam to play Excelsior Rotterdam. The 13s and 14s played at the training ground, while the 15s played in the Excelsior stadium. The morning was broken up with age groups doing their own group work. I had the 15s and we broke up into four groups and looked at different formations and scenarios and how they would cope playing against different systems. They then fed back their presentations to the rest of the age groups. This was interesting to check their undemanding of their roles and responsibilities as well as others within the team. The 13s and 14s had their own team meetings and wrote up individual objectives, along with their post-match strengths from previous games.
The 13s went down 3-0, with the players disappointed with their own performances. They hope to bounce back with a better performance tomorrow when they play Gravenzande. Coach Ben Deacon commented: "We didn't start well. We were slow to get into any type of passing rhythm. Hopefully, the players will be able to reflect on their game, learn from it and take it to tomorrow's game.
The 14s won 5-0 with another goal-scoring performance from Jayden Mitchell-Lawson. He scored another four to take his tally to an impressive eight in two games. The other goal came from Ollie Rejek. Coach Andy Minturn said: "It was another good, collective performance against a good, technical side, who were very good at retaining possession and the players applied themselves very well. This showed in their performance. Stand-out performances were Charlie Quarrell and Alex Hallett."
The 15s won 3-1 with goals coming from Scott Twine (two) and Jordan Young. It was a much-improved performance from the 15s, who played very well at times and were in control of the game. They passed the ball very well at times and should have scored more goals. Having said that, all players received game time and we picked up a few injuries. Aiden Compton did not play due to his hamstring and then Tommy Ouldridge came off with a dead leg so we will assess the injuries tomorrow, before our third game.
We will be visiting Feynoord tomorrow to view their first team training. We will then take a trip to the stadium and club shop to pick up some gifts, before our game tomorrow.