JEREMY Newton files the last tour diary from the Netherlands.
The Under-13-15s made the trip to Arnhem to visit the memorial. All players and staff walked around the cemetery looking at the soldiers names and ages. With some of them being just 18-years-old, it was quite daunting for the players to see. The players respected the quiet sanctuary of the place and were asking lots of questions. We then went and visited the bridge at Arnhem where the players and staff were able to appreciate the difficulties of the battle that took place and the significance of the bridge in bringing about the end of the Second World War.
The Under-15s played their last game against FC Emma. As we had only 12 fit players, I gave the responsibility to Jordan Young and Tommy Ouldridge to take the team. So they planned the players' set piece objectives and game objectives, then they delivered the team talk. Jack Stanley gave a structured warm-up while Sam Fletcher took on the role of match analyst. James Roberts, our analyst, supported Sam in the role. Also, Sam Beaumont continued his duty as kit and equipment manager throughout the week. It gives all the players a sense of organisation and using their knowledge to deliver to fellow players in their own age group. It also helps them to see how much planning goes in to their games, a structure to a system and the opposition's system, to try and take advantage of it or to change it to combat the opposition's system.
The Under-14s won their game 7-3 with goals coming from Ollie Rejek (2), Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, Kalem Marsh (2), Will Davidson, and Richard King. The players were tired and it showed at times with their passing. Overall it was a successful tour and a lot of hard work. The players hopefully have taken this experience and will take that into their future development at the Academy.
The Under-13s won 6-4. They were 2-1 down at half-time and some words at the break saw Swindon then put pressure on the opponents. Town rallied and goals from Yordi Kaashoek, Oscar Webster, Sam Phelps (2), Ben Holder and Luke Haines won the game. Coach Ben Deacon said: "It was a pleasing performance in the end. After a sluggish start, the boys passed it better in the second half and created more chances to score and win the game."
The players and staff left for The County Ground on Friday morning. The Under-10s-12s will be on the pitch at half-time of the Bradford game to parade the trophy that they won in the first week.
Thanks to all the players and staff for their support and hard work along with Peter Kordula from Barnes Coaches for his driving of the Academy teams over the last two weeks.