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U18s Holland diary - day seven

Posted: Tue 05 Aug 2014
Author: Jeremy Poulson

The Blues U18s with Edwin Van Der Sar

Image by: Oliver Leaper

Today marked the halfway point of the Holland tour.

It was also the day where the team transferred hotels from Mierlo to Deldon via several activities in Amsterdam. Deldon will see the Blues U18s team play FC Twente U19s and compete on the last day in the LFE tournament against English sides Sheffield United, Portsmouth and Bradford.

The day started with a 9am departure from the Carlton Hotel in Mierlo, and the squad travelled an hour and a half to the Dutch city of Amsterdam, where they met up with the other English teams for the first time at the Arena Stadium, the home ground of Ajax. There was an hour and a half tour of the stadium with a tour guide.

Once the tour was complete, the team were back on the bus for a short journey in to the capital city, for a tweet tour of Amsterdam where the players were separated into smaller groups and the challenge was to try and tweet a selfie of 12 different famous landmarks.

After the squad reconvened at 3pm which saw the end of the challenge, the group were back on the coach to the Ajax facilities for a special question and answer session of 45 minutes with the former Ajax and Premier League goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar (pictured above) and his son Joe, who is currently part of the Ajax Academy. The group quizzed both father and son regarding various parts of their past and current career experiences in football.

With a short walk to Arena Stadium after the completion of the Q & A session, the group were then able to watch the Johan Cruyff Shield, which was competed for by PEC Zwolle and Ajax. The Ajax side came close at the start of the game after hitting the post, but it was PEC Zwolle that struck after half-time and ended up being the final winners of the shield. The Blues players got up and close with some of the victorious players on the pitch side.

At the end of the presentation ceremony, it was time for the two hour coach trip to the Apart Hotel in Deldon.

Blues U18s captain Dom Bernard commented: "Today was the day to leave the hotel and set off to Delden, where we met up with the other three English teams that had joined us on this tour.

"This involved a Twitter tour around Amsterdam and the chance to see all the beautiful sights it had. After a good challenge, Amsterdam Arena was the next stop and it was an amazing stadium.
"The  Q & A with Edwin Van Der Sar was fascinating as we got to see how his career had panned out and the difficulties he went through to become a top professional footballer.

"We ended an enjoyable day by going to the Dutch Super Cup and watching Ajax vs Zwolle which was great to watch as we had the chance to see the players up close and watch their movement pitch side".

To read Jeremy's review of day one, click here, day two here, day three, including a report of the team's win over Willem II, here, day four here, day five here and day six here.
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