PSV Eindhoven Football Tour 2017
At 4.45am on Friday 31st March, 30 students from Years 8-10 and 3 members of staff met bleary eyed at school, ready for the trip of a lifetime on the PSV Eindhoven football tour. As mums and dads waved goodbye, it was a tranquil coach journey as we proceeded down to Dover to catch the ferry to Calais. Following a very calm crossing, we continued our journey through France and Belgium to our destination in Holland.
On arrival at the Novotel Eindhoven, we met our Inspiresport guide Niels, room keys were distributed, students explored their new surroundings and settled in their rooms. Dinner was provided by the hotel and we all ate heartily to energise ourselves for the next few days of training ahead.
Following a fantastic breakfast buffet and a quick trip to a shopping outlet which included a Nike store, we arrived at PSV’s very impressive training ground 'De Herdgang' for the first of our training sessions. As the students got off their coach they bumped into PSV first team players, took selfies and shook hands as the players were about to board their bus for their fixture that evening in Rotterdam.
Students were then put through their paces by the excellent PSV coaches in a one and half hour session working on students being able to play with both feet and defending. After showering, a packed lunch was provided which we ate sitting in the sunshine overlooking the fantastic facilities at PSV. Afterwards we travelled to the Phillips Stadium for a tour of the PSV ground, club museum and the children spent their parents’ hard earned euros in the club shop.
After a bit of down time and three course dinner, we took a coach journey to Rotterdam to watch Sparta play PSV in the Juniper football league. In an atmospheric game, PSV won 2-0 to send the students to bed happy!
On Sunday, students trained at 'De Herdgang' under the expert coaching from PSV. They really worked hard on their passing, shooting, goalkeeping and transitions between attack and defence. Following a lengthy lunch in the sun and an impromptu match between all, the students had some down time to relax at the hotel before the first match of the tour against sides from FC Eindhoven, one of the strongest youth clubs in the area. First aider Mrs Parnell worked miracles to get so many injury doubts through their fitness tests and on to the pitch!
The Under 15's conceded an early goal in their match before equalising through a charismatic Mané strike; the home side responded straight away and then added a third just before half time. With Mr Taylor's words ringing in their ears, the boys mounted a spirited response. Omari pulled a goal back for CAN but again in a tight game the home team scored twice at crucial times before Mané finished coolly under pressure to get his second of the game. The CAN team finished strongly being roared on by the younger team and staff to narrowly lose a tight game 5-3. Mr Taylor struggled to give a man of the match as so many players played exceptionally well, particularly Gooch, Kiza, Chamberlain, Poll & Lloyd-Patrick. Eventually he plumped for Sexton who made some fantastic saves throughout the match.
The Under 13 & 14 combined team faced a very challenging match but a number of players showed real effort to apply what they had learnt from the PSV coaches in a game situation. Atkins made some fantastic saves to keep CAN in the game. After a re-jig of both teams at half time, the second half was a lot closer as Barnes pulled one back with a tidy finish from skipper Healing’s assist. The whole team showed great effort and attitude to keep going under tough circumstances and impressed the watching crowd.
On the way home the whole bus was buzzing as everyone discussed the events of the matches. After a hearty meal at the hotel, all the students enjoyed a sports quiz organised by Niels and won by Sexton.
On Monday, the group enjoyed a leisurely five course breakfast and a bit of downtime at the hotel before a busy schedule ahead. In the morning the group had their third training session at PSV, working on transitions and shooting with both feet while the teachers played some foot volleyball, expertly refereed by Adams.
After lunch, Niels took the group on a tour of Eindhoven including the statue of Fritz Phillips, the stunning Catarina Church built in 1240 with two towers one male and one female, the Van Abbé Art Museum, City Hall and Stratumseind (the longest bar street in the Netherlands) before students had some free time to explore the city. Following this we travelled straight from Eindhoven over the border to Belgium to play Minderhout VV, where we received a fantastic welcome from all.
The Under 13 and 14s got off to a cracking start when Pickford pounced on the home keeper’s error to fire home. The side defended with great desire and Atkins made some phenomenal saves to keep our Belgian friends at bay. Playing four lots of 20 minutes gave the team plenty of opportunities to rehydrate and juggle the side to keep the energy levels high.
The team continued to look a threat on the break through Healing and Pickford while Rowe, Delaney, Branch and 'Cheryl' Twiddy defended superbly. Mr Moggan was so impressed by the way players like Collis, Freeman and Peel listened to his instructions to adapt to the large pitch and improve their football education. The young Belgian referee was excellent in the manner he controlled the game letting it flow. Fans favourite Wells came on to a great reception from the watching supporters and quickly made an impact with his high energy pressing game. The home side continued to look for a winner but the boys battled, pressed and defended to frustrate the hosts. Mané was introduced from the bench and gave everyone a lift with his pace and silky skills. Eventually the home side’s pressure counted and they scored from a cool finish to make it 2-1. CAN continued to push for an equaliser but it was not to be. The game finished and there were smiles and handshakes all round from all the players, coaches, referee and fans on a truly memorable night for all involved.
The Under 15 side had a challenging assignment against a very impressive Under 17 side and missing star man Kiza through injury. A slow start soon saw the team multiple goals behind while they caught up with the pace of the game. A rousing team talk from Mr Taylor at half time saw the expected reaction from the boys as they came out firing with the attitude and determination characteristic of CAN sides on this trip. French-Burwood was the best player on the pitch and Rush scored a consolation goal for CAN with a cool lofted finish which was celebrated emphatically by the boys as if they had won the World Cup! The game finished with a strong win for the home side, after shaking hands with the opposition, the Under 15's races straight across to cheer on the Under 13/14's to cheer them on.
Mr Taylor and Mr Moggan had been so impressed with the whole squad’s attitude, behaviour, sportsmanship, effort and determination throughout the trip that they treated the group to a McDonalds on the way home.
Following an early start to get packed up ready for home, there were some tired bodies at breakfast on the final morning. The group descended on 'De Herdgang' for their last superb coaching session at PSV. Whilst the students were working hard on developing their 1 v 1 skills, the teachers were being inspired by watching former Barcelona, Bayern Munich & AC Milan player Mark Van Bommel coach the PSV youth team. Certificates and a signed PSV shirt were presented by the coaches at the end of the session. The students and staff were in awe when legendary Man Utd and Real Madrid striker Ruud Van Nistlerooy, came out to speak to the group, sign autographs and pose for photographs.
After a quick shower, the group grabbed their packed lunch and jumped on the bus for the drive home to Calais. On the ferry the teacher’s awards and certificates were given out to students for some superb performances throughout the tour with Connor Atkins receiving Star Player of the Tour for his performances in goal. All were buzzing with enthusiasm as great stories and memories of the tour were shared on the journey home. It was very clear for the teachers to see how much the students had learnt and grown as people. This tour really saw the very best of CAN students and it was a pleasure for the teachers to spend 5 days with 30 great young adults. The group arrived home at 9.20pm on Tuesday night, tired but extremely happy from a truly memorable tour.
Well done to everyone and a big thank you to Mr Taylor and Mrs Parnell for organising such an inspirational trip for all.
Mr Moggan – 5th April 2017
EO – My favourite part of this trip was when we went to the PSV match. We got to see Paul Pogba’s older brother
AF - The tour of the stadium
TG – Meeting the players before they had their game vs Sparta and looking forward to Mr Taylor buying us a McDonalds
KA – Everything
TR – Walking around Eindhoven City centre and experiencing a different culture. Also I enjoyed the top quality coaching
VC – Playing the matches and training