Today was a huge day, one which I think we all enjoyed, and certainly learnt a lot from. The lessons from days like today which should serve us well going forwards.
After being given the morning off from training by Phil, I, along with a few others, attempted to explore some of the shops of Wageningen. However, it appears that Dutch shops, or at least those in Wageningen, close on Monday mornings as well as Sunday. I still managed to get a coffee and a cream-cheese bagel, so I was happy.
The video analysis session was held in the afternoon, looking at the games against KV Wageningen from yesterday. Due to time constraints, and having to travel to Arnhem for the matches tonight, we only managed to watch the first game, the one against the KV Wageningen 3rd team. There were many positives to take away from the game, but also many things which were identified as areas for improvement, both individually and as a team. I normally dread these sessions, but I think I got off relatively lightly, mainly because Phil had already spoken to me about areas for improvement. It may just be that video analysis isn’t needed to pick up what I need to improve on…time shall tell. We also found that when playing the footage backwards, most players look like quite accomplished dancers, and have the ability to throw the ball with some bizarre actions.
After the video analysis, we headed into Arnhem, driven by some of our billets, which we are very grateful for. Once in Arnhem, we played 3 matches against the Dutch Under 19 squad, coached by Leon Simons, one of the most decorated Dutch players of all time. These matches were all very tough, with the Dutch players playing for selection, and so had nothing to lose. We unfortunately lost all 3 games, but by narrow margins. Playing 3 games in a row was always going to be a tough ask, especially when the opposition keeps being replaced with a fresh team. At times we were outmatched for size, but still fought well, and some of their shooting was unbelievable. I think we gave good accounts of ourselves, and pushed several highly skilled teams further than they were expecting. Perhaps most importantly, I got a good block on a 17 year old kid at a free pass, which wasn’t at all helped by him fumbling the ball as he shot.
After such a taxing day, we have again got the morning off tomorrow. I think I will try one more time to check out the shops in Wageningen (3rd time luck perhaps), and spend the rest of the morning reminiscing about the block. In the afternoon tomorrow we have a training session guest hosted by Erik Walsink, who was voted Korfballer of the Century in 2000. This is sure to be yet another informative session, which I’m looking forward to. Following that, we have farewell dinner with our billets, as we leave on Wednesday morning for Belguim.