Holland Hockey Tour
In September 2012, 28 students and 3 members of staff travelled to Holland for a 4 day hockey tour.
An early start on Thursday morning allowed the tour party to arrive in The Hague with plenty of time to settle in and visit the city centre sights including the Parliament buildings. That evening the Perse teams played their first fixtures against Ypenberg Hockey Club. A fast and ferocious 1st XI match resulted in a 1-1 draw, which was a reflection of the high match intensity and excellent standard of play from both teams. The 2nd XI fought hard to compete with their opponents, but unfortunately they were not able to cope with the skill of the Dutch players.
On Friday the tour party visited Duinrell, an amusement and water park. Following this, the second fixture took place at Rotterdam Hockey Club. Both Perse teams were determined to rise to the occasion of playing at one of the biggest clubs in Holland. The 1st XI dominated their opponents in all areas of the game, and an expansive attacking structure allowed the Perse to win the game 4-1. The 2nd XI made huge improvements from the pervious evening, and a much tighter defensive performance resulted in a narrow loss of 1-2.
After two very busy days, players were able to have a more relaxed start to the day on Saturday with a team meeting and tour of Delft, a beautiful and traditional Dutch city. Following this, the Perse teams experienced a training session coached by ex-international Dutch players at HGC hockey club. The highlight of the session for many of the players was the opportunity to develop their drag flick, as well as a surprise visit by Great Britain mens’ hockey captain Barry Middleton, who plays club hockey at HGC.
The final day gave the Perse students another interesting yet different experience of Dutch hockey. The 2nd XI played first, and another strong defensive performance allowed them to push into their opponents half for sustained periods of play. Despite this, they narrowly lost the game, finding it difficult to penetrate through their opponent’s final layer of defence. The 1st XI started their game very well, scoring within 1 minute. However, the game seemed to slip out of their grasp as they lost focus and conceded 3 goals. The Perse team gathered themselves at half time, and 3 goals in 10 minutes turned around the score line so the tour finished with another Perse win. Following the fixture, the group travelled to Amsterdam to visit Anne Frank’s house and have a quick look around the iconic city.
A fantastic tour was had by all, and the Perse students demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and team spirit throughout.