From August 26 to 31, we travelled to the Netherlands for a hockey tour to inspire us for the new season. We stayed in two different locations: the first being Utrecht, and the second Den Haag, both being uniquely better than the other. Fortunately, the 15 hour journey on the way there went quicker than expected, and a complimentary meal on the ferry raised our spirits after the tiring drive down to dover.
On the first night, the fantasy hockey league was introduced to us, adding further competition and excitement to the tour: we each had to choose an 11 man team consisting of players we thought would perform the best and, perhaps more importantly, not misbehave. Due to this, picking all of your friends may not have been the best idea which some people found out later in the week.
To kickstart the tour, we first travelled to a training session led by the teachers. Afterwards, we went for lunch at a nearby restaurant to watch the Euro final in which England was playing Holland. However, in typical KES fashion we went and played football (the fifths versus everyone else), which inevitably ended in a win for the fifths. In the evening we went bowling, which was a great success for me after Ollie displayed a shocking performance after claiming to be ‘like a professional’.
Day three posed the challenge of our first fixture against Hilversum hockey club. During the morning before the game, we had some time to explore Utrecht, and it was great to experience a different culture and explore the city. We then travelled to our first match, which ended in a triumphant 5-4 win for the first team, whilst the second team lost their game 11-0. After the final night in Utrecht, we travelled to a training session at Rotterdam HC which was led by the professionals there who are European champions! It was a great opportunity to be coached by professionals and it is something that we will remember for a long time, especially the upcoming season. After that, we travelled to our second fixture against LOHC, stopping off at an extraordinary hockey shop on the way, which even had an astro inside!
Our second matches were closely fought, with the first team losing 6-2, and the second team managing to win 3-2 in extraordinary fashion. Our last day in Holland was an eventful one: we travelled into Amsterdam in the morning and we then had our last fixture against Alliance HC. It was great to explore Amsterdam in the morning and visit the authentic shops and museums that it has to offer.
Our last fixture was our toughest yet, with the first team losing 9-2, and the second team losing 9-0… or so we thought until we realised the scoreboard had run out of space so the final score was 12-0. However, the morale was raised on the way back to Den Haag with Mr Aston’s final well-loved fantasy hockey announcement, in which he revealed the final fantasy league standings: a few notable performances were Josh and Ollie being the highest scorers, and Dan was the lowest scorer (mainly due to missing breakfast twice).
Overall, it was a fantastic week and it was great to spend time with lots of friends in a new country, as well as some enjoyable, challenging hockey being played!