Scotland Friendly matches against the Netherlands
29-30th June 2013
The Scotland U16 boys left for Holland on the Friday morning (28th June) after we arrived in Amsterdam we got a train to Utrecht then a tram to the bastion hotel where we stayed. We trained that night at S.V.Kampong, eat at the club then went to bed early. In the morning we got to the pitch early to train before the match. The push back was at two and as first time being captain with a young squad I was feeling nervous and so where the rest of the squad, we were to quiet.
We had push back and I was starting as center midfield. They pressed hard and fast and it did not help that our ball pace was slow. The first goal against us was from there interception at top D from a slow pass from the half backs for him to take a strike freely. Second goal against us was very similar as it was an interception from the right winger the Dutch player then beat the left back and created anoverload, 2-0 Netherlands. Thethird goal was worked from there 16? and was scooped to their forward who linked well with other forwards playing one/two touch hockey and worked it round the keeper. They scored again from a counter attack that left us exposed so they were able to pick open passes. 4-0 to the Netherlands in 6 minutes. It only until then did we play properly as after that we had most of the position for the rest of the half but were not clinical enough in the D and short corners were poor so half time score ended 4-0.For the start of the second half I was moved to play center back. The second half was better but could be much improved as we scored 10 minutes into the second half by a ball smashed in to the D and after a scuffle for the ball Ruairidh Grossart put it in the goal making the score 4-1. They scored twice in the last 10 minutes leaving the end score 7-1 to the Netherlands.They won four short corners in the game but we successfully saved them as I saved two on the line and Dean Baber saved one on the line. Despite the score lines both keepers (Gordon Clark and James Carrie playedextremely well)
The team learnt a lot from the loss that day. One of the main things we lacked in was self believe. After a shameful defeat we all up for the game ahead. Before the game my team huddle talk was much better as I was more confident. The pitch had a great atmosphere as the crowd was big as it always is for hockey in Holland.
The game had high intensity from start to finish as both teams fought harder for the game. They scored the first goal from a short corner that went bottom left but we pulled it back by scoring at a short corner that was worked in for the right side. The ball was pulled out I stopped the ball dummied to play it for the hitter then slipped it left for Rob Harwood to finish it bottom right. Half time it was 1-1. We continued to fight for every ball and we created several chances but in the end they scored two more. 3-1 to the Netherlands. The game was more in joy able and it was a close competition.
I have learnt a lot from this trip and it has been a great experience for me being captain of the U16 Scotland squad. We now have to learn from our mistakes and carry on to our next international games coming up as the team is going to Wrexham in Wales to play against Ireland and Wales.
I would also like to thank the people that have prepared me to play for my country. Firstly I would like thank my club Kelburne for supporting me from the start, my school G.S.O.S (Glasgow School Of sport) and to the Scotland coach/manager team.