Lamontville Golden Arrows reserve team captain Sibusiso Sibeko says the excitement is building ahead of their week-long trip to Netherlands at the end of the week.
Abafana Bes’thende depart for a whirlwind journey to the European country on Friday, March 18, as part of their prize for winning the 2015/16 MultiChoice Diski Challenge.
“Everyone is very excited and we’re all really geared up for this trip,” Sibeko told PSL.co.za. “You can see it on the training field and we can’t wait to get onto that plane on Friday.”
The Arrows reserves will be based in Zwolle, in the centre of Holland, and will train at the Ijsseldelta Stadium, the home of PEC Zwolle.
They will watch a Dutch Eredivisie – Premier League – match between the hosts and Willem II on Saturday, before facing PEC’s Reserves on Sunday.
They will then face other reserve teams from FC Twente and Heracles on Tuesday and Thursday, while training at the Royal Netherlands Football Association Headquarters, KNVB, in Utrecht.
There they will train under the watchful eye of Holland’s Under-19 coach, Aron Winter, who is a former Ajax Amsterdam, Lazio and Inter Milan midfielder.
Arrows will also be privileged enough to observe a training session of the Netherlands Senior national team.
Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Hans Vonk, now director of football at Heerenveen, will visit the team for a motivational talk, while they will also be given guidance by famous Dutch coach, Foppe de Haan.
“It’s going to be a very good experience because for most of us it will be our first time playing in Europe,” Sibeko explained. “We’ll really get to test our levels as well as we come up against our age level players.
“Everyone knows how highly Dutch players are rated, so it’s something to really look forward to. The exposure will be wonderful for everyone.”
The trip concludes with Arrows players attending an international friendly between the Netherlands and France at the Amsterdam Arena on Friday, March 25.
“It’s something to look forward to because not everyone gets the chance to watch such a big game in Europe,” Sibeko added.
Golden Arrows European trip Schedule
Departure (Friday, 18 March)
• Depart from King Shaka International at 20h00 (Flight SA 582)
• Arrive at OR Tambo International at 21h05
• Depart from OR Tambo International at 23h59 (Flight KL592)
• Arrive at Schiphol Airport at 10h15 (Saturday, 19 March 2016)
Day 1 (Saturday, 19 March) – Watch Eredivisie match (PEC Zwolle vs Willem ll)
Day 2 (Sunday, 20 March) – Match day vs. PEC Zwolle
Day 3 (Monday, 21 March) – Training (Ijsseldelta Stadium)
Day 4 (Tuesday, 22 March) – Match day vs. FC Twente
Day 5 (Wednesday, 23 March) – KNVB training
Day 6 (Thursday, 24 March) – Match day vs. Heracles
Day 7 (Friday, 25 March) – Travel to Amsterdam to watch Netherlands vs. France
Day 8 (Saturday, 26 March) – Return home, arrival at O.R. Tambo at 22h10
To follow the team’s day-to-day journey in the Netherlands and for more information, please visit:
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