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Youth Team: Holland Day 4

31 July 2015

Donderdag or Rochdale Does Time Team


Day four in Holland - brought to you by Alistair Linden, the club's Education Officer...

Today on Time Team we have 2 groups of investigators working on completely unrelated problems, one in Belgium the other in Holland. Who says we can’t truly do international studies!

First of all let me apologise for the limited eyewitness narrative of today’s exercise in diplomatic football exchanges. I was absent today on an important mission to Belgium, or Waterloo to be precise. It has been 200 years since the battle that changed Europe and the opportunity was too big to miss. 

To cut a long story short, it was fascinating especially because there was an actual archaeological dig happening at one of the crucial sites of the battle, Hougoumont Farm. As I wandered around the site who do I see standing in hole, Phil Harding, the Wildman of Channel 4’s Time Team. I couldn’t get his attention because he was engrossed in measuring his hole. I have never seen a man so focused on the task he had to do, measuring a hole’s depth. I managed to talk to some other archaeologists and amongst them were several injured servicemen including 2 double amputees who were using the dig as therapy. It was remarkable to observe the teamwork and enthusiasm of such a diverse group focused on a common objective.

As for the other team back in Holland, today was the first of 2 sessions with Dutch coaches. The sessions proved to be challenging for the lads as they came to terms with a different style of coaching borne out of a unique football culture. As ever with Captain Ashcroft and his stout team of coaches they are busy as I type dissecting the session with the lads to extract positives, look for application and discuss how the next session can be even more productive. I can safely say the Dutch Time Team have yet to dig up the reason the Dutch Player Production Line is so revered. There is time and perhaps next week a breakthrough will be made.

As for the antics of our cheeky chaps today, the Brown Brothers, well there was little to be seen. They avoided tripping, breaking stuff and asking daft questions. However cub reporter Danny Edwards entered the Incompetence Stakes with a late run. Having snapped away merrily for 10 minutes he realised he had left the cameras SD Card in his laptop and had to race back to the hotel for it through a deluge that was truly biblical.

Tomorrow Rochdale Academy plays its first ever foreign fixture against FC Dordrecht. The lads are really pumped for this one and can’t wait for kick-off. Competition for starting positions is keen AND I’ve met Phil Harding!!  Heady days indeed for The Dale!


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