The Youth Team will travel to The Netherlands on Tuesday 31st July, as part of a pre-season trip organised by League Football Education (LFE).
Dale are one of eight clubs that will step up their preparations for the new season by taking on their peers at top Dutch clubs until the trip’s conclusion on Sunday 12 August.
The initiative – fully subsidised by the Erasmus+ fund – promotes development and facilitates the exchange of skills and ideas between coaches and players in both countries. During the two-week trip, Dale along with Birmingham City will travel to VVV Venlo. Leeds United and Sheffield United will be hosted by FC Twente, Portsmouth and Grimsby Town are based at FC Emmen, while Crewe Alexandra and Newport County staying with FC Groningen.
The Dutch experience has been designed to broaden personal and professional horizons, with the players scheduled to take part in a range of cultural activities. These include language lessons, a visit to the Overloon War Museum and a trip to Amsterdam city centre, as well as footgolf, an Amsterdam Arena tour and tickets to watch Eredivisie champions PSV play against KNVB Cup winners Feyenoord in the Johan Cruyff Shield, held at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.
On the pitch, Dale will experience training sessions led by the European coaches to prepare for testing fixtures against Eredivisie clubs Feyenoord and NAC Breda, and Belgian First Division side KAA Gent.
LFE Project Manager Dan Jolley said: “This initiative meets the cultural and sporting aims aligned to Erasmus+ and at the same time allows over one-hundred players in the English academy system the opportunity to sample life, training and work in another European nation.
“Many of them will experience playing against continental opposition for the first time. Learning about different styles of play, coaching and tactics can only help them become better players.”