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was surreal. We were definitely outnumbered by Dutch fans, but we were the more passionate supporters, even making it onto the big screen! The final score was 1-0 to the Netherlands. Still in high spirits, we chanted and sang all the way back to the hostel!
The next morning we packed our bags and headed back into Amsterdam and hopped on the Canal Cruise, which many of the girls used as a time to catch up with lost sleep. Next stop was HIC Hockey club where we would play in the European Youth Hockey Festival. This was the part of the trip everyone was dreading as we would have to camp alongside 15 other hockey teams ... in an 18 man tent. At HIC we soon realised that we were the only English team in the tournament and headed for our tent, which consisted of 18 beds fitted tightly next to each other in two rows. We then played the first match of the tournament against hosts and overall tournament winners HIC. We played well but were narrowly defeated.
After our match we got a shower and then headed for the BBQ, which was LITERALLY the best food we’d
had all week, although it seemed to disagree with
Jess! Afterwards there was a disco, which everyone
was pleased about, especially Isabella Robson, who
now seems destined to study international relations at University. It gave us a chance to socialise and make friends with the other players from different nationalities. We then had our first dreaded night in the tent...
We woke up the next morning absolutely freezing, as unfortunately the tent had failed to provide us with any insulation. We had three hard matches ahead of us during the day and although we played very well again we were defeated in all three. Lifting the mood after our exhausting day, we headed to the Eurohockey for the second time
to watch the women’s final and bronze medal matches. England beat Germany 2-0 which meant they finished with a bronze medal and after the match some of the girls got to meet the England players and see their medals.
We then headed back to the pitch to watch the final between Belgium and the Netherlands. The atmosphere was unforgettable, as orange flags were flying through
the crowd in support of the Dutch home team. We all supported the underdogs and became Belgian supporters, but sadly they lost 3-0, which meant the Netherlands were the overall winners of the tournament. After watching a great evening of hockey we were all looking forward to returning to camp for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately the team next door had other ideas and kept us awake till 4am!
The next morning we realised we were playing the team that had kept us up all night. We were all pumped and wanted to win. We lost. Going into the final match of the tournament, everyone was tired, but our spirits were lifted when we received support from our Belgian fans,
who were rather fond of Aisha. We ended up drawing thanks to some generous umpiring. We gathered our things and headed back to the hostel where we would spend our final night in Amsterdam.
We woke up for our final day in Amsterdam and headed into the famous Dam square where everyone split off to do some final sightseeing. Some of the girls were rather shocked after seeing some unusual shop window displays. However we all joined up safely and drove to the port ready to board the ferry. The highlight of the ferry was when we attracted a crowd by dancing and singing to our speaker and playing our musical playlist. We were all very surprised and rather confused to find out Mr Murray knew all the words to Frozen’s Let it Go and Aladdin’s A Whole New World. We arrived in England at the Premier Inn in the early hours of the morning and everyone was ready for their first lie-in of the tour and to sleep in proper beds.
The next morning we headed for Repton, as we were playing yet another tournament. The first match we played was against Trent College. Although we’d lost all week, there was improvement individually and also as a team.
It was a close match but we still lost. The next match we played was against Sedbergh and we knew it would be a tough match. We lost, but by this point you could tell we were all exhausted. 12 matches in 10 days wasn’t easy!
The final day had come; the first match of the day was against Framlingham who we had lost to at the beginning of the tour 6-0. We managed to get a draw and then all went for pizza, which was absolutely stunning and then returned to play our final tour match against a very strong Cranleigh, which again unfortunately resulted in a defeat. After, playing our final match we quickly departed from Repton and started our journey back to school. We would like to thank Mr Murray, Mr Prescott, Mrs Elstone and Miss Beaumont on behalf of the squad for taking up their free time to come and accompany us on a tour, as it benefited us all so much due to the high standard we competed against. We had so much fun, played some great hockey and became much closer as a group!
Mr WM Murray
www.hymerscollege.co.uk I 105
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