Day 1. The Longest Day!
03:45 saw the start of day one, and the longest day of the tour.
As the players started to arrive at Farnborough station in the dead of night we began to realise the start of the trip that had been in the planning for the last 10 months.
This was to be the 8th time in the last 10 years that Mytchett Athletic FC had been represented in Denmark. And this year saw 4 teams; 3 x small sided, 1 x U11 and 2 x U12, and 1 x 11 a-side U15 teams, making their way to Grenaa in eastern Denmark.
The coach departed on time and made its way to Standsted where we caught the 07:25 flight. As usual Ryan Air’s check-in desks were packed, so it was check in and make you way quickly through security and on to the plane. No stopping for food or duty free. But the flight arrived on time and in glorious sunshine.
You could describe Aarhus airport as small. So small in fact, and with so few commercial flights, that the runway technician recognised me and Stuart from 2 years ago, as we got off the plane ;o) One major benefit is that from plane to coach is only 100 yards and 15 minutes through passport control and luggage hall.
With our bags on route to the tournament, we boarded a bus and headed off to the theme park www.djurssommerland.dk , and while the adults made camp outside the water park, the boys, supported by a few of the adults where appropriate, went off to discover the attractions and have fun.
Lunch time came and passed, and full of chips, hotdogs and pop, off they went again.
Its true there is a fantastic water park, and it’s also true that several of the coaches ‘forgot’ their swimming shorts in the knowledge that the water was very cold. But that didn’t’ discourage the boys who came back time and time again with blue lips.
The bus for the tournament was booked to collect us at 19:00 so clear instructions were given to all to congregate between 18:00 and 18:15, to collect everyone’s stuff and make our way out of the park. But true to form not everyone quite got the instruction, and at 18:58 we finally got confirmation by phone that Ben C and Sam L had been found and were being rushed to the bus, PLEASE WAIT!!
The final drive to Grenaa was almost too much for many of the boys, mostly the under 15’s, as one by one they started to nod off to sleep on the bus, woken only by the bump of the bus as it entered the town across the railway crossing.
The final few hours of the day saw a mad rush to allocate class rooms and lay out beds, get food, and generally investigate the surroundings, until finally it was lights out at 11:00. The rooms finally fell silent in the early hours of day 2, nearly 21 hours on the go!
Day 2. Let the fight begin
It wasn’t easy waking the dead heads. All the teams, coaches included, had not slept well. A class room floor shared with your team mates is not the most comfortable place to spend the night. So all were slow to rise, but with breakfast on a time table and a precession starting at 10:00 we had to get a move on.
Dressed again in dark shorts or tracky bottoms, and their beloved yellow tour shorts, we marched off to breakfast in the early morning chill, and joined our opponents from 5 countries in the main sports hall for a breakfast of cereals, cold meats, fresh bread, milk, juice or coffee.
Some of the teams then went on to have a quick look at the pitches while others returned to their class rooms to get ready for the precession and opening ceremony.
So at 10:00 we all moved out of the school, and lead an excellent brass band, several hundred young football players started to make their way around the town in a precession to launch the 2011 Kattegat Cup http://www.kattegatcup.dk/ , supported by the whole community, arriving 45minutes later in the stadium where, welcomed by the Mayor, the tournament was declared open, “let the fight begin!”
Let it be known that the standard of the football in Grenaa is of a very high standard, so we all expected some challenging games.
By the time mid afternoon arrived on day 2 all the MAFC teams had either played or started their first matches. The group stages were played over day 1 and 2, and I am pleased to say we saw some great football played by all the Mytchett teams. It’s a pity the result don’t reflect the effort and the standard of the play.
We will leave it to the boys to divulge the gory details of each encounter, and the managers, when time allows, will pen an update or two.
For now please see the match results and goal scorers from day 1 and 2 below;
Game 1 – Lost 7-1 Ben O
Game 2 – Lost 7-1 Jordan B
Game 3 – Lost 10-5 Frankie B, Harvey W (2), Brandon R, Jordan B. Also hit the post 3 times!
Game 4 – Lost 9-0 but managed to hit the post.
Group 13, final position 5th
Game 1 – Lost 7-3 Regan M (3)
Game 2 – Lost 7-2 Regan M, own goal
Game 3 – Lost 6-0
MAFC U12 – 1
Game 1 – Won 4-2 Laurence K, Michael L (3)
Game 2 – Lost 9-0
Game 3 – Won 4-3 Laurence K, Michael L (2), Eden W
Group 15, final position 2nd
Game 1 – Lost 1-0 (own goal, Dan W)
Game 2 – Lost 2-0
Game 3 – Lost 3-2 James C, Matthew K
Group 23, final position 4th
P.S. The tournament organisers operate a sin bin system for yellow cards. Our lucky winners so far are;