It’s not every day the opportunity to improve your football skills in the shadows of two of the most iconic stadiums in the world comes along.
But that is exactly what the students of TEA Kuwait had the chance to do on a recent football development tour to Amsterdam and Dortmund with Trans World Educational Experiences.
The European trip encompassed a number of exciting football activities, including training sessions with coaches from Ajax and Borussia Dortmund, international challenge matches against local opposition, a live Bundesliga match and sightseeing.
Speaking to Gulf Youth Sport only a few hundred metres from AFC Ajax’s Johan Cruyff Arena, TEA Kuwait’s Mr Hammond was delighted with the group’s surroundings.
“It’s unbelievable. Playing with a backdrop like this with the stadium in the background. The fact that the sun’s out and we’re playing on an actual grass pitch, which is quite new for our kids, is very good.”
The students were put through their paces in training sessions which worked on the same skills and techniques as the youngsters in Ajax’s world-famous academy.
TEA Kuwait’s Mr Bell was pleased with the application his students showed during their time with Ajax. He said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic. The coaches have shared their knowledge with the boys. They’ve put in 100% and we can’t ask for anything more.”
Away from the football pitch, the TEA students took part in sightseeing and cultural activities in the Netherlands’ capital city. Commenting on a trip down the city’s iconic canals Yousef said: “The cruise was amazing. We got to see the whole city as well as saying ‘hi’ to many of the beautiful people from Amsterdam.”
During the tour the group tested themselves against a number of local teams, giving the players the chance to put what they had learnt in their coaching sessions in to action in a match environment.
After a whirlwind few days in Amsterdam the group headed across the border to Dortmund where they made straight for the training pitch, a stone’s throw from the Signal Iduna Park.
Borussia Dortmund coach Patrick said: “It’s been a great day and a great experience for them – the cultural exchange and exchange of knowledge, learning about the German football culture and learning about our great club.”
“The first session was more about dribbling, tricks, turns and feints. The second session was about playing together, communication as well as shooting on goal.”
The group rounded off their trip by taking a seat in the world-famous Signal Iduna Park to watch Borussia Dortmund take on FC Koln in Germany’s Bundesliga.
Player Talal loved his time at the match: “It amazed me how loud they were and how beautiful the songs were.”