DKC’s trip to the Netherlands

August 23-26, 2013: Nine players from Dundee Korfball Club trundled over to the Netherlands this weekend to play in a friendly tournament at Etten Leur. It was Etten-Leur’s 40th anniversary tournament, and a real eye-opener for most of our players, with over 60 teams coming together from all over the place (Holland, Belgium and Scotland!) to play in a single event. Most of the teams were juniors, ranging in age from about 5 to 18, but there were also at least 20 adult teams, ranging from recreational (that was us!) to “competitive”. There was certainly a lot of talent on show, anway.

On the Friday night, Dundee were invited over to train with a bunch of young players from Roosendaal korfball club, where Emely Paul comes from (Emely was our tenth player, and our official translator for the weekend – many thanks for all your efforts, Emely!). Roosendaal’s team included Emely’s “little” brother and sister, both of whom were taller than most of our home-grown players, despite still being just teenagers!). Dundee played their usual mix of organised chaos, but gave the young guns a good run around before being sent on our way with what sounded like a farewell chant of “How-do” – is this Dutch for tatty-bye, Emely? Then it was back off to the hotel in Etten Leur for a welcome night’s sleep.

Saturday morning started with a traditional “international” breakfast, including lots of croissants, pain-au-chocolat, and tasty pastries from the local “Turkish bakery” (well found, Terri), plus the obligatory cup of coffee and fresh orange juice from the hotel bar. Then it was off to the tournament itself: in our case, as part of a 5-team recreational competition with Etten Leur (who beat us 4-0), Keep Fit (a bunch of more mature players from the Roosendaal club, who beat us 4-0), Terda (a Belgian team that we just scraped a 2-1 win from), and Appels “olds” (another “mature” Belgian team that we beat 2-0). Despite only winning 2 games, and ending up with a goal difference of minus 5, Dundee actually won it’s FIRST EVER silverware in this competition. That wasn’t too hard, as I think almost everyone went home with a trophy, but the fact that it was for SECOND PLACE was a real shock to everyone. Jake (my eldest son, guesting for Dundee for the weekend) eventually convinced us that this was the correct result though, because several teams probably ended up tied on points at the end of the day, and the final rankings were decided on head-to-head results, with our two victories over the Belgian teams proving decisive.

On Sunday we were (thankfully!) entered in the lowest of 5 pools, and were again scheduled to play against ELKV and 2 Belgian teams (AKC and Ekerse). We were all expecting our opponents to be much stronger than the day before, and (truthfully) to get tonked in every game, especually when we saw the level of the competition in the other pools. Our worries began to subside once our first game got underway though, with the team finally starting to find it’s shooting boots and coming out with a very respectable 4-4 draw with ELKV 1. The second game was much tougher, but ended with an even better result. And by tougher, I really mean tougher: AKC 1 had a couple of extremely physical players (both male and female), and sadly in the end our innocent by-stander, Fiona, ended up getting badly winded (and unable to continue playing) when AKC’s biggest boy clashed pretty violently with Paul. The ref was right to give a penalty decision against Paul in this instance (cos that’s what the AKC guy was playing for), but as we were winning the game by just one goal at that point, and it was virtually the last minute of the match, we were all a bit gutted (Fiona quite lirterally). As fate would have it though, the Belgian guy unexpectedly missed his penalty, so the ref then blew his whistle for full time, and we ended up winning the game by 5 goals to 4. Our final match of the pool-stage was a much cleaner game against a really nice Belgian side from Ekerse. With Fiona now out, we had to play this with just 7 players (our opponents kindly agreed to play with 7 too, to make the match a bit fairer), but we probably had our best game of the tournament: six out of our seven players ended up scoring, and we came out on top by 8-3. And so we finished the day at the top of our pool, and were drawn in the final up against AKC1 again!

The final was a memorable affair for everyone involved. Thanks to Emely, we managed to scrounge a couple of ELKV girls (Marie-Louise & Marianne) to stand in and play two halves for Fiona. The Dutch girls helped us to maintain a little bit of discipline and order to our attacks, despite what was really quite a chaotic game – we would have been severely punished if we’d been forced to play with one player short. The discipline proved to be vital, as AKC came into this game in very much the same manner that they’d finished their previous one with us. One of their players was having a real tantrum right from the start, complaining that we were playing dirty and that the ref was on our side, but to be honest, that’s definitely not the way that anybody else saw it. The ref was a very experienced guy from ELKV, and he did all that he could to keep this guy under control (without sending him off). In truth, the only thing that the guy’s mis-behaviour did was to disrupt his own team’s play. I was really, really proud of all the Dundonians (natives and guests alike) for keeping calm and “just playing korfball”, because that was all that we needed to do to come out as comfortable winners of this game. And winning the game (final score 5-2) was all that we needed to do to WIN ANOTHER TROPHY – Dundee’s first ever FIRST PLACE in a competition! Whooopeeeeeee!

Oh, and then we went back to our hotel, and slept very, very, soundly. Or am I imagining that bit? 🙂

Results & Dundee’s scorers:

Keep Fit 4-0 DKC
DKC 2-1 Terda (Steven, 1P; Terri, 1)
DKC 2-0 Appels (Jake, 1; Mary, 1)

ELKV 4-4 DKC (Jake, 2; Nigel, 1; Paul, 1)
AKC 4-5 DKC (Alan,1; Fiona, 1; Jake, 1; Mary, 2)
DKC 8-3 Ekerse (Jake, 2; Mary, 2; Chris, 1; Paul, 1; Nigel, 1; Emely, 1)

Final: DKC 5-2 AKC (Mary, 2; Emely, 2; Jake, 1)

5 thoughts on “DKC’s trip to the Netherlands

  1. We are very pleased that you have been present at our tournament in Etten-Leur. we hope you’ve had a good time in Etten-Leur. Congratulations on your 1st and 2nd place! Who knows, maybe next year once again.

    Greetings Marie-Louise

  2. Great weekend that was 🙂
    We’re already making plans to cross the sea to come and beat you on your lovely astroturf next May 🙂

  3. Great weekend that was 🙂
    We’re already making plans to cross the sea to come and beat you on your lovely astroturf next May 🙂

  4. Pingback: Dundee Day goes international… | Dundee Korfball Club

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