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Feyenoord International
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European experience for RISE Soccer Club

Last week (March 7 -15) RISE Soccer Club traveled to the Netherlands with one of their youth teams to visit Feyenoord and it’s Academy. The club from Houston came over with a boys squad that underwent an intensive week of training under Feyenoord’s International Development Coach David Toxopeus. In addition to multiple training sessions sprinkled throughout the week, the team also played two head-to-head friendly matches against local teams. RISE SC also had the opportunity to attend an Eredivisie match at De Kuip – where Feyenoord cruised past Willem II in a 2-0 win. The boys got to experience a full-fledged Feyenoord. Unfortunately, the team’s trip got cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak because of which they had to return home prematurely.

In the time the team was here however, Coach David Toxopeus spent time with the boys both on the field and in the video analysis room. The goal was to instill the Feyenoord methodology into their team dynamics so they could go back to the United States as more complete players. An important part of this player development was one-on-one personal development meetings with Feyenoord’s International Development Coach, where the players had the opportunity to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and set short and long term goals for themselves. ‘It was a real shame to have the boys and coaches go home so early, but we understood the urgency of the situation’, said David Toxopeus, International Development Coach at Feyenoord. ‘It was a pleasure to work with their coaches Jon Burklo and Earl Barrett.'

The boys were already showing very obvious progression in their abilities to read the game and play as a team after just a few training sessions and matches. Hopefully I’ll get to see them again next year and we can pick up right where we left off! David Toxopeus, International Development Coach at Feyenoord

The boys’ first game of the week was against vv Spijkenisse. Despite the wind, the Houston boys emerged victorious, winning the match 3-0. For their second game of the week, Houston travelled down to Belgium to play against Cercle Bruges’s U14s. The Houston boys put up a good fight, however they conceded a late goal in the closing minutes of the match and lost 4-3.

In addition to a football-packed schedule, RISE SC also had the opportunity to explore the Netherlands a bit – including guided city walks of Rotterdam, Delft and Bruges. Despite their trip being cut short, the boys also had a few opportunities to sample some of the local Dutch cuisine.