Montrose Youth Under-15s made a short trip over the North Sea to Holland, where they played a couple of challenge matches over the border against German opposition.
Staying in Prinsenmeer in Holland, the squad travelled over the border on Saturday, April 12, to play Krefeld-fischeln in an evening kick-off.
The match was played on an artificial surface, similar to Links Park, and it turned out to be a one-sided affair with the German side superior in all departments - being faster, fitter and better skilled in passing and movement.
On the Sunday, with a lunchtime kick-off, the squad travelled to Dinslaken, in Germany, to take on SAS Dinslaken.
Playing in a mini-stadium with a large grass surface, Montrose acquitted themselves much better, especially in the first half. However, in the second half superior fitness and some clinical finishing saw the home side come out on top.
Although disappointed not to have competed more strongly, it was a great learning experience for the team to see the levels of youth football in another country.
It shows that although the Scotland national side are creeping up the rankings and the Under-17s are doing well just now, there is a lot of work to be done at grass roots football in terms of not only skills, but facilities, such as the training grounds, pitches, changing rooms, which were all a massive step up from what we have here in Scotland.
The Black Abbot pub sponsored the team’s polo shirts for the trip and the travel tracksuits were sponsored by www.partycharity.com - a local web-based company that allows people to change the way they gift for celebrations, allowing charitable causes to benefit.