Tuesday

FC Barcelona ladies v ADO Ladies

Today the ADO ladies faced reigning Spanish ladies champions FC Barcelona in a real mouth watering match.

Before the main event the players took to the training pitch for the final time here for an easy session. This time concentrating on set moves from corners and free kicks. If they pull some of the routines off tonight, Barcelona will be in big trouble.

After the session I managed to sit down and have a chat with the successful ladies trainer, Sarina Wiegman. This is what she had to say about the training camp.

“This have been a good trip for us. The players have had the chance to train in good conditions on a perfect pitch. The hotel is terrific. The food for sports athletes is great as are all the facilities here. The rooms for the girls are quiet so they can relax well. The camp is good as not only have they trained very well, the bonding of the players has been terrific too. It is a great way to grow our team spirit.”

When asked about the night’s coming game against Barcelona, you could literally the smile of anticipation spread across her face.

“Facing the Spanish champions is good. We do not know anything about them, but we do not expect them to play a kick and rush style, a style the same as ours. They have a lot of internationals in their side, so it will be hard. The game should be a good one and is perfect build up towards our first game in the BeNe league against Anderlecht next week.”

The smile of happiness and one of slight embarrassment showed itself when asked about the awards the ADO ladies won last night back in The Hague.

“It was nice to get the awards, it was acknowledgement for our ladies and their success. We are proud to get them. It shows people like what we do. It was special for the ladies who work hard for themselves. It was already special just to be nominated, so to win even one was terrific for us.”

After lunch the players had a team meeting before packing their bags for the final time and heading off to Barcelona for the game. As after the game they are staying in a central hotel for the night before having a short tour of the amazing city and then they fly home.

The players then got on the bus and took the hour long drive into Barcelona city centre. At the new hotel for the night they had a group dinner before heading off to the ultra modern training complex of FC Barcelona.

The game itself was a real cracker of a match. The first five minutes saw the home side look strong and highly skilful: After those five minutes had gone and ADO had settled, they tok over and dominated the play. They out worked, out fought and totally outclassed their hosts. Beerensteyn was a real thorn for Barca as she tormented them on both wings. Jansen was unplayable in the middle and the back up from Reichardt was immense. ADO created plenty of chances three times hitting the frame of the goal and twice going just wide, but no break through goal to show for all the possession during the first half.

The second half saw Barca make whole sale changes to their line up. ADO later made several changes, this proved beneficial to the home team who began to take charge as the minutes went by. ADO still had their chances at 0-0. The Barca keeper three times having to make brave saves close up to Jansen and Persaud.

The failure to get that vital goal soon haunted them as Barca scored two quick goals from Melani Serrano (74) and Carol Ferez (75) to seal a win they hardly deserved. As it was a friendly you can understand all the substitutions and its effect on the game. I am confident enough to say that if ADO and Barca had kept their starting elevens on the field, ADO would have won this game.

So 2-0 it ended. Despite this being only a friendly the ADO players were distraught. They had worked hard and trained well for this game, but alas it just was not to be. One thing I would like to add. It shows just what a professional outfit Sarina runs, as she had the players doing warming down exercises while the Barca players trudged away. Top marks to out club and its brilliant players with the attitude of winners. After this game, ADO are surely ready to take on Anderlecht next week in the opening round of the BeNe league.

We said goodbye to all and left the players to make their way back to their hotel. Wednesday they have a city tour before flying home to wintery, freezing Holland.

ADO player of the match: Renate Jansen, A hard energetic performance that just edged several others.

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