On Sunday ADO ladies crossed the border into Belgium to take part in the “Memorial Kjell Meskens” tournament in Turnhout and what a superb display they put on in their five games.
The format for this competition was ten teams divided into two groups of five. Each side played four games of thirty five minutes each, no half-times. The winners of each group met in the final.
Manager Sarina Wiegman took this tournament very seriously and used all players available to her, only three of the squad were missing through injury and they were Paola van der Veen, Jennifer Vreugdenhil en Marelle Worm.
First game was against CFBL Düseldorsf of Germany, they were supposed to be tough opposition, but from the start the ADO ladies just steam rolled them aside with ease. ADO were far quicker and much stronger, they literally bullied their opponents into submission without using any foul play. They were camped in and around the Germans box, it was so one sided it was as though it was a game used only for shooting and corner taking practice. The game won 3-0.
Second match was against Belgian side Royal Antwerp FC. A tighter game that the previous encounter, an stunning early strike (First of many during the day) proving to be the decisive one.
After a heavy downpour of rain which left the artificial pitch very slippy, ADO took on another Belgian side St Truidense vv. ADO demolished them with ease. The Belgians seemed to be wearing the wrong type of boots as they lost their footing time and time again, making things very easy for ADO. Their poor goal keeper had a complete nightmare in the wet conditions and the goals flew in, all five of them including a comical own goal, 5-0.
In the final group game they took on Saestum of Holland. This was again was an easy romp for the ADO side. Never did it look like ADO would concede a goal such was their dominance, 3-0.
In the tournament final they faced Dutch rivals FC Utrecht. It was a great final to watch, Utrecht were the first side to real pressure and threaten ADO. For the first twenty minutes both teams were pretty equal in their possession and play. Then ADO’s super striker Renate Jansen put her head down and created herself two absolute classic strikes which sunk their opponents: Goals that deserved to win any final, 2-0.
The day was a huge success for our team. I have to say that watching the eighteen players in action was great. The younger players who were mostly used as substitutes last season rose to the occasion. The likes of Jessie van Leeuwen, Ilse van der Windt and Mandy van Dijk were so strong, I had never seen any of them move and play the ball so well and taking on bigger and stronger players and beating them. My player of the tournament was the ADO captain Lucienne Reichardt. She was immense in everything she did, she really has the heart for a fight and won all her battles leading by example.
ADO have improved their squad this season with some great signings. The one that really shone was Tessa Oudejans, her fast feet and skill was dazzling and she was leaving defenders perplexed as she passed them, one to really watch this coming season. Not a new signing but a returning player Lisanne Grimberg showed herself to be a real aggressive powerhouse and a great finisher in front of goal.
All the top players of last season performed to their best ability, Renate Jansen deadly as usual and her wing play was equal of the flying teenager Lineth Beerensteyn who took delight in tormenting whoever was unfortunate enough to be marking them.
The only players you could not really judge were the two keepers, what they had to do they did with confidence, but apart from the last game, they were only spectators, which shows what a great defence ADO now have.
Sorry not to have mentioned everybody by name, but running out of space, everyone was on their top game and could not be faulted!
The event was a great success for the organizers, everything done by volunteers and the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, a real joy to be there, especially if you were connected to ADO ladies; another trophy in the cabinet!