Watched the Europa League Final in Amsterdam!

19 May 2013
Europa League Final in Amsterdam!
Europa League Final in Amsterdam!
Weekly Review for 13th – 19th of May 2013
Being at the Amsterdam Arena and watching Chelsea play in the Europa League final was a truly unique, amazing experience. There will probably never be a time again where I can go watch a European final, five minutes from my apartment and for Chelsea to be playing there and then winning it… well that was just crazy, and to think that I’d be doing this stuff one year ago in Canberra..pfft. So I could go on and on about the final, the Torres goal, the last minute Ivanovic header and the super atmosphere.. but it would probably take hours to write about how cool it was. So that was my Wednesday evening 🙂

The season is ending now and I think we have our last training session tomorrow at the JOS club. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop training of course. Damsko sessions will continue with the other out of contract boys. I was having a chat with One of the Damsko boys Ian, who’s 21 now but played at FC Utrecht from age 15 – 19. I asked him if he knew the three Aussie boys who were there when he was. Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota. I’ve talked about Tommy Oar on here a looong time ago back in December 2010 when I trained with the u/17”s world cup team. I can’t find that post, but the national team coach at the time Jan Versleijen told me I needed to be at the level of Tommy Oar and Mustafa Amini if I wanted a chance to play in the Australian U20’s.

Since then, Tommy Oar has become a regular for FC Utrecht’s first team and has made 7 appearances for the senior national team. Mustafa Amini signed to Borussia Dortmund and is a regular in their reserve team. So anyway, Ian was telling me those boys were training with the U/19’s when they first arrived. He told me that Tommy was not that good and infact, Ian even said he was better than him. Ian doesn’t seem particularly arrogant either. So that was interesting to hear, and even more interesting to know that the guys I’m training with played with guys at that level. But these days that’s becoming the norm living in this football capital that’s so famous for producing great players. I even had a chat with the Damsko coach who trains us, Timi. He played with Ajax for 8 years in his youth career. He even captained them at one point! He showed me pictures of him playing at Wembley, playing against Real Madrid, and team photos with Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert who went onto become some of the best players in the world. He didn’t, though he told me he could have. Unfortunately, “7 nights a week” of partying got the best of him and I think he got dropped and retired from playing quite early. Now his efforts are focused on becoming a professional coach.


Started about 15 conversations this week with people I know. Just awaiting replies and hopefully something can come out of it all.
Oh and didn’t mention about a huge week in world football. Beckham, Ferguson, Carragher retiring.. wow.

Goal Journal

Long term goals
Play professionally by end of summer 2013
Short term goals
1. improve my confidence on:
  • 1-on-1’s
  • Receiving with back to ball
    & become a more valuable player by..
  • Looking for more ways I can get on the ball

This week coach Jermaine said, “don’t overdo it, pass the ball instead of taking players on”. – that’s something I don’t often hear. So confidence in 1-on-1’s is improving and receiving with back to ball is okay, but I have to improve my first touch on that. Because if I mess up my first touch, then the other players is going to take the ball from me. Looking for more ways on the ball.. still trying to figure this out. I have to ask my coaches.

2. make a real habit of scanning alot
Didn’t do this so much this week.
General comment: Improving, and I really want to shine more out of tight positions.

3. Ongoing – Find out what makes great players, great. What separates the “great” from the “good”. – practicing right after a match!

Staying inside of the man, using strength: Azpi vs Anderson

Azpi vs Anderson

4. Defend better

a. communication
b. knowing who should be marking who.figuring this one out…
5. Build LinkedIn network
Added a few contacts..
6. Plan better.
I need to be more efficient about exactly what I’m going to do in my workouts, rather than just make it up as I go.
accomplished: be stronger off the ball, quicker plays, don’t let attackers run inside, play long ball forward instead of risky passback, be more explosive
Plan & Checklist – 19.5 hour schedule this week. Missed 6.5 hours, so next Week is 21.5 hours. I MUST COMPLETE THIS NUMBER OF HOURS.
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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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