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Day 4 – Tuesday 22 October

Our time in Arnhem came to an end with a final session from the professional coaches. It has been a very busy few days but the pupils have been on fantastic form throughout, rising to the challenge of multiple training sessions, fixtures and excursions in a short period of time. With there being no fixture today, the pupils have written some parting reflections below. It is tradition for three awards to be presented on the final night of the tour: Coaches Player of the Tour, Players Player of the Tour and Moment of the Tour. These have also been listed below. This will be the final post on the tour blog, but please keep an eye out for a tour video which is being created by Mrs Le Serve.

Papendal Team Reviews

Hockey U13A and U13B

Written by Sohan, 8DT:

“Hockey was an incredible experience and I think everyone enjoyed it as much as I did and believe me, I enjoyed it a lot. We had 2 matches in Arnhem and 3 training sessions where we trained with 1st team players for their local club. In the matches we played against 2 teams in each fixture, and we did really well. The teams we played don’t play many other sports and played hockey 24/7, winter and summer. I would rather not mention the scores (we kind of lost drastically) but it was an insane experience to be playing with some future super stars. We also got to watch a hockey match which was awesome as people shifted the ball across the pitch soooo quickly and the home team won 3-0.”

  • U13A Coach’s Player: Amelie L
  • Players’ Player: Francesca A
  • Moment of the Tour: Rebecca M (Special mention to Hannah H and Georgina C)


  • Coach’s Player: Honey G
  • Players’ Player: Catherine M
  • Moment of the Tour: Sadie L

Football, U13A

Written by Oli, 8HP:

“On our first full day, we had a match at 10:00. We were lucky enough to play the first half on the amazing Vitesse Arnhem pitch. We played a team of U15’s and their striker must have been double the height of Mr Kenmir! We were 3-0 down but showed great spirit to come back and draw 4-4. In the rest of our time on tour, we had 3 training sessions with the Vitesse coaches, who were very good, and we played one more match and had a comfortable 12-0 win. I think everybody improved individually and our team has improved a lot thanks to the amazing training sessions. Bring on the ISFA and Middlesex cups.”

  • Coach’s Player: Dan S
  • Players’ Player: Asger F
  • Moment of the Tour: Adi A

Football, U13B

Written by Aarya, 8GL:

“As a B team, we have a lot of chemistry. Coming into this tour we had a few players missing but that hasn’t stopped us and we have developed more in different positions as well. We lost the first match 2-0 but on another day we all believed we could have won, dominating the second half completely. Douglas won the man of the match for his passionate and direct defensive play. The whole team enjoyed this game as we played very well and we were looking forward to the next one. The Vitesse coaches coached us well but we also had a lot of fun, and they even showed us their facilities. We were ready for the next match and against a team that was believed to be as good or even better than the last, but we won, which we were all elated by. The squad trainings were really enjoyable and we learnt a new set piece routine which we are waiting to show at home. We also really enjoyed watching the Vitesse first team play and also slotting some goals past Mr Kenmir as he tried his hand at goalkeeper! The end was very funny as all the teams came together to play one 20 a side football game in an eleven a side pitch with Mr Kenmir, Mr Casling and Mr Dabrowski.”

  • Coach’s Player: Thor K
  • Players’ Player: Anh Duy V
  • Moment of the Tour: Max S

Football,  U13C

Written by Luke, 8W, and Louis, 8HP:

“The football trip to Arnhem was an amazing experience for us football and hockey players. The trip was filled with lots of fun but here are our highlights. First of all, we loved it when we were toured around the Vitesse (a football team who are 3rd in the best Dutch league) training ground and inside their lounge and gym. A second highlight was all of our matches. No matter what sport we were playing or what team we were on, we all played well and enjoyed ourselves. We also had the amazing opportunity to train with the Vitesse coaches 3 times, learning so much from their sessions. My final highlight of the Arnhem part of the trip was the professional hockey match we got to watch; we were able to buy tasty chips and watch an eventful game ending in a 3-0 win for HC Denbosch.”

  • Coach’s Player: Liam C
  • Players’ Player: Sam L
  • Moment of the Tour: Leonardo M

Day 3 – Monday 21 October

The busy schedule continued on Monday with a professional coach-led session, Highgate staff-led session and fixtures against local opposition.

Football Match Reports


Written by Charlie 8GL and Asger, 8ST:

“We scored our first goal quickly with Raphy tucking away a good finish 3 minutes in. We got our second when Raphy intercepted a pass from their keeper and put it in the net. 15 minutes in Raphy cheekily chipped the keeper to complete his hat-trick and put Highgate 3 up.

The fourth goal came when their keeper palmed a corner onto Ollie W’s head, it rebounded off the post, and was bundled in by Ollie W. For our fifth goal, Raphy again got played in by a nice through ball from Sam.

Then the half time whistle was blown. At half time we made a tactical switch to utilise all of the space on the pitch by having our full backs push very wide and very high. We then scored a succession of quick goals to take the score to 9-0 (including 2 own goals.)

We then missed lots of chances before Sam won a penalty. Ade took the pen and struck it firmly at the keeper who parried it back for an easy finish for Ade.

The last two goals were scored by Dom and Sam to round off a great team performance.”


Written by Anh Duy, 8K:

“In the match against WWNA, we had many highlights and goals. Crushed from the previous match, we walked on the pitch worried but this quickly changed. We decided to let the opposition kick off first to analyse their tactics. The whistle blows, and they start.

A massive player (number 9) was roaring through our midfielders and he was crushing everything in his path. Thor and Aksel bravely took him on and what a surprise, we overestimated how good he was.

There was a through ball from Hakim and Max smashes it in across the keeper. Once again Max takes them on and blasts in another insane goal; we were delighted and hoped to keep it the same to the end of the match.

Henry sent a beautiful lob into the box, played into Kayan, who finished off with a half volley.

WWNA fought back in the second half and deserved their goal and Highgate needed all their fight and resolve to hold onto their lead.”


Written by Leonardo, 8K:

“Today we had a great day and defeated our opponents 10-0. Louis and Leo both scored hat-ricks followed closely by 2 goals from Zin – one of which was a stunner from near the half-way line.

Initially, in the first 10-15 minutes, we struggled to find a breakthrough and could not score.

Whilst the opposition tried to counterattack, our defence was solid, and the other team could not get through.

Around 20 minutes into the match, the opposition conceded a hand ball, leading to the penalty. Leo stepped up to take the penalty, and unfortunately tried to go down the middle, and the goal-scoring opportunity turned into a routine save for the goalkeeper. Despite the penalty miss, we went into the dressing room at half time, with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

We came out in the second half, having had a motivational team talk, but clearly the opposition had had one too, as they upped their game significantly. They managed to break through our defence a few times and even managed a shot on goal, but the goalkeeper kept a clean sheet and we added 7 more goals to our lead.

Finishing, I decided to give this eventful match’s man of the match to Zin, for the wonderful goal he scored in the second half.”

Hockey Match Report

U13A and U13B

Written by Rebecca, 8K:

“Today we played two matches, one against a girls’ team and another against a boys’ team. When we played the girls it was a short corner to them almost immediately. They may well have been a bit better than us…

However we learnt many lessons along the way. We learnt how to defend in numbers and pass with precision. We held our positions and tried to spread the ball wide. In the end we lost 9-0 but we did mix up our A and B team and it was more of a learning experience.

When we played the boys team we realised that they were a lot younger than us so we were relieved, however they turned out to be the future professional players within the club structure. We saw them hitting the ball harder on their reverse than we could on our strong side.

When we were warming up Mrs Le Serve decided, along with their coach, to mix us up and play a series of friendly fixtures against each other. Therefore we had the privilege of training with future pros (even though they were a bit showy offy).

Overall we had a really productive day even though on paper we got demolished.”

Day 2 – Sunday 20 October

On another busy day in Arnhem, the Year 8 pupils have played fixtures against local opposition (match reports written by the pupils below), watched a professionally hockey match and trained with local professional coaches. On the agenda for tomorrow is another two training sessions, followed by a night-time fixture.

Hockey Match Reports

U13A and U13B

Written by Maddy, 8N, and Francesca, 8N:

We arrived at Upward Hockey Club where the pitches were covered in mist and there was a clubhouse displaying the biggest hockey stick ever (we think)! The A and B teams both played 2 matches with varied results. The A’s lost one (3-0) and drew one (1-1) and the B’s lost both (3-0 and 1-0). In the B team matches players Honey and Sadie played very well, showing determination and great effort!

In the A team matches, Sohan, Tamsin and Hana were exceptional. After that, we split into mixed teams within Highgate and played a match which was won by the Yellow team (1-0). Everyone played really well and the new kit looks great! We are excited to go and watch the pros play now, and looking forward to a training session back at Upward HC later!”

Football Match Reports


Written by Dom, 8B:

“Today was a frustrating game. We drew 4-4 but could have easily won. Overall, we played very well. In the first half, we dominated but gifted them a few goals and went behind. We continued to dominate the game and towards the end of the half, Raphy came on to score.

Going into the second half, it was 3-1. We kicked off on another pitch and were immediately looking for the win.

We started a bit slow, but started to pick up the pace. We had the ball on the edge of their box, and it was set back to Max. He lined up his shot and everyone’s first thought was, ‘don’t shoot!’ we can’t be bothered to run back to the hotel to get the ball’. However, he took his shot and it went straight into the top corner. Jaws dropped. It was 3-2, and now the team were hunting. We were once again on the attack, and the ball was with Raphy. He took a touch out of his feet and smashed the ball over the keeper. It was an absolute banger, and it was 3-3. We were very excited now, and could taste the win.

Unfortunately, a player broke through our midfield, slipped in one of their massive players, and he scored. Despite this, our heads were still up. We kicked off and put them under pressure.

Dom picked the ball up on the edge of the box and played it through to Ollie W. The keeper came out but Ollie finished it beautifully. We were back in the game, 4-4. It was the final 5 minutes, and we wanted the win. We pushed and pushed but couldn’t get the winner. It ended 4-4, but Highgate should have easily won. It was a fantastic team performance.”


Written by Dougie, 8N:

“As we got on the pitch, we felt comfortable since the fact of how small the opposition were, but this was quickly diminished as they started dominating play and “skilling us up like no other team had done before”.

Time passed and slowly we lost possession after possession as we scrambled desperately around the pitch. They made an amazing cross before shooting in the right corner as Anh Duy tried to stop a sublime finish. We lost the first half, but we were very much in the game.

In the second half, everyone wanted to win as each and everyone one of us outmuscled the opposition. We pushed forwards and we started to get more comfortable with their style.

However, they managed to mirror their first goal 15 minutes in. Anh Duy once again could not do anything about the finish.

Despite carrying a knock, Max showed true determination, making pass after pass.

Thor held the defence together – the opposition feared him like no one they had seen before.  Suddenly a ball was passed to Dougie, he played it to Henry who swiftly dealt with two onrushing defenders. Henry then whipped in a delicious cross and Axel attempted an audacious overhead kick, only to be denied by the post. Moments later, the final whistle was blown.

Despite the loss, the team were all in amazing spirits knowing they had given their all. We go again tomorrow.”


Written by Louis, 8HP:

“First, we got on the coach at 8:30 to head to the fixture. When we arrived, we were amazed at the quality of the pitch. It was the best quality surface we’d ever played on (there were even stands for the crowd)! We started with a simple 4-4-2 formation. However, our tactics were no match for the opposition, who scored 3 in the first 10 minutes. We were helpless. Even after the opposition let us play with 12 men, it felt as if we were outnumbered massively.

By halftime it was 5-0. We came out again slightly downhearted but determined to make a point.

The biggest cheer of the game came when we got our first and only corner but this actually resulted in a goal for them.

The match unfortunately ended in a heavy defeat, but we pulled out the positives (in particular Leo’s incredible triple save keeping the score in single digits), had a laugh or two, and rushed onto the coach ready for the day ahead.”

Day 1 – Saturday 19 October

After a slightly choppy crossing to Calais, the Year 8 tour party have arrived safely at the National Sports Centre Papendal.

Talk has now turned to tomorrow morning’s football and hockey fixtures against Upward Hockey Club (hockey), SV Woezik (football) and DVOV (football).

Following the fixtures, pupils will then be travelling to Hockey Club Den Bosch to watch a national hockey fixture between HC Den Bosch and HC Bloemendaal. The afternoon will then be spent training with professional coaches from Vitesse Arnhem and Upward Hockey Club.

The day will conclude with the inaugural general knowledge quiz, where pupil teams will once again try to beat the illustrious team of Dr Weston, Mr Dabrowski, Mr Kenmir, Mrs Le Serve, Mr Tapp, Mr Casling and Mr Price. Game on.

This news feed will be updated every day, but in the meantime please keep an eye on social media for further live updates.