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Culter excited for Dutch adventure

Written by  Liam
For the first in a series of features on teams travelling abroad for tournaments next year, YFS spoke to Phil Wallace, coach of Culter Alba 2010’s, who will be heading to the Netherlands for the Holland Easter Open in April:
“I actually saw footage on Facebook of this year’s tournament,” he said. “There were teams from our local area that had been over, so I took it to the other coaches and said, ‘look, the likes of Dyce have been. Why can’t we go?’”
Why not, indeed. Through YFS and Trans World Soccer, Wallace was able to get the ball rolling and now Culter Alba’s 16-strong squad of seven and eight-year-olds will be joining around 500 teams from 25 countries across all age groups in the two-day tournament taking place on the 20th and 21st of April next year.
And he’s hoping it will be an experience his young players will never forget:
“I’m just looking forward to seeing smiles on their faces,” he said. “Really, at this age there’s not so much of a competitive element in terms of the football - we are a development team.
“I’m just looking forward to seeing the excitement in their faces and I would be over the moon if we went and enjoyed ourselves.
If we win a match that’s an absolute bonus, but to just go and make memories is all I’m looking for at their age.
“It’s not something I ever got the chance to do when I was playing football for school or whatever, but now I’ve got the opportunity to deliver it to these kids and give them experiences that I didn’t get.”
It’ll be a team effort getting everyone there; as well as the players and coaches, most of the squad are taking a parent with them, meaning 37 people in total will be making the trip – including a family of five that will be driving the whole way.
Of course, large numbers mean fundraising, and Wallace is grateful for how willing people have been to help out.
He said: “We’ve done various things.
“We had a sponsored walk - we decided to do 10k at 10pm on the 10th of August – and we had an afternoon tea organised by the mums; there were cakes, sandwiches, a nail stall and even a Thai massage stall.
“We’ve also organised a race night for November, the response we’ve had has been great.”
As well as the chance to compete against teams from across Europe, Culter Alba will have the Monday to enjoy Holland after the weekends football is all said and done and before they head home on the Tuesday.
But Wallace admits that football is unlikely to be far from the itinerary:
“Trans World has given us the option to do a stadium tour,” he said. “So, I believe a lot of the boys are keen to go along to Ajax or PSV.
“And I daresay someone will have a football between us so our free time will probably be spent kicking that about.”

Limited spaces remain open at the Holland Easter Open. For more information about the tournament, click here.
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