Thanks to Mary McPherson for the report below:
The Holland Ladies have much to be proud of for their performance on Saturday June 23rd. Eight Holland Ladies travelled to Brussels to compete against the Belgium Reds and Belgium Grays. It was an international team with Spain, Poland, USA,Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland(Cork, Galway, and Monaghan) represented. The players ranged in experience from 10+ years to two months. The team continued to prove that the Holland Ladies are a strong team, a shockingly adaptive team, and a team that is supported well beyond those that show up on game day.
Mairead Cleary was voted Player of the tournament by her teammates. She blocked with her body, soul and nose…ouch! She led from the back line with her voice and limited the Belgium teams to 3 goals. Marie Sheehan made her Benelux tournament debut post motherhood. She went for every ball and used her enthusiasm and skill to benefit the team…quite impressive. Aggie played in her second tournament and contributed to the defence as well as the midfield positions. She hassled the Belgium forwards and by the end of the tournament learned to not pick up the ball when down on the ground. Mary also played in the defensive line and she scored from the midfield line and was able to find Ines with low kicks, something the Belgium defenders couldn’t cope with.
Julia and Jess drew the short straws and were the midfield duo. Both asserted different skills. Julia was winning almost every high ball and taking gargantuan steps past Belgium players. Jess constantly defended against fast Belgium players and when she had the ball she held on, moved, solo, and passed off the ball only when she had a Holland Lady to pass it to. The forwards, Ines and Murtagh, took their goals and points throughout the day. Coach James would be so proud of the instep kick Murtagh used point after point after point. Ines’ soccer skills came in handy. Her response after one goal was “it just felt good”. She had solid control over the ball on the ground.
The team extends well beyond those that show up on game day. The training sessions with 10+ ladies are key and the texts of support from all over the continent show the that the Holland Ladies are a force. Those on the pitch had a great attitude, confidence in themselves and their teammates, and enthusiasm to play football well, drink too much beer, and be the hottest team every single year.