The morning started with an annoying sound coming from our phones, signalling the 815 wake up alarm… oh what we would give to sleep in a day. 8:30 soon came about, and with 8 seconds remaining the last of the team assembled in the courtyard, ready to tackle the cafeteria’s breakfast buffet. As soon as we arrive, the same lady greets us all as the past days… “Hello! Good morning! Ticket please!” and onto the buffet we charge. 30 minutes later and its time to go back to our dorms… nap time!

 

10:45 rolls around much too quickly and it’s time for the debrief meeting of yesterdays game. Oh what a glorious day it was: to beat our Canadian rivals 3-0. What a comeback from our first days match versus Canada, which put us into agony.

 

1145 strikes the clock and we’re off to the races for our jog and stretch… or so we think! Our amazing trainer, Jason, steps through the doors and announces, “alright, we are going for a nice walk, but everybody must be silent. Think about what you are going to do today. How you are going to play, how are you going to improve?”  Well who would complain about that deal? After our lengthy 5 minute walk, we stretch and limber up, ready to tackle the days challenges. And then the announcement comes… lunchtime!

 

After stuffing ourselves full at lunch, its time to walk back and relax for a couple hours until our heart-rate spikes set for 1500.  Casually we jog over to the nice grass patch and begin limbering up for the sprints awaiting us. Thankfully we all worked hard to get our heart-rate up the first time, and head back to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Jason’s suite.

 

1630: pregame meeting. Time to get our hockey caps on and prepare for the game ahead. Speeches are made, and points are discussed. We’re playing in blue today, while I’m bringing up the rear in my bright yellow jersey. As we leave we’re all joking around, and as we jump in the vans we’re all having a great time. Why wouldn’t we be? We’re all U-21 players playing for our country, playing the sport that we love!

 As we arrive to the field, our demeanours change. Turf shoes on, jerseys sporting the red white and blue logo of our country, we begin our warm up. 1830. Game time. 

70 minutes later we emerged with a 4-2 score-line, placing us at the top of the table, awaiting the score of tomorrow’s game, Canada vs. Chile. But until then, we can relax, and enjoy tomorrow: the last rest day before the fateful 2 games ahead, and our trip back home. Dinner was amazing, and with the cheerful atmosphere as a result of our wins, the team is in a very upbeat mood. Thanks for reading!

 

Andrew Davis and Austin GroeneveldImage

 
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