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Bridges FC Newsletter – Summer 2012
This year’s trip to the Netherlands and Denmark proved to be a huge success for Bridges FC. Although we were fortunate enough to have a winning record while playing against some of the highest competition that Bridges has seen in its history, success came in seeing players develop in their ability, mentality, and in their personal lives.
We started out playing against the Reserves from SBV Vitesse, an Eredivisie team that finished 7th in the 2011 – 2012 season and qualified for Europa playoffs. This was a game that opened the eyes of Bridges players to how demanding the game actually is when played at the highest level. A 4 – 0 loss forced an inward look to determine if individuals on the team actually wanted to do the work necessary to improve as players. This resulted in an individual and team resolve to work hard and continue to improve.
For the rest of our time in the Netherlands, Bridges stepped up to the challenge of excellent competition and improved how we played, resulting in a 1 – 0 win against sc Heerenveen’s Reserves (an Eredivisie team that finished 5th in the 2011 – 2012 season and also qualified for Europa playoffs). Although sc Heerenveen was technically a more talented team, the mental toughness to defend allowed the Bridges team not only to compete, but to capitalize on a counter attack opportunity. Seeing that Bridges lost to sc Heerenveen Reserves 6 – 1 in 2011, this was a highlight of the trip that even resulted in the 1st Assistant Coach of the 1st Team taking interest in signing one of our players.
With a very short turn around, we traveled the next day to play against FC Utrecht’s Reserve Team, another Eredivisie team. A 1 – 1 draw was a fair result in this match and again displayed the mental toughness of this Bridges team in the midst of adverse traveling conditions and back-to-back games. Head Coach Bret Hall spent the Spring months preparing players to work and even thrive in situations such as this and it showed during this very difficult stretch of games. At the end of the match, a scout from FK AS Trenčín (Corgoň Liga, Slovakia) spoke to Assistant Coach/General Manager Jeff Roy concerning his interest in 3 Bridges players, proving that you never know who is watching.
The next day we traveled 10 hours to Denmark by vans in order to play against our partner club, HB Køge (1st Division, Denmark) the following day. Again, the mental toughness of the Bridges team was tested and again, the team found success. In a very good match, Bridges defeated HB Køge 2 – 0, which ended up resulting in 2 Bridges players staying to train with HB Køge and one of them, Nigel Marples, signing a contract with the team.
Throughout our stay in Denmark, HB Køge Sportsdirector Per Rud and Head Coach Tommy Nielson were immensely hospitable and helpful. Per was instrumental in setting up all of Bridge’s friendly matches in Denmark (4 in total) and providing our team with wonderful accommodations on the coast of the Baltic Sea. We are very thankful for the strong partnership that exists between our clubs and look forward to strengthening it as we move forward.
We were also happy to have Bridges Partner Rob Keith and his son Connor with the team while in Denmark. Special thanks also go to the team cook, Brian Doherty, and the athletic trainer, Katrina Courtright.
Continuing from the winter and spring, we were able to provide times of Bible Study and show Willow Creek Sermons over the Internet during the trip. Approximately 10 – 12 players participated in these times of looking deeper at who God is and what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. By the end of the trip, 3 players showed a desire to know Jesus in a deeper way. We are humbled and blessed to see God working in the lives of the players.
We also had 2 players travel directly to Sweden from Denmark to train/trial with a 1st Division team, as well as having 8 players in the process of being placed on professional teams with the help of Per Rud from HB Køge.
Thank you for your continued support of Bridges FC! To find out more about the trip, please visit our website at: http://www.bridgesfc.com/european-tours/2012/1836/.
Website and Social Media
We continue to update our website, Facebook page (Bridges FC Group), and Twitter Account (@BridgesFC). Be sure to check out our website regularly at www.bridgesfc.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Many players who train with Bridges FC do not have the means to provide for all or a portion of their expenses. Through our partnership with Sockers Youth Foundation, Ltd., a tax exempt Illinois 501(c)(3) Corporation, Bridges FC is able to provide scholarships to players in need.
If you would like to donate, please mail your contribution to:
Sockers Youth Foundation, Ltd.
126 W Liberty Drive
Wheaton, IL 60187
In the Memo Line, write “Adult European Tour”.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of Bridges FC.