Writer: Auckland Owl
Date:Monday July 14 2008
At last, we can put the interminable takeover discussion to one side and concentrate on.. a little bit of football.
The Owls are heading out to Holland for their opening pre-season matches, against two Dutch Eerste Divisie (Championship equivalent) sides: HFC Haarlem (Tuesday 15th) and Stormvogels Telstar (Thursday 17th). Both matches will kick off at 7pm in Heiloo, Noord Holland, and will be played at HSV's ground, Sportpark het Maalwater, in stadium 'de Basis' in the town. Tickets will be available at the stadium on the day.
HFC Haarlem was the first club of Dutch legend Ruud Gullit, and (for our older readers) the name of Johnny Metgod pops up on their honours board. Perhaps the most famous Telstar old boy for English fans is Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who started his career there, as did Arjan De Zeeuw.
The Owls will travel without Frank Simek and Francis Jeffers, who are undergoing a period of recuperation at the FA Medical Centre at Lilleshall. Boss Brian Laws will be happy for the opportunity to finally get the rest of the squad focused on their job and concentrating on the new season, well away from the off-field shenanigans.
Laws' comments have been positive so far, with a special mention for the conditioning of Leon Clarke, plus he had this to say to the official site: 'I'm really pleased with the way things are going. The players are really focused, with a fantastic professional attitude, and pulling out all the stops.
'Many of them have stood out. I could have a real problem on my hands when it comes to picking the team.
'It's hard to single out individuals, but Rocky Lekaj has come back a different player. So has Etienne Esajas, and Deon Burton looks in great nick. All the players have come back looking really good.'
It seems an age since the Norwich game.. finally, we get some real action. Bring it on, we're ready!
Date:Monday July 14 2008
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