Alexander Dennis (pictured above in black) of the SCU/MP 99 Boys Elite recently spent ten days in Denmark training. Alexander tells us about his exciting trip below.
My trip to Denmark actually started last spring, when I met Kenn Schmidt. Kenn is the owner of Global Football Training, and was in Charleston for a few days. After a training session at Patriot’s Point, Kenn suggested a visit to his club, HIK (in Copenhagen), sometime in the future. Months of planning went by, and I was able to go just before Thanksgiving.
Soccer, or football, in Denmark is amazing. The three coolest things about football there are the way they train, the style of play and their passion for the game. Danish people seem very wise when it comes to their football.
I mostly trained at FC Nordsjaelland in their 10,000 seat stadium, and it was awesome. I also trained at HIK, a club similar to our club, SCU/MP. They do things different than us in Denmark, and have a really big clubhouse.
Players work on the same skill until it is mastered, often for an entire month, and will train 20 to 24 hours each week. After a skill is mastered, they move onto the next one. It seems most of their time is spent on technical work, and not so much on games (in fact, there are very few games until the players get a little older). At my age, as well as older and younger, players are taught to play the ball out the back, and rarely ever punt the ball.
When the coaches are talking, everyone stops and stands with hands behind their back. It was almost like being in school, the way the players paid attention.
One day, I trained for almost four hours with the M Station Pro rebounder, and spent some time with the inventor, Per. The M Station is used by the youth teams at AC Milan and Arsenal.
My mom, Coach David Jordan and I were able to attend a Super Liga match, sit in the VIP suite, and also tour the TV production room. Brondby beat FC Copenhagen 1-0. I cannot describe the atmosphere of 38,000 fans yelling and screaming nonstop for 90 minutes. Smoke bombs filled the air before the game began. The fans never sat down, and waved the team’s flag and scarves the entire time.
Training was almost every evening, so mom and I were able to be tourists during the day. We visited many old churches and famous places (the Rosenburg Castle, the Round Tower (Rundtarn), the Little Mermaid and I rode my first rollercoaster at Tivoli), took the train to Sweden and ate some amazing food. My mom discovered Pandora bracelets started in Copenhagen, and I learned so did Lego. The Nike store was really fun, but a lot more expensive. Gas is $10 a gallon!
It was really cold in Denmark and they do not have many cars, so we either walked or rode the train everywhere. Sometimes, it was 1.5 miles from the train station to the fields where I trained. Copenhagen was very clean and we always felt comfortable and safe. The people there are so nice, and always helped us out to get our train or provided directions.
Kenn suggested I come back for camp this summer, and I can’t wait. My trip to Denmark was both an unbelievable soccer experience, and taught me how other 12 year olds live in another part of the world. I am very thankful for everyone at home and in Copenhagen who made my trip happen.