45-23-9 (.643) mark over past four seasons
PELLA—Thirteen players are traveling with the Central College women’s soccer team to the Netherlands next week for the program’s first international trip.
The squad will make stops in the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Groesbeek, and Dusseldorf as well as Gelsenkirchen, Germany, March 10-18. The nine-day itinerary includes four games and three training sessions with guest coaches.
“This will be a totally new experience for our players,” coach Mike Kobylinski said. “A lot of them haven’t been overseas and soccer over there is seen in a different light. A small town the size of Pella has at least six clubs and there’s a soccer field every mile.”
Kobylinski believes the squad will gain a new passion for the game.
“I think our players will get a better understanding and appreciation for the game they’ve maybe taken for granted,” he said.
The Dutch will compete against semi-pro club teams and the training sessions are led by professional coaches. Central will also watch two professional games, including one at the storied club of AJAX.
“It’s one of the biggest stadiums in the Netherlands,” Kobylinski said. “It holds 75,000. All the great Dutch footballers have played for that club.”
Central will also tour a stadium, take a canal ride and view historical sites including the Anne Frank house, the Museum of Freedom and the Bridge Too Far.
“We’re visiting a lot of cultural and social landmarks,” Kobylinski said.
Kobylinski is excited to start a new tradition for the program.
“Central’s women’s soccer has never really been outside the Midwest,” Kobylinski said. “We want to try to make it over there every three or four years and take part in our Dutch heritage.”
Kobylinski piloted the Dutch to a 10-7-1 record this fall, the third-best mark in the program’s history. Central placed sixth in the league with a 3-4-1 record and advanced to the conference tournament for the first time since 2007.