The inaugural ITFC European Road Trip, raising funds for the Ipswich Town FC Academy Association, took place over the weekend of 26th-29th April.
The event (sponsored by Evolve Financial Solutions) saw our party of 21 meet at Portman Road early on Friday morning. A group photograph was taken pitch-side, with all attendees wearing their chosen football shirt to show support for ‘Football Shirt Friday’ in aid of Cancer Research UK and the Sir Bobby Moore Fund.
Our coach then set off on the road from Ipswich to Dover, before taking a lunchtime ferry across to Calais. From France we continued to Bruges in Belgium, which was our first overnight stop. Here we had a lovely meal all together, before heading on to a bar specialising in local beer which had been recommended by our very own tour guide Tim Edwards!
The next morning, after breakfast in our hotel, it was back in the coach and off to Dusseldorf in Germany. We drove directly to the Merkur Spiel-Arena, home of Fortuna Dusseldorf, to watch the home team put on a convincing show and beat visitors Werder Bremen 4-1 from our fantastic seats on the half-way line – complete with pretzels, sausages and beer of course!
After the match we had time to catch up with some of our friends from the Fortuna Blues Supporters’ Group, before heading back to the city centre to watch the second half of ITFC’s televised match away against Sheffield United. We then visited some of the local bars and restaurants on what was a bustling Saturday night in the heart of Dusseldorf.
On the Sunday morning, after spending the night in another excellent hotel, we set off for our third and final destination – Amsterdam. Arriving at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, we were greeted by ITFC legend and Wembley hero Martijn Reuser who had lunch with us before leading us to the stadium’s press room where he gave a presentation about his playing and coaching career. We were then led on a private group tour around the stadium by superb local guide Saki!
Following an evening canal tour and the trip’s last night out, in the centre of Amsterdam, and our last hotel stay-over we set off back via Calais and Dover and on home to Suffolk soil – arriving back at Portman Road in the late evening. Some great memories were created during the trip, with new friendships made and existing friendships strengthened as we traveled across the continent.
We would once again like to thank event sponsors Evolve Financial Solutions for their support. We would also like to the following Associate Sponsors who joined us on the tour:
Dove Street Inn
Classic Football Shirts
To see other photos from the trip and to get the latest ITFC Academy Association and ITFC Hospitality/Events news, follow us on Twitter via the account @ITFC_thevenue and the hashtag #ITFCAcademy.
To add your name to the enquiries list for next season’s ITFC European Road Trip, please call or email ITFC Academy Sales Manager Theo Benneworth via 01473 400510 or email@example.com.