Some years ago Twyford Comets ventured into International competition. A chance conversation between two air traffic controllers at Heathrow and Maastricht in Holland led to the start of an exchange arrangement between Twyford Comets and a Dutch football club, R.K.U.V.C. from Ullestraten a village in Holland near the Belgium border and close to Maastricht. Boys at the under 13/14 age group take part in this exchange which started with the visit of a Dutch team to Twyford in 1981. The following year the same Twyford Comets team made the return trip to Holland and this arrangement has continued to the present day.
During the exchanges the boys go to local sights and stay with host families to learn a little of the British way of life. On the return trip to Holland the Comets children stay with their host families and get to understand a little more about the Dutch culture, language and way of life.
Whilst in the UK, the visiting team are shown around local sites of general or historic interest, there have been visits to Windsor Castle, Thorpe Park, Chelsea and Wembley Stadium tours plus swimming, bowling and watching football games at Reading FC and Rugby games at London Irish. The adults who accompany the touring party are entertained in the evenings with various events such as snooker, race evenings and parties. The visiting team also play several games of football against teams from the local area and other Comets teams. The highlight of the visit is the challenge trophy final played under floodlights followed by the presentation evening. A similar itinerary is put together in Holland when the Comets go to visit.
The club has a Dutch Committee which organises the whole schedule of both home and away visits, and the touring team raises the necessary funds needed to travel by organising events during the year. Originally we obtained sponsorship for the challenge trophy from The Twyford Motor Company but since they have left the village various companies and individuals have sponsored it.
Challenge Trophy Final Results
Games played: 40
COMETS wins 18
RKUVC wins 19
In keeping with the spirit of this event, after more than 30 years of friendly competition it could hardly be more even!