Danish legend sees value in Mamelodi Sundowns' Netherlands trip
Posted: 20 March 2017 Time: 16:24
Former Denmark international Jon Dahl Tomasson believes in the practice of sending young teams abroad with Multichoice Diski Challenge champions Mamelodi Sundowns currently on tour in the Netherlands.
Appearing 122 times for his national team, Tomasson amassed an impressive tally of 52 international goals despite being deployed primarily as a second striker and attacking midfielder.
He is widely recognised as a Feyenoord legend and was a Uefa Champions League winner with AC Milan, playing alongside the likes of Paulo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka.
Speaking with KickOff.com, Tomasson was complimentary of the initiative to send the winning MDC team on a tour of a foreign country as he feels it aids a player's development drastically.
"I think it is always good to tour abroad. First of all you are going as a team which is good for bonding but most important, of course, is the football," says Tomasson, currently assistant coach of the Danish national team.
"I think playing different clubs and experiencing different football cultures is a good way to learn because everyone is doing things a little differently. You learn from that and how to cope with that.
"Playing football is always about choices and making the right choices. It's an advantage to play different teams because you have to learn something new."
Tomasson went on to underline the value of getting a good education whilst furthering yourself as a footballer - a philosophy entrenched in the Dutch playing culture.
"I think it's important to do that [get an education whilst playing football]. There is a lot of talent out there but it is really difficult to get through, and of course you have seen people who only talk about football, football, football," he adds.
"It's a problem because at the end of the day if they are not good enough they have an issue. So my advice to young footballers would be to study as well."
Mamelodi Sundowns MDC coach David Notoane echoed the sentiments of Tomasson with regard to education, stating that the club were already attempting to foster a European approach to education.
"We expect to experience the culture of the Netherlands - the foot all culture and the lifestyle in terms of how the Dutch do things," Notoane tells this website.
"They're a very intelligent and creative nation. Those are things outside of the field that we hope to come and see and learn from and take back home in terms of underlining the importance of education, which is something that is emphasised in our club.
"Putting these kids in the best schools, giving them the best facilities and opportunities. I think this environment illustrates nicely that if you have a stable education – even if you have a football career – you can set your family up for the future."