ADAM Boyd had already hit the back of the net 100 times in Holland before his strike during the 2-0 win over AGOVV Apeldoorn.
For, with the help of Ritchie Humphreys, the born-again striker has used the European getaway as a chance to build confidence in front of goal.
Following training on both Thursday and Friday, Boyd and Humphreys stayed behind for an extra practice session, the latter serving up 50 deliveries for the former to finish from close range.
And that schooling paid dividends on Saturday evening as Boyd opened the scoring in the first friendly match of the summer against Dutch second-tier outfit AGOVV.
It was the Hartlepool-born ace who started and finished the swift breakaway which saw the mightily impressive James Poole feed Evan Horwood who in turn picked out Boyd on the penalty spot.
There was still work to be done, however, and he stepped inside two opposition defenders before rifling into the roof of the net.
And, speaking to SportMail from Pools’ Heiloo base ahead of tonight’s match against FC Den Bosch, Boyd revealed the secret behind that nonchalant finish.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Ritchie Humphreys,” said the 28-year-old, who was partnered in attack with Colin Larkin during the first half at Sportpark Het Maalwater.
“Ritchie’s done a lot of work with me during the past few days on close-range finishing.
“We mentioned it on the first day back that there’s nothing like a striker hitting the ball into the back of the net.
“So everyday after training he’s got me doing about 50 finishes, just little volleys and side foots from close range in and around the box.
“If you do that enough then it’ll just come naturally when you get in those positions – it’s a state of mind of a striker, putting the ball in the back of the net.
“I’ve always got confidence in myself but doing that has definitely helped and it was great to see that work pay off and get a goal.”
Full story in Monday’s Mail