SUSFC 2018 FOotball Tour of uk & spain

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At the conclusion of the 2018 BYL season the SUSFC U/14 BYL players had the opportunity to travel and experience the fantastic football culture of the UK and Spain, watching matches, training, playing games & touring stadiums in Liverpool, Manchester, Barcelona and Madrid.

We were privileged to enjoy high-intensity sessions under expert coaches, taking away with us, valuable learnings in training techniques and tactical awareness. The sessions were an excellent learning opportunity for the players. Some of the places the players trained at included

Ø  Real Madrid’s Football Complex which is rated one of the best training facilities in the world.

Ø  Athletico Madrid’s 1st team training complex.

Ø  FC Barcelona ‘La Masia’ and Espanyol’s first team training facilities.

Ø  Liverpool’s Kirby Academy.

Ø  Wigan Athletic.

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The coaches demanded complete focus, concentration and hard work; synonymous with what we strive for at Sydney University.

The squad also toured famous stadiums including the Anfield (Liverpool), Old Tafford (Manchester United), Main Road (Manchester City),  JW (Wigan Athletic), Bernbeau (Real Madrid) and Nuo Camp (Barcelona) learning about the historical significance of the teams in their respective cities’ culture.

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Highlights included watching Manchester City versus Brighton in the EPL where Australian Goalkeeper Matthew Ryan came over to meet the squad, watching a Champions League match involving Manchester United and Valencia at the famous Old Trafford; at that game the 70,000+ crowd gave us a snapshot of the infectious intensity of CL football & provided an atmosphere that was amazing. We also had the opportunity to also see Manchester City’s Academy facility which is arguably the best in the world, and the bonus of seeing the outstanding former the Sydney based prospect Alexander Robertson (15) make his U/18 debut for Manchester City. We were fortunate to watch the technically outstanding Spanish football when Espanyol meet Villareal in La Liga plus the elite Barcelona B team play a competitive match in Barcelona.

There was sight-seeing around all these beautiful cities where we visited the major landmarks, shopping districts, Cathedrals, Royal Palaces and while in Madrid we also found time to see the famous Spanish FA with the national Football Museum & also the headquarters of the Spanish FA where the Spanish national team were staying at the time.

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In our 3 matches on tour the squad embraced the challenge from the highly skilled and tough competition that we faced. A clear objective of this tour was to put players out of their normal comfort zone and in doing so learn to adapt and become better players, something hopefully we can bring to the BYL Football season ahead.

Throughout the tour the squad grew as a collective, finishing the tour undefeated, winning all three games, with a particularly strong performance against a previously undefeated in 28 matches Spanish opposition at Saint Esteve. Every game poised a new challenge for the team as they faced technically proficient and skilled players.

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This strong competition, as well as the professional coaching advice has really helped the players improve.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the club for giving the BYL the opportunity to experience this tour and in their support of BYL football.

I would also like to thank the Parent group for their time and effort in helping fundraise for the tour, their efforts exemplify the great collective spirit within the BYL. The squad had an amazing time and shared some truly unforgettable experiences.

Written by: Craig Shparley | SUSFC BYL 2019 TD