A nice summary of the U14 Vikings Tour to Barcelona in May
Barcelona Tour – May 4th – 21st 2012
On the 4th of May 2012, a select group of some of the best Under 14 Futsal players in the country embarked on what would turn out to be a tour of a lifetime. With eager smiles and anticipation for what was awaiting us on the other side of the world, we hitched up our bags and boarded our first (of many) flights to the second largest city in Spain: Barcelona.
After two days of travel and a couple of stopovers in Singapore and Helsinki we arrived to the welcoming charm of our hosts Chris Taylor and Rachel Stevens. And from there the fun began.
In the days following the boys got stuck into their training with Coach Charlie Vanderstam. A few sessions in, they were introduced to Santi, one of the head coaches for Barcelona FC. It was at this point the boys were starting to gel as a team and the extra training was starting to show off. Our first game saw the boys go down 6-3, but it wasn’t without a fight. Our second game was against one of the toughest Futsal clubs in the country and the team surprised everyone, especially the opposition, with they way the played and the perserverance to play on til the end. The result came in the dying minutes with Nastic securing their win over the Aussies (only just) 2-1. Our third and fourth games were against clubs of similar strength, but by this point, the team had had enough training to work out what they needed to do. Winning both games comfortably. Our fifth and final game saw the boys go out on a high with a 3-3 draw.
Between all the Futsal, there was plenty of time for leisure and sightseeing. Going for day trips into Taragona and Barcelona where we had the oppurtunity to tour Camp Nou, the home stadium of Barcelona FC, spend the day at Port Aventura (one of the largest theme parks in Europe), watch an official La Liga Football Match between Espanyol and Sevillia, and a first grade game between Nastic and Girona. We also got to visit the Roman Ruins in Taragona, learning about the history of the Ampitheatre and its surrounding buildings. We spent a little time at the local Markets in Cambrils and on our last day in the country hit up the waterpark; Aquapolis. Both parents and children alike got amoungst the water rides and had a fantastic day.
The trip was not without its shopping too! Visiting sports superstores, tourist shops and eating our hearts out with local food and Gelati! We also spent a lot of time on the beach playing beach soccer with the locals, and also met a couple of ex-professional players from Wales!
With spirits high after jam packed tour of Futsal and sightseeing, we began the long journey back home to the land of Oz.
The boys were a credit to themselves and a credit to their country throughout the tour. Behaving themselves at all time and respecting the culture of the people of Spain. They trained hard, and played with spirit and determination and hopefully have taken away some new insight into the game of Futsal. We couldn’t have asked for a better group. Everything was on time and went according to plan. Our hosts were the most gracious and accomodating pair and are excited at the prospect of another touring group returning in the near future.
With everyone now back on Aussie soil and back into the normal swing of things – I hope everyone, players and supporters alike, had an enjoyable and memorable trip to Barcelona and wish all the boys the very best in their future Futsal endeavours.