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2009 UK Tour with PSV Union 94B, 93G, 94G


PSV Union 94G & Liverpool FC U14 Girls

Tour Review/Diary

 

The 93G & 94G girls teams played 5 games each vs English Academy teams, winning 9 and drawing 1. Although there were some talented players on the opposition squads, their top did not play against PSV Union -- these players typically play up (e.g. U18 or on the women’s team or reserves). The 94G played teams that were mostly younger (a mix of 12-14 year old players -- not unlike our own squad, but with more players in the 95 to 96 age range than 94). The Liverpool and Chelsea team had their first experience playing together and playing 11 v 11 when they played our 94 team (European teams don’t play 11 v 11 until U14) and it was also the first training game since May for each team we played. The 93G also played mostly younger players (we had some guest players too so this worked out). We had the benefit of being 3 weeks into our pre-season with our touch and fitness already pretty high as well as our chemistry. Indeed Everton canceled on us because they were still on summer break. Questions were asked about the level of competition; while it wasn’t as high as we would have liked because of the timing of their season and their top players playing up as stated above, we did find ample competition, especially with the 93G. We also had the benefit of being in good shape individually and collectively.

Remember, we train often 2x more here at Union than girls' teams in most other countries (and even more than most US teams) and are improving week in and week out. We have the benefit of European training from the men’s side of the game along with extensive time input in terms of hours on the field both in practice and games. In other words, Union FC is a unique football environment and we prepared the players well for these games. This is not to say that players in other programs or in other countries do not train on their own -- very common -- to improve their game. It is important to be aware of the fact that our own players are improving rapidly so be sure not to undermine our ability as players and coaches! It wasn’t long ago that many of our teams and players weren’t even on the soccer map locally.

Through hard work, high caliber material/teaching and adding players to our squad, our teams have improved. We play in a way that takes many years to develop. The style and philosophy are difficult to play and difficult to teach -- some of the technical, physical and tactical training the players are receiving are higher level than college soccer and can be found in men’s professional teams sessions throughout the world. Its normal that over time the players will start to exhibit some of the finest qualities you will find on the football field.

Overall, the opposition was adequate and what we needed for our pre-season. Most of the younger players got some experience with the 93G team (some played in several games with ample time) who rested several injured players so the balance of the tour competition was good for them.

Game Results:

93G vs. Croydon FC W 10:0
94G vs. Croydon FC W 5:0
93G vs. QPR FC W
94G vs. QPR FC W 1:0
93G vs. Liverpool FC D 4:4
94G vs. Liverpool FC W 3:0
93G vs. Blackburn Rovers FC W 3:0
94G vs. Blackburn Rovers FC W 1:0
93G vs. Chelsea FC W 6:3
94G vs. Chelsea FC W 2:1

Account of UK Tour

by Annie Kingman, 


This year I had the opportunity to go to England for a soccer and sightseeing tour. It was the most amazing experience of my life and I am extremely grateful for having had the chance to go. The professional games, our games, and the sights were unforgettable. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. 

When we first arrived in England I was stunned. It was everything I imagined and more. Just driving to the College, I saw at least a dozen fields occupied by kids and adults all playing football. There is such a difference in the soccer culture between the US and England.  At the college we jogged to the park to stretch. The parks are great. The grass in some parts is perfectly cut, which was great for our game against the 93s. 
               

Also in London we played great games of soccer tennis and mini games on the tennis courts. We needed to have closer touches and move the ball faster.  While in London we saw a ton of cool sights. Earlier on the tour, we went on the famous London Eye, which I learned is only supported on one side. It was a ton of fun to ride up in it with our teammates. We also saw Buckingham Palace, and the Queen was in! In addition we saw the castle where the Queen’s family lives. Men in red uniforms with the famous tall hats guarded the castles. We learned that the people who guard them have four or five hour shifts, and their goal is to work their way up the ranks to be one of the guards of the queen herself.  We took the train and a double deck bus. Some of the girls even went into the National Gallery. 
    Near the end of the tour we went to Chelsea Stadium. It was interesting to see the actual stadium and go into the store. It’s really incredible to see how the football clubs shape the people around them. I saw so many people by Chelsea wearing Chelsea shirts. The same goes for Liverpool, Manchester and Everton.
 On the last day of the tour we went to the Tower Of London. It was really cool to see the castle and the river. Some girls went inside the castle, and others decided to stay outside and walk across the tower bridge. I was one of the few that decided to stay outside. The Tower Bridge was amazing. We walked to the other side and then back in the rain. 
While in London we saw two live, professional games. The first was Paris Saint-Germain vs Atlectico Madrid. It resulted in a 1-1 tie. Unfortunately we only saw the tail end but it was still amazing. Next was Arsenal vs Rangers. It was an especially cool game because there was a bunch of away fans cheering and singing chants and taunting the home fans. I’d ever seen anything like this before and it was a really great experience. The final result was 3-0 Arsenal, and this won Arsenal the 2009 Emirates Cup. 
While in London we played three games. The first was against Croydon FC. The result was a 6-0 win. The field was great and they even served us lunch and gave us a glass trophy. The second game was against Crystal Palace. The final score was a 1-0 win. We played them on turf, and they even gave us a ball signed by every player. The third game in London was against Chelsea. This was the hardest game. We ended up with a 6-3 win, but they were not a bad team. They provided a locker room for us with bathrooms and showers, which really got me excited to play. It was fun playing against teams from another country.
    After our adventures in London, we went to Liverpool. There, the public parks are also fabulous to play on and we had another game against the 93s and the coaches. 
    In Liverpool, we saw two magnificent churches. It was remarkable to see the history behind the city that makes it so special. We also saw the old docks and got to go in huge inflatable balls and roll around in the river. We also got to see Liverpool Academy. There were so many perfect fields including one inside for when it gets to cold. We even got to see some of the offices including Kenny Daglish’s. We saw where they give lectures, and where the players go to school. I learned that at the academy, the players need to live in an hour and a half driving radius, and they can finish their schooling in the academy. They need to keep up their grades to play at Liverpool. We also saw one of the first Association Football clubs, Accrington Stanley. We got to see their stadium, and Gary talked to us about the origin of the game with the ball and the two cities. We even got to visit Wales for tea and crumpets as well as exploring a castle.  
    One of my favorite parts of the trip was talking to Gary’s old professor, Rogan Taylor. He talked to us about how the game makes room for everyone and that’s why they call it the world’s game, about soccer in the US, and about his books. He told us about how Maradona said “the game even made room for a short, chubby guy like me.” He also told us about how much he admired Puskas. He said that all I ever wanted to do was be his friend. His dream came true one night at a party when Puskas was offered a ride and he said, “no I am waiting for my friend Rogan.”  Rogan wrote the biography, Puskas on Puskas. Rogan also talked about today’s game. He said that there is a lot of “athletes” in the game today and not so many special players. He talked about players like Zidane, who can make the 12-inch pass. I really enjoyed listening to him speak. 
    While in Liverpool we played two games. The first was against Liverpool. Like Chelsea, they also had a locker room and a tunnel. The field was tremendous and it was fun to play on. The final score was 3-0 Union. The second game in Liverpool was against Blackburn. Their field was also very nice. The final score was 1-0 Union. 
The third game we saw was Manchester United vs Valencia. The final score was 2-0 Man United. It was fun seeing the stadium and the fans who were always singing and cheering. The fourth game was Liverpool vs Athletico Madrid. Even though it wasn’t Liverpool’s best game it was still fun to watch. The score was 2-1 Madrid. There were so many fans and they all sung the songs and made the experience unforgettable. 
The whole trip was amazing and I am so grateful that I got to be a part of it. Thanks to everyone who made the trip possible. I learned a ton on the trip and had a great time.