30 Jan Iolani HS Soccer Trip from Hawaii to UK
Continuing our recent series of blogs detailing Thanksgiving soccer trips arranged by DB Sports Tours, we have news of our biggest ever soccer trip ever – all the way from Hawaii to the UK. The long trip from the beautiful Pacific island to the home of soccer began on November 22 and ran until November 30.
Iolani High School from Hawaii began their mammoth journey on Friday November 22, firstly flying to Los Angeles, before another lengthy journey flying to London Heathrow. The large group of 39 people were met by DB Sports Tours representatives in the English capital of London, before heading into the city center for free leisure time. After their sightseeing, the group headed to the hotel to catch up on some much-needed rest for the week ahead.
Having begun their journey to the UK early Friday morning in Hawaii, it was Sunday by the time the real activities could begin. On Sunday morning the Iolani High School group departed London for Manchester. Once in the north west English city, the soccer trip truly stepped up, wherein they participated in their first training session with professional youth soccer coaches from Stoke City FC at the Stoke City Academy Dome.
This once again is a key snapshot of the opportunities DB Sports Tours can provide to our customers. Getting to learn from the very best coaches of academy players in the UK is something which this group could simply not have achieved without the widespread contacts attained throughout the DB Sports Tours global network.
Later that evening, the group departed Stoke for their home-away-from-home for the week in Manchester. Monday followed and so did the exciting activities on this soccer tour: this time they traveled to Liverpool to train with professional youth soccer coaches from Tranmere Rovers FC.
Tranmere Rovers, who are currently punching above their financial weight in League One – the third tier in the English soccer pyramid, demonstrated their techniques which mould their youngsters to become professional soccer players in England and abroad.
Later that day Iolani High School put their two recent training sessions with professional youth soccer coaches to the test in a match against a local school’s soccer team, Manchester Grammar School. In what was essentially the culmination of two days hard work for the Hawaiian based group, they showed great tactical awareness throughout the exciting affair.
It seemed like this trip flew by so quickly! It was already Tuesday and the excitement continued swiftly. Now, it was time to experience the truly elite level of youth soccer coaching in England, with Ian Fitzpatrick of Manchester City Academy at the Manchester Maccabi Community Sports Club.
Later that day they visited to the National Football Museum in Manchester. We described in depth the museum in our other recent blog – the trip of Titan’s FC from Dallas, Texas – so check out that post for more in-depth information. However, it’s safe to say the group were overcome with excitement and energy after seeing so many amazing soccer artifacts and playing the interactive games at the museum.
The activity packed day didn’t end there! A major highlight of this trip was attending a Champions League game at the home of the Premier League champions, Manchester City, in the Etihad. Although the home side were held to a tight 1-1 tie on the night with Shakhtar Donetsk, the group were exhilarated with the special opportunity to witness elite level European soccer up close.
On Wednesday they went back to the Etihad, this time for their soccer tour to inside the heart of the famous Manchester City side, getting to visit the changing rooms, dugouts, and tunnels. After a more relaxed morning, it was time to play a game against local school side Loreto High School; another opportunity to put their three recent training sessions with professional youth soccer coaches to the test.
On Thursday time to celebrate Thanksgiving, and with that, a day for relaxation and reflection. The group got to do that in spades, firstly visiting Anfield, the home of the reigning Champions League winners (pro team name). Getting to see up close what is like to play in such an iconic stadium, the group were in awe at the size of this hallowed soccer ground.
After some free time around the wonderful city of Liverpool later that day, it was time for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the hotel for this lucky Hawaiian group of High School students and ardent soccer players.
On Friday it was back to Manchester for the final leg of this monumental soccer tour. The group went to Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. In another behind-the-scenes tour, they got to see up close the changing rooms, dugouts and pitch of the 20 time English First Division champions. Afterwards they enjoyed lunch at the stadium’s very own Red Café.
After what was a long but exciting and memorable week for the group, it was time to make the journey back to Hawaii with memories – and crucial experience of soccer at the elite level in the UK – to last a lifetime. We have one more blog detailing the experience of a US-based group making the transatlantic trip for a UK soccer tour so keep and eye on our busy blog here to check it out.
And finally, should you wish to organise your own soccer trip with DB Sports Tours, all you have to do is contact our office here and we will work with you to create the perfect bespoke soccer tour for you today.