30 Jan Strikers South Bay FC UK Soccer Tour
In the final installment of our recent mini-series detailing the trips from the US to the UK for memorable soccer tours, today we are retelling the trip for the American club Strikers FC, hailing from South Bay, California.
Fun Fact: Soccer is originally from the UK, and this tour took the Strikers right into the heart of where it started. This trip started November 24, and finished up on December 1, providing memories to last a lifetime for our lucky Californian clients. On Nov 24th, the left California for London.
As we do with all of our big tours, DB Sports Tours had a representative onsite at London Heathrow to meet them and subsequently guide them for their week-long soccer experience. Monday afternoon the group had the opportunity to train with professional West Ham United Academy coaches at the West Ham Community Training Grounds at Albatross Close, London.
After such a long journey followed immediately by an intense training session the group needed a bit of a rest before Tuesday’s activities. In the morning it was a trip to Fulham FC’s Training Ground in Motspur Park, London. DB Sports Tours have long held a strong relationship with Fulham FC, so such a fantastic opportunity was arranged with ease for the Californian natives.
Following the training session, the Strikers FC group took part in a Fulham FC Philosophy and Education seminar, detailing what sets Fulham FC apart from their peers in terms of youth development. According to their own site, “[The Fulham FC Academy] is very focused on individual development within a high performance environment. This is complimented by a supportive and caring culture”.
Furthermore, the site states that “In July 2012, the Club announced that the Academy had been awarded Category One status under the new Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). The Academy is central to the Club’s current and future plans, as was evidenced by the significant redevelopment of our Motspur Park Training Ground in the summer of 2016, to keep the facilities in line with the best available.”.
Clearly, getting exposed to such a clear philosophy in coaching young soccer players in such an environment was massively beneficial to the American teams, and further highlights the unique opportunities which arise from a soccer tour with DB Sports Tours.
Following the trip to Mostpur Park, the group then went on a guided tour of London with the famed tour group Totally Tailored Tours, and enjoyed walking tour of this world-famous city. They visited sites such as Buckingham Palace, The House of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, to name just a few. That evening it was time for live soccer, in the form of Fulham FC vs. Derby County in the EFL Championship. One particular highlight was at half-time, when the group got to get on the field and take part in the crossbar challenge in front of the whole crowd!
By Wednesday it was time to head north, to Stoke-on-Trent, where the training and education of elite level soccer in the UK could continue apace. Here they trained with professional Stoke City Academy coaches at their Stoke City FC Academy Dome training facilities. After a busy day of traveling and training it was finally time to head to Manchester, as the final leg of the trip approached.
On Thursday the Strikers FC group went to the home of Manchester United – Old Trafford, checking out the dugouts, changing rooms, and even a visited to the hallowed pitch of the 20 time English First Division Champions. Before leaving Old Trafford, however, the group enjoyed lunch at the Old Trafford spot Red Café. Thursday was of course Thanksgiving Day, so the group celebrated with enjoy a traditional meal in Hotel Football that evening. At the meal the group met a special guest, former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer!
On Friday this soccer tour had nearly come to an end, but the activities remained bumper to bumper in their schedule. In the morning they participated in a training session held by former professional soccer player and current Academy coach at Manchester City, Ian Fitzpatrick, at the Manchester Maccabi Community and Sports Club.
Following the training session, the Strikers FC headed to the Etihad, for an up close and personal tour of the reigning Premier League Champions’ home stadium. That evening it was time to put their skills to the test following all the training they had received over the course of the trip, with a game against a Bolton Wanderers youth side.
Saturday was the final day of this special soccer tour for the Californian team Strikers FC, and once again DB Sports Tours delivered with a bespoke schedule of activities on the day. First up the Strikers FC played in their final game, this time against semi-pro team, Egerton FC. After the game it was time to attend another professional game! This time it was Burnley vs Crystal Place at their Turf Moor stadium for some Premier League action.
After a week of activities touring the UK and all that the home of soccer has to offer, Strikers FC headed back Stateside with a catalogue of memories and new soccer skills to stand them in good stead for the rest of their soccer careers. If you are interested in booking a similar soccer tour with DB Sports Tours, then don’t hesitate to contact our office here. While you’re here, keep an eye on our regularly updated blog over the Christmas period here.