FC Porto Football Trip

FC Porto Football Trip

FC Porto Football trip

October 2017

We are delighted to announce that the recent football development trip to Portugal was an excellent success. The trip involved 32 students travelling to Porto, Portugal to train with the club’s academy and play against 2 of their development squads. Below is a summary of the trip:

Day 1

It was an early start for the tour party with staff, parents and students meeting at Polam Hall for a 5am start. The first destination was Liverpool airport with the group due to arrive in Porto for 2.30pm approx. Both the coach journey and the flight to Portugal included a large amount of excitement and anticipation and we were greeted with a refreshing 20+ degrees Celsius temperature. Once we had arrived in Portugal it was straight off to Vitalis Park, the Porto football training centre in central Porto. After a well needed lunch the players went straight into the first of their 4 training sessions. Training in the Porto training kit seemed to increase the intensity level somewhat and was an excellent touch from the Porto staff. After training it was check-in at the hotel. A wonderful spot in Fao, with room balconies overlooking the sea and a very tranquil swimming pool area.

Day 2

Day 2 was another action packed day and started with a wonderful breakfast overlooking the ocean. It was then off to Vitalis Park for the second training session. Both the U16 and U14 squads were beginning to get up to match intensity with the games coming up on Wednesday. After training we enjoyed a tour around Porto city centre before attending the Porto vs. Leixoes match at the Estadio do Dragao (the FC Porto stadium). Even though the game finished 0-0, there was a fantastic atmosphere and seeing the FC Porto team play a game was an amazing experience.

Highlight of Day 2 = joining in with the Portuguese football chants at the FC Porto match!

Day 3

Wednesday was all about preparing for the games on the evening. Both the Under 14s and the Under 16s were scheduled to play against two Porto development sides who would be extremely well trained and organized. The morning training session moved to the venue of the game, Fao FC’s stadium. When we arrived we were told that Benfica had recently played on the pitch that the U16’s were due to play on. Training was excellent!

After some relaxation time at the hotel and a team talk over dinner we travelled to the venue of the game. The Under 14’s played first and put on a magnificent display going down only by 2 goals to 1 against an extremely talented Porto side. Ciaran Dixon captained the side extremely well and Daniel Buckle scored an outstanding goal. Something that he will remember for a lifetime. Well done U14’s. The under 16s played next and put in a fantastic team performance to make it hard for the Porto development team. Cameron Gornall was excellent in the middle of the park whilst Harry Haloui worked his socks off playing from left wing. Ben Swindale skippered the side and led by example. Even though the game ended in defeat the fact that the side battled extremely well against excellent opposition shows how much progress they had made.

Day 4

Thursday morning gave everybody a bit of time to wind down after the events of Wednesday night. It was then off to training again for our final training session with the coaches. The mood was excellent given the results from last night. The players had now fully bought into the FC Porto philosophy and were beginning to demonstrate skills and tactical awareness that they never knew they had.

After training we got the chance to visit the FC Porto stadium for lunch in a VIP box, a tour of the stadium and museum and then a trip to the club shop.Lunch included an awards ceremony where all players received a medal and a certificate as well as a speech from Raul, the lead coach of the FC Porto academy squads.

Day 5

Unfortunately we had to go home at some point and Friday was that day. The flight home was excellent, although it was tough to say goodbye to our lifelong friend – Portuguese Joh.

It’s fair to say that everybody came back a better player and with an increased understanding of the how the beautiful game should be played and how it can teach us a lot about life and how we can achieve big things.

Mr Joel Galley, PE Teacher and one very proud school football coach!