Upon arrival in Melbourne we are greeted by Melbourne Victory Goalkeeper, Danny Vukovic, who was staying in our hotel. Danny wished the boys all the best for their trip and was a fine example to how professional footballers should be around young players. He was well mannered, approachable and was delighted to meet us.
We all had dinner and then the players went to their rooms weary eyed after a long day of travel and excitement. The following day we made our way to the MCG to watch Real Madrid train. The looks on the children’s faces when Ronaldo, Bale and their team mates took to the pitch was priceless and we all watched as they were put through the session by new coach, Rafael Benitez. Training consisted of a dynamic warm-up, 11v11 keep ball and then into an 8 goal game. The session finished with an 11v11 game and some crossing and finishing. It was a basic session which was made to look very simple by the players who had world class 1st touches and the ability to play in tight areas and retain possession with simplicity.
After lunch we made our way to ‘Football Star Academy’ following an invitation from our friend and former Manchester United, Ajax, Bordeaux and Denmark professional footballer, Jesper Olsen. Jesper met us in England last year when we stayed at St Georges Park and he was the ultimate host once again. The players played in a small sided 4v4 tournament against with Football Start Academy squads and great fun was had by all. We hope to welcome Jesper and FSA to Perth very soon. See below an email which was sent by Jesper following our visit
“Great to have Pro Football Training visiting our FSA centre yesterday, it was great fun. The boys represented PFT in such a great way, very humble, beautiful manners and very keen footballers, real pleasure to have you all around for what turned out to be a great 4 hours”
Jesper Olsen, Football Star Academy
On Saturday we started the day with a walk followed by breakfast. We then prepared for our Futsal games with Football Technique School which is run by Michael McGhee. It was fantastic experience for the players and parents and highlights what can be achieved when players are in a controlled environment. The players at FTS train and play together and their ability to play with no fear and have an exceptional awareness of the game was a joy to watch. The FTS parents have bought into the program and see the benefits of playing in an environment which is totally player centric and no mention of winning games or leagues is allowed.
Following a team dinner we walked together with the other 80,000 people to the MCG.
The look on the PFT children’s face was priceless as we were part of 80,000 people watching some of the world’s greatest footballers. We are very proud to see PFT Graduate Daniel Da Silva take to the pitch for AS Roma who is an inspiration to the children on how far you can go if you dedicate yourself and strive to reach your potential.
Ronaldo, Bale, Totti and friends were fantastic to watch in action and the PFT players will remember forever seeing them play. The game ended 0-0 and an exciting penalty shoot-out resulted in victory for AS Roma.
Our final day started with a surprise visit from West Australian and current Melbourne Victory player, Scott Galloway, joining us for breakfast. Scott was a member of the WA State Team when Barry was the coach and also played for the WA State Futsal Team when Mark looked after the program. As well as this he is a former team mate of Josh so it was a pleasure to see him again. He spoke with great confidence to all of the touring squad and inspired them to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. We wish Scott well for the 2015/16 season in the A-League and also with his National Team duties.
The players and parents were a delighted to take on tour and we were hugely impressed with everyone and the way they represented themselves.
Information for our 2016 European Tour will be released soon and we hope many will choose to attend.