The 7 Elite Academy tour of Australia has been called a “blueprint for the future” after a group of 30 young players and staff enjoyed a ten-day soccer and sightseeing expedition.
The trip, which started on November 15th, included three games in Queensland against local teams, as well as intense training and coaching sessions.
The group also enjoyed tours of landmarks on Australia’s famous Gold Coast, including Tangalooma Island, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Lady Elliot Island.
7EA Global Technical Director, Anthony Godfrey, said the tour was a life-changing opportunity for the players - and one that will be repeated in the future.
He said: “Every detail of this trip was designed to offer our young players an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It was a fantastic ten days for everyone involved.
“The important thing for me is that our youngsters not only played some great games of soccer, but they also had the chance to develop skills off the pitch.
“Each player had to raise thousands of dollars to pay for the trip and that for me is equally important. It showed that hard work and determination are important in all walks of life.
“As an academy, this is a blueprint for the future of how we want to give youngsters the opportunity to develop as good human beings, while also performing well as soccer players.”
The tour also included beach-side training and recovery sessions, as well as kayaking, sightseeing and snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef.
7EA CEO Wayne Scholes, who accompanied the trip alongside Anthony Godfrey and several other members of staff, was delighted with the professionalism shown by the Academy’s youngsters.
He said: “This has been a fantastic experience for every single player and of course, our staff. Each day has shown them something new and spectacular. These boys earned a trip through hard work where they saw and did things in ten days that most people will not see and do in a lifetime.
“The teams we faced were sometimes older and more experienced, and I am so proud of the way our players conducted themselves in often testing conditions.
“Australia provided some great teams for us to play against, the quality of soccer there is very, very high. The relationships that our boys made playing there will last a lifetime.
“It really expanded our boys’ view of the world, and that is a massive part of why we did this. Soccer is the biggest sport in the world and 7 Elite as an academy has a mission to expand our players’ viewpoints of the world and in particular soccer.
“I am looking forward to expanding these tours for other groups in our academy over the next few years. There is no reason why we couldn’t take multiple teams next time.
“We want our youngsters to expand their horizons in all aspects of their lives and these tours are the perfect opportunity to do that.”