Overseas Football Tour Report
The 1st XI Senior Football Squad concluded their 2019 season with a five-day tour in Milan, Italy, where they trained at Inter Milan’s Academy. While there, we were also able to see the sights of Lombardia’s capital and attend a Serie A fixture on the Sunday evening – Inter Milan v Atalanta, at the iconic 80,000-seater San Siro.
The tour started with a much longer flight than anticipated. What should have been a two-and-a-half-hour flight ended up being a seven-hour flight with an unexpected stop in Turin while Milan Malpensa found space for our flight to land. After this, there was little time to waste before getting out for our first evening training session at the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti.
The tour involved the squad experiencing four 90-minute training session with the outfielders training with specialist coaches while the two goalkeepers training with their own keeper coach. The weather was nice for half of the time and more ‘familiar’ the rest of the time. We ate out in the evenings and were able to try some Italian food, some new and some as expected (pizza, etc.) and this helped enhance the tour experience.
Sights in Milan include the Duomo di Milano (cathedral) and the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The squad enjoyed some free time in the centre, getting to know their surroundings.
Our fixture was on the second day and finished ASD Lombardina 1969 (0 v 4) LGS, with a solid performance and goals from Gamble, Wales and Corden (2). We also saw two other fixtures whilst in Milan, an U18s Academy fixture of Inter Milan U18s (1 v 1) Giana U18s and then, the main event, Inter Milan (0 v 0) Atalanta at San Siro on the Sunday evening. The match had big chances missed by the Nerazzuri’s Mauro Icardi and Matteo Politano while the Orobici saw Josep Iličić impress with some skilful moments. The atmosphere was great to be amongst – the Inter Ultras in the Curva Nord making it a big occasion for all the 65,000 in the ground.
On our return, we had some presentations, the 18/19 Capocannoniere (top scorer) was James Corden, the Migliore Calciatore (best player/player of the season) went to Tour Captain Jay Werb, the Rete dell’anno (goal of the season) for Jakob Rana’s back-heel flick v Twycross House and the Year 12 Calciatore (player) award went to Tom Gamble.
The final day was a busy one as we fitted in our final training session, had presentations and then flew back to Luton-no problems this time.
The squad all enjoyed their time in Milan and involving themselves in a unique experience, my thanks to all the parents for supporting this and Mr Kulk who ably provided much needed assistance during the tour.