Last week saw Leyton Orient’s academy participate in a international youth tournament hosted by Valencia CF which was both fun and challenging during our five-day tour to Spain, playing against Real Betis, Alicante, Castellon, Burjasot CF and Col Sagui Ede.
We believed the tournament would prove to be difficult in the beginning – having so many top European sides to compete against and as it progressed we hoped we would be able to develop as the players adapted to the soaring temperatures and style of play.
Each day created an opportunity for the children to learn something new or immediately work on something from the previous games, while also having the added benefit of watching other Spanish teams play.
Exposing the players to a new language, its culture and experiencing different Spanish foods and its weather helped them grow as a person throughout the trip, gaining a sense of independence, whilst maintaining their professionalism.
The children behaved exceptionally well throughout the tournament, listening and taking in new information during each interval, showing a desire and perseverance to be successful. We naturally expected every player to make mistakes, guiding them and managing that process helped create an opportunity to increase their motivation, which culminated in our first victory of the tour when we won our second game.
The players can be extremely proud, winning the ‘FIFA Fair Play’ award, voted for by other teams and organisers who recognised the outstanding contribution and respect shown from our academy.
We would like to thank the parents, academy and office staff, who worked extremely hard to make the tour happen, and to support us during our stay.
ORIENT: Nils Ramming, Sam Morris, Arthur Maskell, Josh Riza, Kye Eren, Jack Campkin, Frankie Morgan, Daniel Carter, Daniel Adams, Justin Elezi, Hayden Barrett, Zach Carryl, Harry Bennett