Thursday, 22 September 2005 3:29 PM
On the 19 of September South Melbourne FC will embark on an ambitious project when they sent thirteen young men from their Championship winning Super League team on a twelve-day tour of Italy but this trip is far from being a sightseeing junket. The aim is to give these young men, who were aged between thirteen and fourteen, a taste of the full-time football environment and some enxperience in playing real matches against Italian teenage teams.
Led by South Melbourne coach Jean-Marc Imbert, the young men will play four games against AC Milan and Juventus of Turin. Instead of entering one of the many tournaments organised across Europe, South Melbourne Football Club has organised the matches against the AC Milan and Juventus Academies at the training venues because they feel that doing so would have a greater overall benefit for the players. They will learn from the experience rather than face the pressure of needing to win every match they played, as would have been the case in a tournament.
The schedule is extremely demanding with players having to train twice a day and play games at night. They will also have the opportunity to visit the stadiums, watch two Serie A games and one Champion League game. During the week they will also get the opportunity to watch the stars of AC Milan and Juventus of Turin train.
You are welcomed to follow the progress of the touring party by logging on the South Melbourne website.