Thursday, 21 September 2006 11:33 AM
On the 17 of September South Melbourne Football Club will embark on an ambitious project when they sent fourteen young men from their Championship winning Super League team on a twelve-day tour of France but this trip is far from being a sightseeing junket. The aim is to give these young men, aged between thirteen and fourteen, a taste of the full-time European football environment and some experience in comparing their skills with their French counterparts. This is the second trip for the group. Last year they had a very successful trip to Italy training at AC Milan and Juventus. They learn a great deal and their technique and ball mastery improved significantly.
Led by South Melbourne coach Jean-Marc Imbert, the young men will play four games against Paris St Germain and the world renowned French academy team at Clairefontaine. Instead of entering one of the many tournaments organised across Europe, South Melbourne Football Club has organised the matches against Paris St Germain and the French Academy at the training venues because they feel that doing so would have a greater overall benefit for the players. Next year, when most of the squad will be in Under 15’s, the intention would be to apply the lesson learnt on the trips to AC Milan, Juventus, Paris St Germain and the French Academy to compete in an European tournament and face the pressure of needing to win every match they played.
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 Ligue 1 games and one UEFA Champion League game. During the week they will also get the opportunity to watch the stars of Paris St Germain and the French Espoir team train. You are welcomed to follow the progress of the touring party by logging on our website.