The U13’s Kent Youth League team followed in their EURO 2016 idols’ footsteps as they set-off to France on a four day tour, which culminated with a headline fixture against Paris Saint Germain’s Academy.
After a successful end to the season - winning the Kent Youth League tournament without losing a single game - the team managed to get a few weeks of intense training under their belts in order to prepare for the trip. Having visited Holland the previous season, the team were already well-aware of the high standard of football on the continent.
The team stayed west of Paris at Center Parcs Les Bois Francs and en route to their tour base stopped by at Verneuil-sur-Avre to play a friendly against Stade Vernolien FC. Despite torrential rain, a thrilling end-to-end game was played out in front of a large local crowd that gave both teams a warm reception.
The following day included two further friendlies against Évreux FC – who are highly regarded for their development of youth players – and Pacy Ménilles FC. After the matches, the team made their way into the centre of Paris to catch a glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe, walk down the Champs-Élysées and climb to the very top of the Eiffel Tower.
After two busy days, there was an opportunity for much-needed rest and recovery on the morning of the third day before the all-important fixture against Paris Saint Germain’s Academy at their famous Camp Ooredoo training complex. The Sevenoaks boys gave a disciplined and organised performance, keeping the future stars of French football at bay for much of the match.
On the final day of tour, the team enjoyed the thrills and spills of the rollercoasters and attractions at Disneyland Paris before making the return journey back to Sevenoaks.
The team’s coach, Sam Lansdale, said: “The trip was a huge success! It will provide this great group of youngsters with long-long memories that will truly enrich their experience at this level of the game. The standard of football was exceptionally high and for any team, regardless of what level they’re playing at, four games in four days is challenging. However, they stuck together and their team spirit will only strengthen as a result. PSG were impressed with our style of football and have invited us back so I’m sure we will be making a return visit in the near future.”
Sevenoaks Town FC has an impressive record when it comes to tours with many of its teams visiting top clubs around Europe each year. The U13’s will be jetting off to Lisbon next April to train with and play against Sporting Lisbon’s Academy and are also returning to Holland next May to play against some of the top Eredivisie clubs in an international tournament.
The U13’s KYL team are sponsored by Seven46, Reposs Ltd and MPC Sevenoaks.
To find out more about the U13’s Kent Youth League team, click here.