The Sailors U15 and U13 team embarked on the Europe Training Camp (ETC) at the end of May 2022. Both teams account for players born between 2007 and 2011. The U15s had set off to Spain whilst the U13s to Netherlands. There, the players spent their time training and competing against top European clubs such as Feyenoord and Atletico Madrid. As part of the player scholarship program which the players are involved in, Lion City Sailors Football Academy and partner clubs fused a schedule that will alow the players to fully immerse themselves in a knowledgable experience as a football player in Europe.

Week 1

Apart from the first ETC in 2021 which The Sailors players partook in, the U15s were all set to face new opponents and soak in the different football atmosphere and culture in Madrid. For the full experience, players and staff of LCSFA stayed in player residences for the two-weeks duration of the trip. During the first week, The Sailors had the chance to train at the Atletico Madrid’s first team training facility and even participated in a full training session catered specifically by the Spanish club’s academy coaches. The team started off their competitive matches by going against Atletico Madrid’s 2008 team, champions in the Spanish Youth League in their category.

On the other hand, the U13 team experienced their first European team trip in Rotterdam where they were hosted by LCSFA’s club partner, Feyenoord. Since it was their first European team trip, they wasted no time in adjusting and acclimatizing themselves well through training sessions, as early as the first day in. Their training sessions were mainly conducted in in HBSS training facility and a number in Varkenoord, Feyenoord’s latest training facility. Like the U15s, the players of U13s were welcomed in Rotterdam through a guided city walk, learning about all the culture that the city has to offer. On top of that, the players had a guided stadium tour of De Kuip, home of Feyenoord. During the first week, the U13s went against teams like Excelsior U13 and BVV Barendrecht U13.

Week 2

After a full recovery day from the last match, including a pool session, the U15s were back on the pitch with academy Technical Director and Head Coach, Luka Lalić, together with his team of coaches. Training sessions were mainly conducted in Atletico Madrid’s main training facility. In addition, video analysis was done regularly with the players to better understand the game and prepare themselves for the remaining matches. Apart from going against European teams such as Getafe in week 2, the U15s were preparing themselves for the Superliga Cup where The Sailors were competing against clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Leganes and Fuenlabrada. The Sailors, both U13s and U15s, had a special visit from Mr. Forrest Li, owner of Lion City Sailors, accompanied by Chief Executive Officer, Chun-Liang and Academy General Manager, Tan Li Yu. The Sailors U15 finished 3rd in the Superliga Cup which took place during the final weekend of the trip and brought more than a medal home – an eventful trip with an abundance of learning experience gained.

The U13s experienced more of Netherlands through a guided city tour of Delft on the second week of their trip. The Sailors also had their fun while competing against each other virtually, in a FIFA tournament conducted by the staff of Feyenoord at De Kuip itself. During the final week, training sessions led by Head Coach, Mustafa Al-Saffar, were focused on getting the players ready to go against their next few opponents. The U13s faced clubs such as Willem II and Feyenoord. Similarly, to the U15s, the U13s had a meal together with Mr. Forrest Li who also spectated the matches which The Sailors competed in. Before the trip came to an end, the U13s managed to catch the action in the Nation’s League where Netherlands went against Poland.

The Europe Training Camps were built for The Sailors to not only undergo victories but to also attain the valuable lessons and wisdom taught. The Sailors are currently back in Singapore and has resumed training in LCSFA training centre. With all the knowledge acquired, The Sailors will only sail forward!