Our U15 footballers enjoyed a trip to Portugal over half term, with a well earned victory over Sporting Lisbon Academy, as U15A captain Jonah Blake reports:

Over half term, the U15A and U15B football squads travelled to Porto, to improve our football and spend time together as a team. Our initial training sessions took place in warm temperatures and beautiful conditions, as we focused on enhancing our techniques for the matches ahead. 

The first afternoon saw the U15B team play against local team Esposende. The first half was a tense affair and ended 0-0, with the Portuguese team’s possession play causing problems for the team. After falling behind to an excellent finish following a corner, the boys fought back winning 2-1. Sandy Mitchell, the U15B captain, said after the match:

“It was a unique experience, which we adapted well to and enjoyed throughout. It was a fine collective team performance from the U15Bs.

The following day it was the turn of the U15A team to play against Sporting Lisbon Academy at the Stadium of ACD Carapecos. We kicked off under the floodlights encouraged by support from the stands. It was an excellent game with both teams trying to hold onto the ball. After surviving initial pressure, with the well-rehearsed back four staying strong, Hampton claimed an unlikely lead through a long-shot from Joe O’Pray cannoning in off the bar. In the second half, we pressed high up the pitch, and after Alex Dinan stole the ball off one of their players, he slotted it through to Louis Middleton, who finished into the far corner. After some sustained pressure from Sporting, and a fantastic save from goalkeeper Joe Gillespie, we stole two quick goals on the counter attack, Rohan Sahota providing both. It was a dream-like night in Porto for the U15A team.

The trip also included player profiling sessions, in which we developed understanding of our individual roles as a footballer and as a team. The trip concluded with sightseeing in the beautiful riverside quarter of Ribeira, including the Porto FC stadium. Many thanks to all the staff involved for ensuring a memorable football trip.

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