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Under 15s UK Tour

Posted: 01-Oct-2015 by Hakoah Sydney City East Football Club

The time has finally arrived! Our Under 15 boys are in the UK! Read the daily reports here.

Day 1 
By: Marc Besser 

Good morning 
All the boys are doing well and and are well rested after long long flight, jet lag seems to be pretty good today. The boys had a good breakfast and we are on our way to Liverpool. 
Today you will see the first of our daily reports written by a different lad each day. They will try and share with all the folks back in Sydney what they are experiencing day 
Enjoy day 1 
By: Jake Besser 
Today the dream of going on a soccer tour to the U.K became real. 
Thanks to everyone who helped make it come true. All the boys were really excited. The plane was really full but we managed to still have fun , we watched movies and played games. Our stop in Singapore was very short and then we were on our way to London, surprisingly I fell asleep as soon as we took off - Eli I even missed out on dinner !!
We finally got to St Georges Park and we were all absolutely amazed by all soccer pitches. All cut wonderfully and everyone was eager for training. 
The time came and we were all ready for the SGP tour. Wendy our wonderful tour guide took us to all the awesome football pitches, futsal courts, change rooms and most importantly the gym :) 
We got round to seeing probably one of the best pitches around. The grass was the exact same as Wembley Stadium (England's home ground).
After the tour the boys were able to spend some of their own free time wondering around SGP. We were all able to relax and let it sink in that we were actually here! All of us were looking forward to training in the dome (indoor AstroTurf pitch). 
A couple hours later it was time for our first training. Mike our coach, a very funny and nice guy took us through a range of fun and interesting drills. Everyone was training with a smile on their face and created a great atmosphere. 
After training the boys were absolutely finished and wanting to just collapse on bed. 
Good night from the UK

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Day 2 
By Matt sharp and Jake Gannon 

Waking up at 7 was really hard especially since most of us had jet lag, although all the boys knew it was worth it for the game later in the day. After breakfast the boys had around 15 minutes to do what they needed to do before hopping on the bus for around 2 hours to the Albert docks in Liverpool. On the bus ride their Mr Mark Robertson got up on the mic and explained that 3 boys would have to be nominated to wear the donkey t-shirt which resembled the boys that had done something stupid and 3 of the boys were nominated which was in no particular order Jesse Manolas, Aswin Adinanto and Shaun Lonstein for many reasons such as leaving your boarding pass on the airplane and having to go quickly and get a new one from check in, falling asleep before training and not waking up until 5 minutes after training had started or just having a bad day. The boys voting who would wear and sign the shirt it would end up in the hands of no one but Jesse Manolas who forgot his boarding pass in the airplane. Arriving at Alberts Docks, the lads were sent in groups of at least 4 to do whatever we wanted which was SHOP!! 
We had 2 hours to shop. The boys bought things like... Boots, shoes, kits and souvenirs. We eventually got back on the bus and as we were about to leave we realised there were two boys missing. Who else to be missing but Joshua Jackson and our elite captain Jacob lees. When contacted Jacob lees quoted "are we meant to be on the bus?" 
On the bus we all got a subway combo, which kept us filled up for the game. We took about a 10 minute drive to the infamous Anfield. Arriving at Stanley park being told about 5 times from our good mate Gwil (this is not a spelling error) our tour guide that we would walk through the park and the get told where the meeting spot was after the game, most of the boys laughing and imitating the way Gwil said "park". Although we all would rather be watching a classy United we were still keen to watch an exciting EPL fixture that ended with 5 goals scored and Liverpool actually winning!
After the Liverpool game we got back on the bus for a long bus ride once again but all the boys talking and sharing opinions on many stupid matters. Arriving back at the hotel around 8pm the boys were exhausted from a long but great day which didn't stop some boys doing a pointless gym session. Dinner was served at 9:30, after dinner senior Besser told the lads we had to pack as we were going to be checking out at 8:15am the next morning leaving most the boys going to bed just after 11. 
Overall a great. 
Thanks for tuning into UK's daily report from SHARPY AND GANNO, hope everyone is doing good back in AUSTRALIA :)

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Day 3
By Jesse Manolas

Waking up early for a big day ahead, all the boys headed down to breakfast at 7:30. After breakfast, the boys headed to their rooms to pack the suitcases and bags for the next journey up to Leek Town.

But before the ride to our first game of our UK tour, we met Chris. He is a worker for 'Peform' a company looking after St. George's Park's "HUMAN PERFORMANCE LAB" which helps performance and recovery of professional athletes. Chris gave us an explanation of all of the equipment used. Reece who is currently carrying a bit of heel pain had a go in an anti gravity treadmill which reduces the amount of pressure put on the joints. After the boys had learnt about all the equipment used, we went down to the sprint tracks. We learnt about techniques used to help the professional runners. The boys later headed down to the pool for a fun recovery session. After doing stretches in the pool, we hopped into a pool at around 9°. Jonny was the only one who hopped out quoting "ahhhhh coldest pool ever!"

After the recovery session, we hopped on the bus for another long bus ride to our first game. Boys weren't confident with the amount of talent produced in England but we managed to come away with an incredible win with Bluey (Ethan) setting up Jakey Gannon for the first goal of our 15-2 score line with several players on the scoresheet including the obvious man of the match Jakey Lees with 2 goals and an uncountable amount of assists. After the game, the boys and staff of Leeks Town gave us great hospitality by inviting us to have drinks, burgers, lollies and more.

After a long but enjoyable day, the Hakoah crew headed off to our next destination of Bolton. The boys got set up in the rooms before a few went down to the gym. The reception lady was nice enough to give the boys a sneak peak view from the hotel of Bolton's home ground. The boys were quite excited and took the opportunity to take some photos.

That capped off a wonderful day in England. 

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Day 4
By Jonny Ress

Today we woke up at 7:30 for a 8:00am breakfast.
After breakfast we had a short drive to the Bolton youth academy training grounds.
We did a series of drills that included speed, agility, passing and shooting.
Danny (our coach) had worked for various clubs including Manchester United and Everton.
He explained to us that the fact that he supports Liverpool does not effect the way he thinks on the job.
The session was intense and professional.

After the session we shared a rather awkward bus ride back to the hotel as we were sharing the bus with another team, to make matters worse they took our spots at the back of the bus. Once we arrived at the hotel we went straight to lunch. Half way through lunch Gwill told us to hurry up, as we needed to shower and bring our washing down to lobby by 1:30pm.

Once we had all handed our washing in we went up to a private room where we received a very informative and inspiring talk from Ray Hall.
Ray Hall was the Head of Everton's youth academy for
about 18 years.
He told us what he looks for in a player and how we can be a step above the rest. He then gave us a test and asked us how many F's we could see on one of the slides of his computer. The correct answer was 6 however not 1 person out of the players, coaches and parents got the correct answer. Apparently we were the first group that he had ever had that did not have at least 1 person get the correct answer.

Interesting fact: Ray Hall was the man who found Wayne Rooney.

After the presentation we jumped straight onto the bus, this time to go watch West Brom vs Everton. After a treacherous 3 hour drive made worse by the fact that those intruders had claimed our seats for the second time in 1 day. We finally arrived at The Hawthorns (West Broms stadium). We arrived quite early so we were able to go out and get dinner. Most of the boys indulged in some chips cover in chicken curry however some had garlic bread and pizza.
After eating our dinner and playing around for a bit we decided to make our way to the Stadium. We found our seats and settled down, some of us taking photos and others watching the players warm up.
During the players warm up the boys starting getting some cheers going. Eventually it all payed off as we received a wave from Darren Fletcher, Romelu Lukaku, and Ross Barkly.

When the game kicked off the atmosphere was great however the first 30 minutes went by without a goal. Then West Brom scored 1.
HALF TIME SCORE: West Brom 1-0 Everton

Second half kicked of and around 10 minutes in the Baggies got another one 2-0 to West Brom.
All of a sudden the game was starting to light up. It was a tactical battle as West Brom tried to retain the lead but struggled as Everton brought on the extra striker. That move definitely working for Everton as they scored almost immediately through the beast that is Lukaku.
Shortly after that the replacement Koné bagged the equaliser. Everton were definitely on top you could see that it would happen. Yes it is Romelu Lukaku banging in another 1, this time to put Everton ahead. After that the score line would not change.

As we were getting on the bus we were surprised to see some of the boys from the other team sitting near the front of the bus. It was Jesse, he had used his pace to get to the back of the bus and reclaim our section of the bus. We celebrated this by learning some new words in welsh that our new friend Gwill had taught us (which I'm not even going to try and remember, all I know is that they sound very funny).

The day ended with a bunch of boys sleeping on the bus ride back to the Bolton hotel.

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Match report HKFC v Bury FC
1- 0 win
By Ari Alster

It was a warm England night where a roaring Hakoah was eager to play... As Hakoah kicked off we knew they were here to play football and not just to get a result, Hakoah were also vsing a Bury side wanting to play football so it was a fantastic opportunity. Hakoah started nocking the ball around creating opportunity after opportunity with corners coming in left right and centre. After consecutive corners captain Jake Lees got to the end of blueys wonderful crosses making Hakoah 1, against Bury 0. Time passed and opportunities scrambled away and the half ended 1-0. Second half started with a new fabulous goalkeeper on his debut Shaun Lonstein!! Bury looked like they wanted one back but the defence was defending for their lives with a beautiful 1 on 1 save by Shaun in goals. As the game past it evened out and Hakoah missed a few opportunities. It was a fierce battle with no one wanting to lose and Hakoah came out on top keeping Bury to a 1-0 defeat keeping our England winning streak on.

Good to see Shaun back in action can't wait to see more!

Well done to the boys keep up the good work!

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Match Report HKFC vs Burnley

5-2 win
By Ari Alster

It was a sunny Wednesday morning with Hakoah wanting to keep their streak going. It was going to be a tuff battle playing a talented Burnley side. With another Hakoah kicked off the game and they were looking demanding. As the game went on a slack defensive job and a quality finish put us 0 - 1 Burnley. Time passed and Aswin wanted one back! Unluckily Aswin hit the post but he just lifted his head. Another fantastic run by Aswin and the game was level Hakoah 1 - Burnley 1. The intensity of Hakoah was high and Aswin made another run but he got chopped. The free kick swung in by Gannon was quality hitting Aswin in the head and Sharpy getting a nice little tap causing an own goal to put Hakoah 2 - Burnley 1. Straight after kick off Burnley were on the attack and equalised making it Hakoah 2 - Burnley 2. Game went on and another Bluey corner delivery landed at Gannons head putting it bottom right. Hakoah 3 - Burnley 2. Solid first half English 3-2 with a lot of action. The second half resumed and it was a lot slower then the first. With an even amount of possession the game was tight with Hakoah not giving away their lead anytime soon. Hakoah missing one or two opportunities the game was tight but Jake lees running down the centre was brought down. Lees on the free kick smashing a stunning one in the top left. Hakoah 4 - Burnley 2. Hakoah not stopping to give Burnley a hard time with Jonny hitting a cracking 30 yard shot over the keeper head making the game Hakoah 5 - Burnley 2. Hakoah the better side keeping our steak going 3/3 off to the next one!!

Good luck boys!!

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Day 6
By Jake Lees and Josh Jackson

We started the day with a healthy breakfast at Bolton Maceron hotel (8-8:30). We then caught the coach to have a football match against a terrific side named Burnley. We have finally been reunited with our normal big coach after a frustrating day in the small coach. In the journey Besser was relieved to take off the donkey top and unveiled the top to the new donkey, Avi Goodman. Moreover, Burnley play in the championship in England which is the league below the premier league. The lads knew that we had a challenge on our hands but we fought hard throughout the game and managed to beat them. Hakoah 5, Burnley 2. (Full match report can be found in another file, written by Ari Alster). (Jake lees)

After the victory we went to the Etihad stadium (Manchester city) for a stadium tour. However, it was a bit controversial as many of the players are Manchester United (arch rivals) fans and there was only one Manchester city fan being the one and only "Super Coach" Mark Gannon. The stadium was very modern and our instructor showed us the stadium, change rooms, benches, where the players/managers spoke in their press conferences and to top it off he was knowledgeable and he would answer almost every question with one exception of as to why he thought Manchester city is a bigger club than Manchester United, and I don't blame him. The stadium was a vast majority blue and throughout the tour we learnt a lot about the history of Manchester city (not very good). (Jake lees)

When we arrived back at the hotel we were short for time to get ready and eat dinner preparing for the biggest game of the tour, Manchester United vs Wolfsburg. (Jake lees)

Full time 2-1 (Manchester United). Was an incredible game, Wolfsburg were absolutely terrific, out played there opposition in every way possible. Unfortunately it didn't turn out as the German giants expected as they were completely robbed by the referee. The amount of terrible calls the referee made against Wolfsburg were unbelievable. Personally I believe the referee should be booked for match fixing and should go home and think about his poor inhumane tomfoolery actions... But the final result was in Manchester's favour as they proceed in their champions league triumphs. (Josh Jackson, Arsenal fan) 

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Day 5
By Ethan Blumenthal

Day 5 of the tour and we started off the day with a big breakfast. A sleep in was rewarded due to a late night at the West Brom v Everton game .
After breakfast we left the hotel at 10:45 in pursuit of old Trafford (the Manchester United stadium).

We arrived at the stadium at 11:30 where we met our tour guide, Bill. We started off the tour with a run down of the Manchester United history. We then went on to have a look at the pitch which was being cut at the time. Once we were next to the pitch our tour guide talked to us for 5 minutes about the stadium and pitch. The grounds men were working on the pitch as the champions league game against Wolfsburg was on the next night at 6pm.

We then walked around the stadium towards the change rooms and bench area. Once we got to the change rooms we were able to take photos with the teams jerseys and change room features. The bench was next on the list, our guide then told us stories about the pitch, stadium, history of man united and the devastating event taken in the early 90s where 96 fans were crushed to death.

We were then taken into the classroom where we were told about the Manchester United history. This went on for about 10 minutes. We were then given a chance to try on the famous Manchester United players jerseys and boots. After this we went to the other side of the stadium to go to the megastore where the team brought jerseys and other Manchester United products.

After half an hour in the megastore we were given a chance to go to the Manchester shopping centre for two hours. We were allowed to buy lunch and items in the centre. After this we got on the bus and went to the game against bury fc. 

Day 7 
By Shaun Lonstein & Avi Goodman

The day started with the usual delicious breakfast in the hotel at 8:30. At 9:30 we got on to the bus and departed for our "Pro" training with Bury FC
On the way to the training we voted on the new donkey. 3 or 4 people were nominated but Miles Beeston won the prestigious honour of being the donkey for the day because he forgot his phone at breakfast. You could see the happiness in Avi's eyes when he handed the shirt over.

20 minutes later we arrived at the training ground and met Paul, Bury's head coach. The first drill was a simple but effective drill that worked our touch, short passing and movement. After that we moved on to a possession drill, this possession drill concentrated on movement, passing and emphasises on pressing. To finish the session we went into a small game in which Saul Fine managed to dislocate and break his finger,luckily he seems to be alright and it won't keep him off the pitch.
The training finished at 12 and Paul took us for a tour of Bury's stadium (Gigg Lane). He showed us the facilities the first team use on match day. Recently they started training at Manchester City's old training facility so not many of the rooms were being used. After the tour the boys had a shower in the away change room to freshen up after training. 

We then left to go to Manchester for free time. The bus dropped us off outside the National Football Museum. Most went into the museum for 30minutes-hour. A popular activity in the museum was the penalty game. Where you shoot the ball and try score a penalty against the "computer" on a big screen. 

When everyone finished looking around the museum we went to the shopping mall to shop and get food. At 3:45 we all met up to drive back to the hotel on the bus. 
When we got back to the hotel we got changed and went into the hotel pool for a recovery session which finished off a great day.

Day 8

By : Anthony Smilovic

We head down at 8:30 for our last breakfast at Bolton. The buffet was great and will be surely missed by the boys. After breakfast we head upstairs to our hotel rooms and are ready to take our suitcases and bags down to the bus to checkout and depart from Bolton at 9:30. As we head on the bus, the boys are ready to train with Birmingham City, a 2.5 hour drive from Bolton.

So far we have been blessed with great weather on our England football trip with no rainy days. Today was very warm, the perfect weather for another great training session. On the trip, We had our nominations for the donkey and Jonny Ress had been voted in. With the shirt being covered in things such as Nutella and tomato sauce from the previous nominee, Miles, I'm sure Jonny wasn't too happy.
Once we had arrived to Birmingham, we got right into many different types of drills that the coaches of Birmingham City had set up for the boys to do. Before our session started, we got into some stretching and running warm ups. 
The training session included many drills, from passing, ball control, attacking and defending. After all these simple but effective drills, the coaches got us into a couple games in which the boys had enjoyed.

After our training session with Birmingham, we hop back onto the bus to carry on our journey to Reading in which we will check in and relax for the night. 
As we check into the reading hotel, the boys are told to get ready for the next first dinner at the hotel. The boys ate a tasty spaghetti bolognese dish with a slice of cake for dessert.

Not too much happened today because of all the travelling we had to do to arrive to our destination, Reading, but it was a good day for the boys to rest but to also have a training session to keep their bodies in action between all of the travelling. The boys enjoyed another great day! 

Day 9 
By Miles Beeston

We all woke up in excitement knowing that we were seeing 2 EPL games in one day. We went down to breakfast at 8:30. We had a nice meal before heading to Selhurst Park to hear the roaring crowd of Crystal Palace's home crowd and to watch their infamous team play against West Brom. At 9:30 we then went on a 2 hour drive to finally watch Crystal Palace play. During the bus trip to Selhurst Park a new Donkey was nominated. Ethan ended up winning it for leaving crackers and wrappers everywhere in the legends room (Miles Beeston) we eventually got to the Palace game. It was an intense game and had fantastic atmosphere (best I've seen yet) but after the final whistle blew Crystal Palace came out on top and won 2-0 against West Brom.

We then had to rush back onto the coach to make sure we got to the Chelsea game in time. It was an hour drive to Chelsea and everyone was buzzing to see Chelsea hopefully perform. We finally arrived at the wonderful Stamford bridge stadium, where Chelsea fans call home. Just before the game everyone got to buy their match day scarfs and got a nice bite to eat before we entered the stadium. We had fantastic seats right in the middle of the shed (behind the goals) and could really feel the atmosphere (even though Southhampton were louder). The game started with a brilliant free kick from Willian which curled around and hit the right far post forcing it to go past the goalkeeper but Southampton were the better team and ended up smashing the "Champions of England" 1-3. Chelsea fans were very annoyed after the result.
It was a late and long drive back to the hotel. Everyone was exhausted so when we got back we quickly ran to our rooms, dropped our stuff off and went for a cheeky meal just before crashing to bed.

It was a very exciting day and everyone had great fun cheering for teams like Crystal Palace and the amount of goals scored throughout the day. 

Match Report 
Aldershot v Hakoah FC 
By Saul Fine 

It was a very slow start from the boys in blue. Scrappy yet managing to hold at 0-0. Just before the end of the first quarter Aldershot banged one in from a terrible misjudgment by E.Blumenthal and J.Gannon. The second quarter started off a lot stronger than the first but still not up to standards. Penetration through A.Adinato gave us our first opportunity of the game, unluckily hitting the bar. Shortly after the ref rewarded us with a free-kick. J.Lees stepped up to the occasion but unluckily hit the bar. The rest of the quarter was untidy. The third quarter commenced with A.Smilovic equalising the score with a wonderful left foot volley. The third quarter was dominated by Hakoah. The third quarter ended with a draw 1-1. Fourth quarter started again with another exciting move from A.Smilovic which unfortunately was not put into the back of the net. With Smilovic returning into the action, sadly head clashing with the opposition. R.Berelowitz makes a return to the field, within minutes he tears the opposition apart and puts Hakoah in the lead. Just before the end of the game J.Gannon scores a beautiful header but sadly in the wrong goals. 

Day 10 
By Saul Fine 

The day started off with the casual buffet breakfast provided by the millennium hotel. The boys then had time to pack their bags for the day since we would not return to the hotel throughout the day. The donkey nomination took place earlier than usual due to the boys having an early game. The donkey shirt was given to Saul Fine for "snoring" last night. The boys arrived at the game and had a 30 minute warm up. As mentioned in the match report the boys had a shocking start to the game. Eventually we woke up, the game ended in a draw. The lads then hoped back onto the bus for a ride down to Windsor. We were given 1 hour and 15 minutes to roam around the shops. 
After the enjoyable time roaming the streets, we returned back on the bus en route to the millennium hotel. 
The boys weren't done with the day though. The two roommates Avi and Jonny had both fallen asleep, luckily enough Jonny had lost his key. One of the boys had retrieved it, a few boys go storming in acting like its 7:10am (10 minutes after breakfast started) both boys react and jump out of bed, soon to realise it was 10:10pm. This concluded the action for the day.

Ash Town FC (div 1 premiers) v Hakoah FC 
By Shaun Lonstein 

The weather conditions made for a classic football match in England, rain! The beginning of the first half started off very close with Hakoah having the upper edge but not able to create any credible chances. Mid-way through the first half Josh Jackson was put through on goal but a great save kept the shot out and then an even better save kept Lees' powerful effort out. At the end of the half Ash Town managed to break the deadlock making it 0-1 at the half.
The 2nd half started with Hakoah pressing the ball trying to find the equaliser. After a lack of focus by Hakoah Ash Town found the back of the net. Soon after Hakoah won a free kick on the edge of the box. Ethan Bluey stepped up to take the set piece and took a great strike rattling the crossbar. His follow up shot was hit perfectly but was blocked. Further on into the half Anthony Smilovic and Reece Berlo were set 2v1 and a great ball by Anthony put Reece in. Reece banged it in the top right to put Hakoah back into the game. After waves of attack Hakoah unluckily couldn't convert any chances thus the score line ended 1-2 in favour of Ash Town. Hakoah put in a huge effort against a top side and they were just unlucky to not finish any of their chances. 
FT Hakoah 1-2 Ash Town

UK Tour Thoughts ..... 
By: All the boys 

Reece Berelowitz - Well, all the action has finally come to an end. No more pranking Jonny and Bluey, no more stadium tours and no more football trainings and matches. What an experience ??

Jake Besser - This has been the most amazing experience I've ever had and sadly it has now come to an end. These boys aren't going to look half asleep at breakfast anymore. No more late night meeting at the bar (JS) Thank you Alex for your guidance, and your coaching. Ganno senior thanks for your support and joke telling too. Also a special thanks to Gwil our Super guide for all you did in making the tour fun along with our trusty coach driver who got us there safely and on time - Chris 
Thanks to all involved! 
Sad to come to an end ??

Jake Gannon - The tour has been one of the best experiences of my life, so good to have done it with this group of boys wouldn't of been the same without them as we listened to FATBOY (Mark Gannon) tell his jokes and most the boys looking confused. I know a lot of the boys won't forget about this trip and Thank you to everyone involved ?????? 

Ethan Blumenthal- The tour was great and it really opened my eyes up to the level of football in the uk. The tour guide, bus driver, coaches and parents were amazing. We showed passion and skill throughout the tour and in our games which brought us together as a team. It is an experience I will never forget and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to all for making it possible!! 

Ari Alster - The tour has opened my eyes looking at football from the sideline. I'd rather have played but such an amazing experience! The boys and parents made the best atmosphere with all the singing on bus rides, even though there was a bit of banter amazing. Good luck to all the boys in the future and thanks to everyone involved! 1,2,3 ???? Hakoah ?? ??

Jesse Manolas - What a wonderful journey the boys had together. All of us bonded really well and worked together to get through the highs and lows. I was personally really impressed with the quality of football we played throughout the tour, and the results were even better. We had a wonderful time and would all like to thank to everyone involved in the making of this tour.

Miles Beeston - The tour has been an unbelievable experience and will stick with me for the rest of my life. The team blended extremely well and played great football throughout the trip. I'm truly lucky to have shared this experience with wonderful teammates, parents and coaches. I had an awesome time and would like to thank everyone for everything that has happened on the tour.

Matt Sharp - this trip has been an experience that i will never forget. The trip had its ups and downs although overall it blended the team to what I believe is now the closest Hakoah team. I came onto the trip as the young one, I wasn't in the team this year but the boys made me feel so welcome into the team. Although now I feel like I had been in the team this whole year. The tour was a trip I will never forget and will always play a part in my life.

Saul Fine - This outstanding trip is something that will remain with me for the rest of my life. From the tour guide to the EPL matches to the trainings and finally to the games, everything was smooth. All people on the trip were amazing to each and everyone of the lads. Marc Besser and Mark Gannon deserve a special mention inside of my report due to the fact that both of them spent 4 hours with me in a hospital (Mark Gannon was worried about missing dinner). This has been a trip that will never ever be forgotten. Thank you to everyone involved. 

Jake lees - this trip has been a once in a lifetime experience and it will be in my memory forever. The lads have gotten on well and have produced good football even against the harder teams like Burnley. England has been a wonderful country and the weather has been good up to the last day. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible and for giving the young lads the opportunity to have some insight and knowledge about football in England. Furthermore, thank you to the parents; Jenny, Sarah, Mark Gannon, John and Marc Besser for putting up with us everyday and treating us with a lot of respect and for all your generosity. Thank you Chris the bus driver and Gwill the tour guide. Also a very big thank you to Alex for teaching us about the beautiful game and always having someone to talk to and have a laugh with. 

Aswin Adinanto- The England trip was the best experience and I learnt a lot of different things about football in England. 
Thanks you to everyone for making this possible. I hope you boys have fun in your football lives, all the best. 

Avi Goodman - The trip to England was an amazing experience and I would like to thank you for everyone on the trip and everyone who made it possible for making it so great. 

Jonny Ress - The experience was great 
From EPL matches to playing the matches it was a thrilling experience. 
I would be lying if I said I wasn't experiencing that, but one thing I wasn't expecting was the donkey shirt. 
I tried my best to stay away from it but in the end we came in touch twice. 
Without the boys and coaches it would never have been so fun !!!! 
From your number 1 Donkey ?????? EEE ORR

Josh Jackson - The trip was absolutely incredible. A once in a lifetime experience. We were very fortunate and had the chance to 4 EPL games and 1 Champions league game. 

Shaun Lonstein- It was an experience I will never forget! 
It was great being with the boys and such a fun time going to all the EPL games. 
It was great to be back on the field even though it was as goal keeper. Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip possible. 
Hakoah ????

The Feedback makes it all worthwhile
By: Eli Lees 

What a great response from the boys.
It really sounds like it has been a trip of a lifetime and it certainly make all the work that the parents and coaches put in worthwhile.
A huge thank you to Marc Besser for his great work in coordinating and managing while on the ground in the UK. Reports back say that Marc has done an outstanding job. 
Also huge thanks to Alex and Mark Gannon for their coaching support and mentoring. After speaking to them both on the phone last night, they are very satisfied with what has been achieved from a soccer perspective.
Marc and the coaches have also commented on what a great bunch of boys our U15’s are and how well they conducted themselves.
To the traveling parents John, Sarah and Jenny thank you for everything you have done to help the boys.
As you are aware Tiffany is escorting the boy’s home on the plane so thank you Tiff. 
Apparently Tiff has a problem with her phone so if you need to get hold of her on arrival please text or call her on Jesse's phone 0406 674122. 
Arrival time is 6.05am tomorrow on BA15 and currently appears to be running on schedule.
Congratulations to all for an awesome trip.

Final Tour Report 
by: 
Marc Besser- Tour manager 
Alex Robertson- Team coach 
Mark Gannon- Assistant coach 
Gwilym (Gwil) Jones - Tour guide

Marc Besser - Tour Manager: 
Reflecting over the past 12 days that I've just spent with such a beautiful bunch of boys, its hard to begin to describe what an amazing time we all had, there were so many highlights of which will be remembered by us all - as a tour of a lifetime. 
I am sure in time to come most of the boys will return at some stage to the UK, but the experiences and activities we did in most cases these boys will never be able to do again ! 
I look back and can see how much I am going to miss not being with them on a daily basis - they have been an absolute joy to look after. 
Parents I would like you to know that these lads have done you proud they've come on tour as 15 year old kids and are coming home as mature young men. 
They've been a credit to the Hakoah, their country and ultimately to themselves. It was not uncommon to hear the staff at hotels being complementary about these boys on a regular basis, not to mention their exemplary behaviour when ever we were out and about. 
Taking on the roll of being tour manager was something I took on with a little trepidation but was excited at the challenge, needless to say managing such a great bunch of boys made it such a pleasure to do so. 
And I would do it all again in a heart beat ! 
Boys I trust you all had as much fun as I did, and hope you can each take something out of the experience. 
I wish you all well, enjoy the break and I look forward to seeing you all again on the field next season. 

Alex Robertson - Team Coach : 
W.O.W. - 5 x 80min games, 4 EPL games, 1 Champions League game and 6 Pro Training sessions in 12 days was an amazing experience and recommended to any soccer enthusiast. 
The Hakoah Under 15 boys were not only a credit on the field but off it as well. They competed well and held their own in all games winning against Leek Town, Bury FC Academy, Burnley Academy then drawing with Aldershot FC Academy and then losing to Ash FC on a cold wet and windy night in Reading. However all the boys loved playing in the wet and muddy conditions. 
In the EPL we watched Liverpool v Aston Villa, Everton v West Brom, Crystal Palace v West Brom and Chelsea v Southampton then Man United v Wolfsberg in the Champions League all top class games and was a great thrill for all the boys to soak up the atmosphere in one of the top competitions in the world. 
Our Pro Training sessions took in 2 at St Georges Park with their academy coaches at the training complex for the English National Team, one at Bolton FC, Bury FC, Birmingham FC and Reading FC. The boys all trained well and listened intently to the experienced coaches. I am sure each boy took away something from each session that will benefit them in the future, I know Mark Gannon and I did. 
Obviously a trip of this magnitude could not run smoothly without expert organisation and EPL Sports certainly gave us that with very little downtime and good transport. 
This trip is one that all boys will treasure for the rest of their lives and tell their children about. It was a pleasure to be involved with a great bunch of lads who have now become young men. Well done to all the parents who helped organise and fund raise for this trip but a special mention to Marc Besser whose organisation on tour was impeccable. Also a special mention to Mark Gannon for assisting me on game days with the boys. 
A truly memorable experience and one that should be shared with future Hakoah teams.

Mark Gannon - Assistant Coach: 
Thanks for a opportunity to reflect on the trip. 
I would first of all like to thank the club, and in particular Barry and Robbo for giving it the thumbs up . 
Secondly the UK committee for their amazing fund raising efforts, well done to you all, it allowed the lads to do so much more. 
The trip well well....we headed out of Sydney with a group of young lads, 2 coaches a manager, and 3 parents. 
The next twelve days, words will never really describe what a adventure we have been on! 
We were introduced to our two main men the tour guide a young man named Gwill, a Welshman, and of course our bus driver Chris, I am going to cover both of them in three words "simply the best" and when you read the boys report you will see why. 
Our first port of call was Saint George's Park: Home to Football Association of England's National Team. 
The training we experienced and the facility's at Saint George were World Class. 
Then we were on to Bolton, the laughs on the bus- the donkey awards - all making it special. 
5 days at Bolton in which we visited stadiums, watched champions league, and the boys trained well at the Bolton Academy all part of what made it special. 
In all this time let me say the boys were doing the club so proud, and then on to London and the Reading Football Club where we continued to find new donkeys, and the lads were really showing their character, and boy! we had a few. 
In London more games -2 EPL in one day wow! and 2 more games for our lads to play, plus on top of all that the lads had first class coaching at Fulham FC and Reading FC. 
The trip was coming to an end. Where the time went I will never know, but what I do know is that I was fortunate enough to coach along side Alex, who mentored our boys to a higher level. The lads were blessed to have him as their coach. 
The 3 parents thank you so much, and Marc Besser-genius thank you. 
Lastly the lads we took, I think they left as young lads and returned young men. All 17 of you are a credit to you mum and dad, and the whole of Hakoah Football Club. 
I am honoured to have spent 12 days with you that I will never forget. 
God bless you all 
Mark 

Gwilym (Gwil) Jones - Tour Guide: 
"The U15 boys at Hakoah FC have been a credit to themselves on and off the field during their tour. They've been nothing but gentlemen and been praised wherever they've been. The coaches have been excellent with the team, keeping spirits high and educating the boys. We've shared great memories, moments and laughter along the way and it's been a pleasure to have been in their company. It's clear to see there's a bright future for all of them." 
Gwil Jones - EPL Sports in conjunction with FFI

 

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