25 Sep THE EDA GO TO FRANCE!
Wycombe Wanderers EDA, which provides professional coaching to approximately 600 players aged 6-16 from across the country each week at an invite-only sessions, embarked on their first tour in early September, which involved taking our U12’s Elite Squad to France. The three-day trip involved two warm-up fixtures Vs Saint-Omer and Amiens Sporting Club before competing in the Chti’s Cup, an academy festival hosted by FC Boulogne.
Following a 6 am departure from Adams Park on a bright Friday morning, the players didn’t let the early start effect their performance in their first fixture on Friday afternoon, running out 8-4 winners against Saint-Omer.
Similarly, the players also comprehensively won their second fixture the following day V’s Amiens Sporting Club with a fantastic performance that resulted in a 9-1 victory.
On Sunday the players headed into the tournament in buoyant mood following their warm-up matches, but unfortunately, they started slowly and lost their first game 0-4 against FC Bolougne (…although the coaches put this down to a few late nights and travelling catching up with the players!).
Perhaps the loss against FC Bolougne was a wake-up call for the players, and they certainly responded positively. The next 3 group stage fixtures were won comfortably and saw the team score 14 and concede none, thus qualifying for the knockout phases with one group game left to play which resulted in a 0-1 loss to Racing Club De Lens.
Having regrouped the squad entered the knockout stages where two consecutive 3-0 victories saw the team progress to the semi-finals where a tie against Lille awaited. After a tough fought contest the WWFC players were unfortunately knocked out of the competition following a 0-1 loss, and Lille went on to be crowned champions of the tournament.
Despite their disappointment at not reaching the final, the players had definitely proved themselves more than capable of competing against some of the top academy sides in France and were quite rightly proud of their achievements.
However, at the end of a long day playing 8×20 minute fixtures, the players didn’t go home without a trophy, and the trip was perfectly rounded off by the fact that the WWFC team were given the award of ‘Outstanding Fair Play Team of the Tournament’. This was a great way to end the trip knowing that we had made some new friends and were commended on our team’s attitude towards fair play and sportsmanship.
Following the late return to Adams Park on Sunday evening, EDA Manager Kirk Williams who led the trip along with other WWSET staff had this to say:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ousman Dandi for organising an outstanding trip that was thoroughly enjoyed by the staff & players involved. Our squad’s attitude, behaviour and work ethic both on and off the pitch was tremendous, and they were a credit to the football club. Looking ahead to next summer the plan is to hopefully take four squads to France to again compete in the Chti’s Cup, and provide as many of our EDA players as possible with a similar experience”.
I’m sure you will all join me us in saying a massive well done to all involved.
Back Row (l-r); Kirk Williams (EDA Academy Manager), Henry Dudley, Jacob Youthed, Sebastian D’Aversa, Max Merrick, Charlie Davies, Philippe Oladunjoye, Thomas Cove, Brian Joseph (U12s Elite Squad Coach)
Front Row; Jayden Meghana, Jamil Yusuf, Leighton Roberts, Ethan Hill, Samuel Sullivan