Arrival day is here!
Excitement and joy – two emotions many of the teams feel upon arrival in Gothenburg and this year’s Gothia Cup. The tournament starts in less than 24 hours and the preparations are in full swing. Enthusiasm to play against good international competition is common.
California to Gothenburg in 13 hours, that’s how long it took NorCal Premier PDP to get here in front of this year’s tournament. And just five minutes after their arrival at Kålltorpsskolan some of the guys finds a nearby football field, while their teammates are settling in the room. It turns out the time difference on eight hours can be somewhat of a hassle.
“Some guys had a hard time, because for us it was daytime during the whole flight, so it was difficult to sleep”, says Ellis Brenneman.
But overall the boys are in a good mood and ready for the tournament. The excitement to be across the Atlantic Ocean is both genuine and strong.
“I’m looking forward to meet new people from different cultures. There should be a lot of good teams as well, so it’s probably good competition”, says Ellis Brenneman.
On the second floor of Hvitfeldtska gymnasiet in the city centre coach Alvaro Solar Velezmoro of Cantolao AD from Peru are preparing breakfast for his team. Once a player he experienced his first Gothia Cup back in 2001 and has been a recurring participant ever since.
“It’s a great opportunity for the players to learn from each other, both in terms of football and since many of us are from different cultures”, he says.
Alvaro is interrupted when the players ask him for another sandwich, which he allows if they promise to get ready for training.
“The level is really high among the teams here and it’s great to see that so many countries are participating. But we must be ready”, he says.
There’s a lot of movement on the school yard outside of Hvitfeldtska when different teams from all over the world arrive for check in. KL Youth Soccer from Malaysia is one of them and player Rishyaa is back at Gothia Cup for her second time. Among other things she mentions her joy that the weather is good this year again, but she is also focused on the upcoming matches.
“It’s going to be harder this year. We’re older now and I’m sure that several teams have been developing their skills”, she says.
The level of excitement is high for the 12-year-old boys in French team ACBB Paris. This year’s tournament is their first one and the mood is on top. The same goes for Colombian team SKF Colombia, one of the teams representing SKF in this edition of Gothia Cup. Although long and exhausting trips, there are a lot of happy smiles and energy which all together gives hope of a fantastic week.