“The competition, the experience - it is like a World Cup”
The whole experience is special for Lion City Sailors, who have been returning to the tournament for years
Gothia Cup is a staple in the calendar for the club from Singapore, and they love the different aspects of the tournament, from the opening ceremony to the opportunity to see a lot of great football.
Coach Douglas Gillies has been coming to the tournament for the past four years, and they always stay in the same school, something he appreciates. He notes how the whole experience benefits the players.
– It’s been good for them, they’re learning to be more independent. Being away from their parents for 10 days and staying in the school, they have to do things themselves and they have to be responsible. It’s a great experience for them. I see a lot of them mature, says Douglas.
For a lot of the kids, it is their first international travel, and many travel without their family. Kayla Lim, 11 years old, traveled with her mum and aunties, but Syrd Amri, 12 years old, traveled without his parents. He notes that it’s kind of lonely, but he knows that he has got the support from the rest of the group.
– My teammates make me feel more comfortable. they’re like family to me, says Syrd.
Douglas likes all of the different aspects of Gothia Cup.
– The competition, the experience - it is like a World Cup, you know the youth World Cup. It is about the whole experience, fantastic. The opening ceremony to the matches, traveling to different venues, says Douglas.
The players enjoy the experience around the tournament too.
– The ceremony was very amazing. I loved the songs. We managed to see the fireworks from outside the stadium, and the performances were very upbringing and quite a hype, says Syrd.
The players have been training hard to prepare for the tournament with a lot of extra training sessions.
– I love the adrenaline rush of the game so much that I just want to be part of it, ever since I was young and I fell in love with kicking a ball, says Syrd.
Kayla mirrors the sentiment.
– It is the feeling when you make nice passes and score, it is very satisfying, says Kayla.