Following a visit to Sparrows day lat year, a return visit was arranged and twenty girls from the U14 and U16 Sparrows girls’ teams and seven adults set out on our much anticipated tour to Montabaur, Germany on August 23rd.
The coach journey began at 6am via Dover and the cross channel ferry to France, then Belgium finally reaching our German destination- the Youth Hostel in Montabaur some ten hours later.
On our arrival the team were met by our wonderful host Alfred Muellers who at 84 years of age is a force to be reckoned with. Alfred is the Chief Executive at FFC Montabaur and has prepared for our trip with military precision. Alfred spent the week with the team and was able to share lots of historical facts taking them on tours of Montabaur, Koblenz and a lovely river boat tour on the Rhine. Alfred was also able to share experiences from his childhood during the war years which were extremely moving. The aim of this trip was to share in both cultural and sporting experiences.
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A fun day was had on our first full day in Germany with a visit to Phantasialand theme park. The football games were planned for Tuesday (U14), Wednesday (both age groups) and Thursday (U16) and the girls were very keen to pit their skills against international opposition.
The first game for the U14’s was played at a school against local team TUS Ahrbach, the sun was shining, the facilities were fabulous and we were all made to feel very welcome. In an exciting game both teams acquitted themselves really well but the German team came out victorious on this occasion.
The following day both teams got to don their kits in games against the host’s team of FFC Montabaur. The U14’s had a much deserved victory with great performances throughout the team but the U16’s came up against an extremely skilful and disciplined side who play at the top level for their age, despite losing the game the U16’s kept trying right to the final whistle.
Finally On Thursday everyone travelled to Andernach for the U16’s final game. Again the facilities were exceptional but this time the teams were more evenly matched and the Sparrows girls finished the first half with a 2-0 lead. However the second half saw some missed opportunities for Sparrows and the German girls fought back to tie the game 2-2.
On Friday, the long journey home was made having had a wonderful experience. The team spirit amongst the girls was excellent and this will be a trip that they remember fondly for many years to come.
A huge thank you must go to the German FA who part funded the trip and especially to Alfred Mueller and FFC Montabaur our super hosts.
The girls are now looking forward to another successful season ahead for Sparrows Football Club.