By Nick Tierno & Steve Rosenfield (U15 Boys), Alyssa Kelly & Rachael Carlson (U16 Girls)
Every day on the Barons Website, Nick Tierno & Steve Rosenfeild (U15 Boys) Allyssa Kelly & Rachael Carlson will be posting what the lads are getting up to on their 9 day stay at Bradfield College, which is situated on the outskirts of Reading, England.
Boys: Today we left for England. The 8 hour plain ride took forever, I don’t think anyone but Gio got sleep, he managed to sleep the entire flight. After a long plain ride, we converted our money and jumped on a 30 minute bus ride that would take us to Bradfield college. The weather here has been great, sunny and warm. After arriving, we went to our dorm rooms and then had a practice while we were still half asleep from the trip. The fields here are the best I have ever seen in my life. After practice we showered up, kicked the ball around, and played pool. After we were too tired to stand up anymore, we finally went to bed.
Boys: At 8:00 Neil woke us up for breakfast and saw Steve, MJ, Tyler, and Larry all sleeping in one room. After we ate the "food" here in England, we went back to the dorms to hang out until we left to watch the girls team play Reading FC girls team. After watching the girls play, we warmed up for our game against the Oxford select team. We played amazing. We won the game 5-1, with goals scored by Alec, M.J., and I scored a Hatrick. Steve, Luca, and Gio had assists. I wonder how the english boys felt losing to a bunch of "Yanks." After the game we showered, hung out, ate, and left for MEGABowl. So far the trip is going great and everyone is having a great time. We also plan to make a new Joga Bonito video in England, so watch out for that.
Boys: Today, Saturday, we were to go to Portsmouth to watch the Portsmouth v. Manchester United game at Fratton Park. We drove 1 hour and 30 minutes to Portsmouth and before the game went up in the Spinnaker Tower, a tower built as a tourist attraction, and were able to see the skyline of the area. After going up in the tower, we were able to go shopping around and get some stuff before we headed over to the game at Fratton Park.
Boys: Today on Easter, we were to play a game against Eldon Celtics and then we were off to tour Windsor Castle . Early in the game, we played very well, however, we let a goal slip by in the 25th minute.
At the half, Eldon was up 1-0. 10 minutes after the start of the second half, Eldon struck again, making it 2-0. We had been playing extremely well, and weren’t going to give up. In the 65th minute, Nick crossed the ball to Jerry who at the top of the box rifled home a left footed shot. About 5 minutes after that, there was a foul at the top of the box. Alec Golini took the free kick and shot the ball under the wall and past the keeper to make the score 2-2.
As we continued fighting, with one minute left MJ got the ball and dribbled past three defenders before slipping the ball past the keeper calmly to give us the win. We played very well today, and were looking forward to the days ahead.
Later we went to Windsor Castle to visit the Queen and walk around to see the sights. We were able to see many of old antiques and learn a lot. After a long busy day, we all passed out asleep.
Girls: We started off the day bright and early with an Eight o’clock breakfast. Then we headed to the pitch for a ten thirty game where we played the U-17 Reading Girls Academy team. We won 3-2 off two goals from Rachel Carlson and a goal by Jess Faford. Thanks to John screaming for Rachel to gamble off of Fox’s punt giving us the third goal to win the game. After the match we took pictures with the team and they also gave us Cadbury Easter eggs.
After the game we had to quickly get showered and then it was off to Windsor Castle . The castle was beautiful and it was quite a sight to see. The queen also happened to be there at the same time we were visiting. After all this we went home and ate dinner, hung out for a little bit, and then went to bed early to prepare for another game on Monday.
Boys: Once again, we got woken up by Neil around eight for breakfast. After we ate, we went directly to our game against Aldershot. Although we began the game very well, somehow they knocked in a quick goal against us. However we came back quickly with Alec Golini playing a long ball to Nick Tierno who dribbled through three defenders and knocked the ball behind their goalie bringing us back in the game. Later, Steve Rosenfield played a left-footed bomb to Rocco Gambino in the corner who crossed it in. The ball bounced around for several seconds in the box until Luca was finally able to bang it in. To close the game for us, Shane Lavin shot a bullet from outside the eighteen and the goalie just got a hand on it, but luckily Nick was there to finish it bring the game to an end at 3-1.
After our outstanding performance, we went to the Charlton V Reading game. Although the game ended in a 0-0 draw, it was very exciting and we were able to participate in the crowds chants for Charlton. Props to awesome Neil for being able to get us tickets three rows from the field!
Girls: We started off our next day with another early start, eating breakfast bright and early and traveling straight over to play our third and final game against the U-15 Reading Girls Academy. We started off the game not ready to play and gave up a PK within the first thirteen seconds of the game. We kept our heads up high though, and came back strong with Jess Faford scoring a goal to tie up the game. Not long after, Jenn Draper help us advance into the lead with a beautiful cross right into the back of the net. Going into half time we were pumped. In the second half, we started out good although we missed a great opportunity to score. Sadly they started to come back and they scored another goal to tie up the game. We almost thought we had another goal when Rachel Carlson scored but the goal was taken away because a foul was called against her. A little while later in the game Reading scored again to make the game to be a 3-2 loss.
After the game we headed off to watch the professionals play. We went to see Reading V Charlton. Thanks to Neil we had great seats three rows from the fields and got to experience the thrills of a professional game. The game ended in a 0-0 tie and after that we headed home to lights out.
Boys: Today on Tuesday, we went to London to see The Tower of London and go on the London Eye. Also in London, we were able to see the houses of Parliament and BIG BEN. After arriving in London, we took a short walk to take pictures of BIG BEN and then go up in the London Eye.
The London Eye is a humungous ferris wheel where you go up and you can see the skyline of London. While waiting to go on our boat ride, we were able to see street performers, such as a leprechaun, once again Larry couldnt contain himself and stole the guys hat, to be fair the team offered him 8 pounds to do it. After a boat ride down the River Thames, where we saw London Bridge, and went to the Tower of London where many things were able to be seen. We saw the torture chamber where prisoners were taken care of, and were able to look at the Queen’s jewels.
It was an interesting day, and it was ended by watching Manchester United v. Roma on the projector screen at the dorms. It was a fun day, and we were waiting and very excited to play Reading Academy the following day.
Boys: Once again we were woken up by Neil for breakfast at 8:00am. All morning we were listening to rap music to pump us up for the Reading game and gelling our hair into Mohawks in order to fit in with the English crowd. After spiking our hair for several hours, we finally left for a tour at Reading’s home field, the Madjeski Stadium. There, we were able to go into the luxury suites, the home and away locker rooms, and even sit in the players’ dugout at field level. Following our tour, we had to rush to get ready for our final and biggest game at the Reading Youth Academy ’s fields. When we arrived, we went straight to the locker room to put on our gear anticipating the game.
Finally, we did what we were looking forward to all vacation, played Reading. Their level of play surpassed anything we have ever played before. They would move the ball so quickly with great one-touch passes, amazing foot skill, and were able to make each other look better. We battled throughout the first half and hung in there, only allowing ourselves to go down by 1-0 deficit. The next half they put in their one year younger team and we were able to play much better. We saw how they played in the first half and put it into our own game style. Nick Tierno dribbled past two defenders, cut back into the middle the box, and shot the ball underneath the goalies reach. We were very happy to end the game in a 1-1 tie even though we played their younger team in the second half. We now know how Coach Neil expects us to play, and we are going to take what we learned from them and apply it to our game back in.
Coach Neil had an awesome surprise for us at the end of the game. Apparently the world’s best soccer juggler had two nephews in the Reading Academy and wanted to perform for our team (His name is Mr. Woo, search him on Youtube.com to see his skills). Following this, we went to see the girls train with the Reading coach and went to see a Reading Reserve game for free (Thanks again Coach Neil). The day was very enjoyable and it was a success for our team.
Girls: Coach John is the greatest. Haha John wrote that. We really, really miss Coach Scott. He is definitely a better coach than John. We basically had the same day as the boys once again. :- )