The experience was first-class and the lessons learnt priceless.
Such was the reaction of Harbour View’s General Manager Clyde Jureidini, as he basked in the seamless execution of the club’s recent outing in Italy where they contested the Bardolino Under-10 tournament.
There were a number of good, bad and the different, but the mission to grant the young “Stars of the East” a new and rewarding life experience from the international exposure was certainly achieved.
Despite winning two, drawing one and losing five of their eight games, Jureidini took a lot of positives from the campaign which allowed the players to rub shoulders with their peers from prestigious European clubs such as Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Roma, Juventus, Inter Milan and Liverpool.
“The experience was wonderful. You tell a lot of managers, coaches and parents that what we are doing here is just a basic step (for competition), but when they saw it and they became more passionate about the project and they got the message that we haven’t really started yet.
“We need to start and progress among other things, because this is the first time we have had an Under-10 group in that tournament. But these (European) guys are competing in tournaments like these 10 and 11 months of a year,” Jureidini told journalists during a intimate welcome home session at the club’s base yesterday.
As the only non-European team participating in the tournament Harbour View showed their mettle, but were outclassed 4-0 and 3-0 by a more superior and well-rehearsed Bayern Munich and Manchester United, respectively.
From there they found their footing and goals from Giovanni Taylor, son of HVFC Coach and former striker Fabian Taylor, and Elijah Lyon saw them coming away 3-1 winners over Italian club Sub Triol.
By virtue of finishing third in the zone, Harbour View advanced to the ‘European League’ round, while Bayern Munich and Manchester United advanced to the ‘World Cup’.
They registered their second win of the campaign against Helsinki of Finland with a 2-1 scoreline courtesy of goals from relatives Taylor and Daniel Thomas. Both Taylor and Thomas ended the campaign with four and three goals, respectively.
However, a 2-4 loss to Innsbruck of Austria, followed by a 2-2 stalemate against Verona and 0-1 and 1-2 defeats to Brescia FC and host club Bardolino, respectively, was how Harbour View’s campaign came to an end,
“They (European players) are 10-year-olds, not nine or seven or eight-year-olds like we have, and they (the coaches) really have to intensify getting the best out of them because they have their creditability as ‘super clubs’ to protect. So they have to play hard and they are drilled in the tournament style.
“There are techniques, tactics and a concept of how all the European clubs play and we learnt that, but we learnt it in the midst of competition. We had a system of play that we went to Italy with but that doesn’t work, and we had to abandon it midway competition and play a different style and then we started to win,” Jureidini explained.
With that said, Jureidini pointed out that more work to include, but not limited, to fundamentals of the game is needed for improvement as well as intensificaion on the local platform.
“The guys we went up against are playing 10 to 11 of those competitions at a higher level per year, and they were all trained for it,” Jureidini shared.
He continued: “We have schools and clubs just starting, but those teams are academies that are at a higher level doing it in a more intense way. The Manchester United coach told me that they have about 27 or 28 players at that age group that they specialise in, and the 12 that came there were the best of the lot.”
And with that Jureidini expressed his support for KSAFA’s planned Under-8 project.
“It wouldn’t hurt. You could have a seven against seven and the younger age group, five against five, and it will all help when you put it there,” he ended.
Source: The Jamaica Observer