6 under-19 players, namely Jabari Howell, Tyreek Magee, Oquassa Chong, Casseam Priestley, Garth Stewart, and Tafari Chambers, departed the island to train in Barcelona, Spain on January 16th. 4 of them are returnees to the European academy, after last year’s stints in Portugal and Sweden. Following airport arrival, a bus awaited outside to transport them to the club hotel for room reservations and dinner then sleep.

State-of-the-Art Training

The next morning began with breakfast at 7:30-8:15am, followed by a gym session at 9 and a swimming pool session at a state-of-the-art Sports Complex (click to view video). They signed simple Lank FC and players’ waiver agreement and Code of Conduct behaviour commitment papers.

Lunch at the Cafeteria from 12-1pm was quickly followed by player registration and orientation, particularly for the 6 newest arrivals from Jamaica, who received Lank FC-branded training gears and equipment to look uniformed. They were later driven off in Cambrilo Sports Resort mini- buses and coaches to the nearby Football Complex, comprising of 4 turf fields. 2 natural grass as well as 2 hybrids; a higher quality mixture of turf and natural grass fields.

All of this is about 50 feet below a cafe, changing rooms, bathrooms, conference centres, sports bar and patio overlooking the view of the training sessions in progress.

To the back are 4 more fields being constructed into the hillside. We watched other residents in camp play an international friendly tournament between France U17 females against England U17, as a third squad from Germany trained on another field. A Bahrain Cycle Team was conducting a training session somewhere else on the massive complex. Young U8 clubs arrived in the afternoon for training as parents dropped off kids and escorted them into the preferred fields where coaches met and prepared them.

Team Conference

We returned for dinner after a 2-hour training was closed with a wide range of photos, drones and video motion filming by Axel, the associated videographer. The Romanian-born Spanish-based Coach, Claudio Stephan, who was in charge of operations this week would depart as 2 new UEFA “A” Licence Coaches come in tomorrow to take over.

We went to have a conference in the hall as African Scout and former Senegal and Portugal club professional player, Tanou, shared his cast experiences with the budding young professional players in how to develop properly. Another in-depth filming session was held until midnight with all players, coaches, managers and staff sharing experiences on camera for editing and presentation next week for Lank FC. 2 last one-on-one interviews were the final episodes before all retire to bed for well deserved rest.