ARGYLE'S education scholars returned from a successful tour of Florida last Friday......with each one of the lads returning with huge amounts of credit for the way that they conducted themselves throughout the 12 day tour.
The trip to Florida gave the students an opportunity to experience life in the USA, travelling to different parts of the state and living with host families which gave the students a real taste of American life. All the host families were very complementary of the students and said it was fantastic to see them embracing everyday American life and spending precious time with their children all of whom will no doubt be friends for life.
Whilst in America the students took in the famous Busch Gardens theme park and all of them were brave enough to ride the famous Sheikrah ride which involves hanging over a vertical 150ft drop for five seconds before being released down the gigantic drop. Alongside this the students visited the Adventure Island Water Park which was a welcome relief from the relentless 100 degrees sun at times. Some days were also spent at the mall with the students taking the opportunity to spend their hard earned cash on some big named clothing brands – alongside some very suspect items being purchased too (you know who you are!).
There was, of course, business to attend to and the tour gave the students the opportunity to play and train in conditions that they would have never experienced before in the UK. We played two games over in Florida and trained four times, giving the students a chance to experience on a small scale what the England World Cup team would have gone through in Brazil. The first game was an entertaining affair with it finishing 4-0 to Argyle against a very good Hernando Heat under-19 team. Argyle goals came from Jake Vickers, Joel Seldon and Alex Jewitt, with the pick of the bunch coming from Rikki Shepherd who stuck a fantastic 22-yard drive into the top corner.
The second game saw Argyle play the third best team in the state at 2.30pm in 85% humidity and 100 degree heat. The players performed admirably and stroked the ball around nicely with the game finishing 1-1 and Joel Seldon scoring for Argyle. All the players applied themselves brilliantly in both games and the football side of the tour offered the players a taste of what it would be like to play over in the USA.
The tour finished with the students giving something back to the local children of spring hill by coaching on a two-day soccer camp. The coaching sessions were a great opportunity for the students to experience coaching in the USA and also give something back to the local club who allowed the students this great opportunity to experience life in the USA. So much credit must go to Phil Bennett of Hernando Heat Youth Soccer Club who organised the whole tour from the USA side of things and made the experience enjoyable for each individual that came on the tour.
July 13 sees Argyle, in conjunction with Ivybridge Community College, take a squad of 18 girls to the Gothia Cup in Sweden. The girls, ages 14-17, represent either Devon or Ivybridge in local football. The Gothia cup is the largest world youth cup tournament with over 75 countries representing their clubs in the tournament. The girls will be hoping to go two better this year and get past the quarter finals with young England and Ivybridge under-16 starlet Jessie Jones looking to star for Argyle. Updates of the girls’ progress can be tracked on the Gothia Cup Website through the girls under-17 section, group 20.