Premier International Tours Take 40 to Barcelona
Through NorCal Premier Soccer travel partner Premier International Tours, roughly 40 coaches were granted the opportunity of a lifetime this Spring: a free trip to Barcelona to learn from the best.
Over the five-day trip, the coaches took in training sessions and lectures at two of the city’s top clubs, La Liga sides FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol, as well as venturing to the hallowed Camp Nou to watch Lionel Messi and Co. play in person.
“I feel the trip definitely sparked something in me to come back and get to work,” said Davis Legacy coach Didi Cordova. “It really got the wheels spinning in my head about what we should be doing different over here and how we can catch up on what they’re doing.
“Their culture and professionalism is top class and it gives their kids a foundation to learn and be treated as professionals from the start,” Cordova added.
Even though the coaches were in one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, their primary goal there was to learn and help improve the quality of the game back in Northern California.
At FC Barcelona, the contingent of 40 studied youth trainings and games before being given a lecture by Isaac Oriol Guerrero, the Director of Methodology at FCB Escola, one of Barcelona’s youth programs.
Right in the middle of the trip, the coaches realized the dream of any true soccer fan, by attending FC Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in which Messi found his name on the scoresheet.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those that went on the trip because first and foremost, they had the opportunity to see one of the best pro teams in the world and the best player in the world in person,” said Mike Stebbins of Premier International Tours. “They also got to take home valuable information on how top pro clubs like FC Barcelona and Espanyol train, how their youth teams train and play, and they learned about the playing and training methodology and player development of both clubs.”
After Barcelona, the tour headed across the town to the aforementioned Espanyol, an often-overlooked club, but one starting to make strides in the youth development process.
There, a youth academy coach presented regarding the club’s philosophies before the coaches were allowed to stay for training as well as pick the brains of the locals.
“Everyone there was willing to share and discuss ideas,” Cordova said. “We were treated very well and welcomed by all at both clubs, which made you feel comfortable everywhere you went.”
Disappointed that you missed out on the trip? Premier International Tours offers one every year to coaches that book travel through them.
“We really appreciate coaches and managers taking the initiative of getting their team to travel internationally and, of course, choosing to use the services of our organization,” Stebbins said. “We understand it’s a huge endeavor to organize a trip for a team. What better way to reward these people than by giving them a free trip to Barcelona with special access to the youth development program of FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol?”
For more information, or to book an international trip, visit Premier International Tours’ website here.