Over Spring Break, the 2006 Strikers Boys team took part in a trip to Italy and Switzerland to play an international match and explore the two countries! Approximately 30 players, parents, and Strikers family members took part in the Italy & Switzerland Tour of 2019.
Over the course of their 10-day tour, they visited five Italian cities and two cities in Switzerland exploring local cultures, cuisine and soccer games and training. The 2006 boys began their tour with two training sessions with Jean Luca who coaches at Torino FC (Serie A). Later in their trip they were able to attend one of Torino FC’s professional matches against Sampdoria. They also attended a match between Juventus and Empoli and toured Juventus’ Allianz Stadium.
As for their own international match, they played PratoSport from Torino and won 6-2. After the game they shared a dinner with the team and families and ended the night with some free play where both teams mixed in and played on their own.
They also had a few fun games that ended up happening throughout the trip! While waiting for a connecting train in the middle of the Swiss Alps, a few local kids had a ball and a game quickly began. Then in Como on the way back from lunch, they stopped by a small street court and had a few 25 minute games.
Other than soccer, the tour took the team on a train ride through the Swiss Alps which was beautiful due to the previous day’s snowfall. They went to two different farm houses to experience some typical Italian cuisine. Other cities they explored included Lucarno, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and a half day tour of Florence.
"This trip was absolutely amazing. Minus one interesting day of weather, the trip was fantastic from beginning to end,” Coach Pat McStay said about the trip. “Some of the highlights included: attending a Juventus match, playing against a local team from Torino, sitting next to crazy Sampdoria fans, taking a panoramic train through the Swiss Alps, and hopping over to Switzerland. We ended the tour with a very lively match of players and parents in Como after we had lunch at this amazing farmhouse and winery. I'm really looking forward to taking another group on this trip again sometime in the future."