Young footballers go abroad
Football: Imagine being able to play soccer overseas - even for just a few days.
That's the trip of a lifetime facing a group of Kingscliff District Football Club under-14 players.
The boys will head to California with coach Barry Saunders to play in the Tournament of Champions in December.
Saunders said the tour was aimed at giving the young players an idea of the "the different opportunities that exist through playing football”.
"There is a whole world of opportunities that exist through football, currently Kingscliff President Gillian Austin's daughter is on her third year of studying and playing college football,” he said. Saunders' own sons, both former Kingscliff players, have also been in the US, coaching in California with Lewis spending one year and George about to return to Kingscliff after two years.
Saunders said the it was an exciting time for the young players.
"Their tour itinerary is designed so the players will experience what life is like as college athlete on travelling team in the USA,” he said.
"They will travel to California on December 4 and play in the "Tournament of Champions” on December 9 and 10, where approximately 400 teams from all over southern California attend.
"We have also organised two trial games against LA Galaxy Orange County prior to the tournament and they will experience training at a world-class training facility, The Great Orange Park.”
He said the club had also organised visits to the University of California Irvine and University of California Los Angeles and a chance to enjoy a bit of US culture, including a basketball against the Montana Grizzlies at ULCA.
"We have also organised a visit to LA Galaxy Stub Hub centre, looking at the training facilities, and stadium tour,” he said.
"But as well as all the sport they will experience some good traditional American diners, burger bars, and Orange County's hot ribs.
"On their rest days, there are visits planned to the famous Santa Monica Pier and Universal Studios.”
He said KDFC hopes to allow more teams to experience trips like this over the long term.