Seacoast United's international travel partner recently hosted a Familiarization Trip to Italy in an effort to showcase several options for teams in 2021. There were 25 people from around the United States that went on the trip including Seacoast United's Summer Camp Director Rob Hadfield and Sales and Marketing Director James Peterson. The 5 day/4-night tour was predominantly based in northern Italy with the group spending the majority of the time in Milan.
Over the course of the 5 days, the group visited Serie A clubs including Atalanta, Juventus and Inter Milan. The first day was spent at Atalatna's training ground which is located in the region, just an hour outside of Milan. The newly constructed facility hosts all of Atalanta's teams which range from under 8 to the professional team. The next day saw the group travel just under two hours west to Turin. The city is surrounded by the Italian Alps and pictures don't do it justice for capturing the beautiful setting. The first part of the day consisted of touring the Allianz Arena, Juventus' stadium. Juve or “The Old Lady” is one of the most successful football clubs in Italy and it was an amazing experience to tour the changing rooms and step out onto the pitch via the player's tunnel. Shortly after the tour, the group spent the rest of the day at Juventus' training ground where they took in a lecture with one of the Academy Director’s and observed several youth training sessions.
The group attended a Primavera match on Saturday between Inter Milan’s U19 team and Napoli. The Primavera is the last opportunity for players to secure a professional contract ether from their parent club or another interested club. The afternoon was spent touring the city center and taking in the sights including the beautiful Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) and Sforzesco Castle. On Sunday morning, the group was treated to a lecture from some of the Technical Directors from the Italian Football Federation (national program). They did a great job of outlining what the landscape is like in Italy for football and how they are trying to make a conscious effort to make soccer more accessible and educational.
The highlight of the trip however goes to the Milan Derby which took place Sunday night at the historic San Siro stadium. The Milan Derby is one the biggest rivalries in the entire world and Sunday’s night game exceeded all expectations. Both of the clubs share the stadium however Inter was the home team for this match. AC Milan were in full control during the first half and went into the half with a comfortable 2-0 lead. Inter came out in full swing and scored 4 goals in the second half with the game finishing 4-2. The atmosphere was incredible and at one point the entire stadium was literally moving with 75,000 Inter supports jumping up and down.
Seacoast United will be sending several teams over in April to Barcelona, Spain for a WorldStrides tour and we have several other trips in the pipeline for 2020. If you are interested in learning more about WorldStrides please contact James Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.