Thirteen players made the trip to Sweden, and were accompanied by two members of Academy staff – coach Ian Sampson and residential manager Ann Dyte. The former also went on last year’s trip to Belgium.
They spent 15 days in Sweden with their time split between clubs Lindsdals IF and Kalmar FF. The experience aimed to provide FCV players with the opportunity to experience full-time football within a completely different environment and culture to what they are used to.
The trip was made possible thanks to European Commission funding and the Erasmus+ funding programme, which aims to develop sport throughout Europe.
The group that travelled was made up of both day and residential students, and it’s safe to say they enjoyed their time in Scandanavia.
“The trip was extremely exciting, intense, and instructive,” explained midfielder and full-time student Paulo Prato.
“The training sessions were brilliant and the coaches were very helpful. Thanks to some points made, I feel like I have improved details of my game.
“The accommodation has been great and the food was healthy and tasty. I am happy to have visited such a great place to play football.”
Asmund Yew also picked up on coaching received, and reflected on how his game had developed: “I’ve learnt a lot from the football side as the coaches here have a different way of coaching. The trip was well organised – every day is planned and prepared.
“I’ve had the opportunity to train with players who are playing in Kalmar FF’s youth team and Lindsdal's first team.
“It allowed us to see the level we need to be at and what they are better at. Sweden was a great experience for both the football and us as individuals.”
It wasn’t all about the football, either. The FCV squad members spent time in a local college helping with English classes, and they also got the opportunity to take in some of the fine scenery and culture in the coastal city of Kalmar.
“The boys were a credit to the Academy,” explained Dyte. “They behaved with exemplary attitude throughout the trip. The opportunity to help with students’ English whilst at college was brilliant, and they really enjoyed that opportunity.
“In my opinion, this was the best trip we have been on, and it will hopefully set the bar in terms of future work experience trips for FCV Academy players.”