The preseason tour of America has come to an end and at this time we reflect on what we learnt about one another as players, coaches and individuals. With the development of each individual paramount to our success we asked one of our players to provide his thoughts,
New York Cup Trip 2016- Harley Constable (17)
When looking forward to my time in New York, I was curious yet enthusiastic to see what was to come, with a surplus of experience to soon come my way. Upon arrival in the city, the team was quickly bonding and we were rapidly becoming more comfortable and prosperous with our team relationship. Without doubt, the boys as a collective were incredible, additionally becoming a team was effortless when in the presence of a superb core of players. The games soon followed after we became a single entity of a ‘squad’, juxtaposed to a handful of individual players. These games allowed me to analyze what I need to change as a player in an environment that your not used to. The rapid change in circumstances means you are able to figure out for yourself your our own strengths and weaknesses whilst obviously enjoying yourself in one the worlds greatest cities. A transition out of your comfort zone is essential to fully understand your own game and how it can be improved. The diversity of the boys didn’t stop the group evolving into something strong, as we used each other’s differences as a positive rather than a hindrance.
We stayed on the campus of Manhattan College, who enabled us the access to excellent facilities and accommodation. The chance to stay on campus broadened my span of thought to what I would best prefer to study in, campus or off campus. From this I would strongly recommend to first hand witness whatever kind of college experience you are interested in before committing entirely to a course or college with a deficit of information. The games were hot and tough, but I wouldn’t change the results or the way they went if I could go back on them. With a great win and the lessons learnt from defeat, I have now cherished these results and use them to my advantage to try and go further in the future. Seeing technical south Americas and athletic Americans has taught me an awful lot as a player, which wouldn’t be available without the trip to NYC.
Aside from the football, the leisure side of the trip was equally as good. Away from the professional vibes of training and matches, we could fully relax with one another, with conversation and laughs always flowing. We managed to squeeze in some major site seeing spots and indulged in famously good American food. We visited the new world trade centre, the Rockefeller centre and the bright lights of Times Square. We were also granted the freedom to see New York in smaller groups for an afternoon by ourselves without supervision, and we spent it how we wanted it to (whether it was last minute shopping in Macy’s, a trip to Tiffany’s for that someone special or even hitting up a local bar). Being able to given the opportunity to play football in the day then a short subway ride later to be in the centre of hectic Manhattan is nothing to be sniffed at. I don’t only speak on behalf of myself, but as a group I can honestly say the time-spent together over the five day period was unlike anything we have ever done, or will ever get to do in the future. The short amount of time has formed permanent friendship and subconsciously heightened our skills to blend into a group, which of course entails vital life lessons.
My experiences gained throughout the short yet enthralling time in the states has been credible in my aspirations of studying in the USA. The time I spent as part of the team were imperative as an experience to gaining knowledge and a grasp of what American ‘soccer’ is all about, tactically, environmentally and physically. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and I’m sure the relationships that have developed will last a long time to come. I am also incredibly thankful the organization and opportunity to come on the trip. I loved my time in New York.