Heads were turning at the airport as 31 immaculately dressed BISP students from Year Two to Year Six arrived to board their flight to U-Tapao in Rayong.

As the flight began to board the heavens opened leaving half the team on the plane and half stranded on the service bus. After a short delay the thunder and lightning stopped and the team was reunited and ready to carry on with the journey.

At U-Tapao the teams were met by a coach and transported directly to the St Andrews school complex where a meal was provided. Accommodation was at the golf course hotel and an early night taken in preparation for the football action the following day.

It was great to see how keen the children were to play in their teams! The first appeared dressed in full football kit, shin pads and boots at 4.30am! Soon everyone was up and after a hearty breakfast we travelled the five minutes down the road to St Andrews for an 8.30am kick off.

There were six schools represented in the competition. BISP teams faired extremely well with the emphasis on developing the Cruzeiro ethos into match play situations.

There was an opportunity for coaches and players to experiment and test new ideas and teams were encouraged to work hard to support one another.

Winning games and results was not a priority but even so all teams faired extremely well which reflected the progress that is being made in the age groups. There were many fantastic performances and a special mention should go to the under 10 girls whose unbeaten run gave them first place.

After a quick packed lunch it was back on the coach for the short drive to Regents where each team was matched again their perspective age groups for a game of five a side.

Again there were fantastic performances all round as BISP came up against extremely well organised and drilled 5 a side teams.

Teamwork and support won the day as results went in favour of BISP which raised a cheer from the travelling contingent of parents. Coaches were delighted with the progress and confidence players were demonstrating and the ability to play as a team.

In the evening all teams were invited to a superb buffet dinner at St Andrews followed by a disco party which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who could stay awake. Even after the 4.30am start enthusiasm was not flagging for stage dancing, disco moves and strobe lighting! After a great party bed could not come soon enough for most and it was lights out at 8pm.

An early start saw the teams travel to inner city Bangkok to play St Andrews. Although not quite the wide open spaces BISP teams are used to they adapted well to the smaller hard court areas.

Passing and control of the ball was vital in the situation as lack of space presented new challenges. Team work again was the key and a major strength of all the BISP teams who were playing.

All in all a fantastic tour! For many of the children it was their first experience of being away from their parents and every family can be extremely proud of how well their children represented themselves and the school teams.

Coaches were careful to encourage team work and were delighted with the progress made within the teams. Results were fantastic, with some teams coming back unbeaten, but more importantly more developed, confident and able to play team football.

Final results:

U9 Girls 2nd Place

U9 Boys 3rd Place

U10 Girls 1st Place

U11 Girls 2nd Place

U11 Boys 3rd Place

For more information, contact Coach Paul Evans: [email protected]