Coach explains why soccer trip will be so beneficial
SOCCER: A group of Gladstone youngsters will embark on a trip of a lifetime when they jet off this weekend to represent Central Queensland Raptors.
As part of an LS Tours tour package, Gladstone players Jimmy Reid, Ky Geddy, Maksim Bijelic, Cooper West, Ryan Young, Nic Barton, Tiaan Engelbrecht, Ryan Walz and coach Chris Engelbrecht will take part in the SingaCup tournament in Singapore.
"Players will grow their skill set and enhance the football quality in our community by bringing home what they have learned,” Engelbrecht said.
"The SingaCup tournament held in Singapore each year is the best tournament Asia has to offer and the players are extremely excited, really focused and have been training hard during their six-days-a-week, six-week pre-tour program.”
Engelbrecht said the pre-training for all tours were free of charge through LS Tours and included fitness, game training and team building to ensure everyone was fit and confident to participate in an international tournament.
The team is made up of under-14 players from Gladstone, Rockhampton, Biloela and Brisbane.
Engelbrecht said the pre-tour training programs could be incorporated into the players' club training.
"LS Tours made this tour package available during October 2017 to make this great international youth tournament opportunity possible for our CQ players,” Engelbrecht said.
To get selected into the Raptors team is hard-earned.
"Players need to be registered at a Queensland football club and they need to have the desire to enrich their skill levels and to see what it takes to become a potential international player,” Engelbrecht said.
CQ Raptors opens its account against Woodlands Lions on Monday and games will be streamed live on the LS Tours Queensland Facebook site.
Engelbrecht said the players will gain plenty from the trip and not just from soccer.
"There are daily sight-seeing trips and players will experience a different country, language and culture, combined with new sports skills,” he said.
"They will bring back what they have learned and will definitely be enriched through this tour.
"I would like the players to develop a hunger to train harder and more frequently once back home.”
Raptors will potentially play six games if they progress to the grand final over the four days.
"In our group D, we will play against representative teams from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia,” Engelbrecht said.
The coach said the trip is designed to help fast-track player development and therefore bring what they have learned back home.
"The importance of exposure to international styles of play, competition and overall attitude and culture is extremely beneficial to youth players abroad,” he said.
"Taking CQ players out of their comfort zone and exposing them to different environments and stretching them from whether it's a psychological standpoint or a physical standpoint within the game is very important.
"The players bring back new skills and mindsets with them to share with our community.”