The day began with the short trip to the airport. Everyone was so excited and laughing with huge suitcases full to the brim with everything you could possibly need to play football. Finding a seating arrangement on a tiny airplane that everyone was happy with proved surprisingly difficult. There was plenty of shouting, seat-changing and debating about whether the food and drinks served were free or not. Hopping off the small plane at Munich for a short layover, the girls played football whilst trying to avoid kicking anything of any importance. The boys relaxed at the gate of wondered around the shopping areas. When we entered arrivals, the Swedish representatives for ISB were waiting with a large ‘Welcome to Sweden’ poster painted in yellow and blue. They gave us a little goodie-bag each with a grey tournament T-shirt, some Swedish sweets, a timetable and a map of the nearby area.
We started the day with a very early morning and had our first breakfast at the youth hostel. There were many options and we all stuffed ourselves full with eggs, bacon and fruit. It was a freezing morning so we all had on scarfs, hats, gloves, you name it – we looked like snowmen. The girl’s first game was against ISSR which was the Stockholm side. To start of the tournament on a positive note, we won 2-0 with Lilian scoring an amazing goal and Flori a penalty. Then we had a short break for lunch when Mr Hunter and Ms McBride ensured we didn’t eat too much so we weren’t running around feeling sick. Then it was time for the second game against Eindhoven, a Dutch team that we ended up winning 5-0 against. This game was extremely frustrating as the referees kept looking at the other games happening instead of focusing on ours. As a result of this, we missed the opportunity to have several penalties and free kicks. Flori scored 4 amazing goals and Lilian scored another 1 to make the total 5. By the final game, we were all exhausted. The playing area consisted of 2 smaller pitches and one huge one. Unfortunately for us, our last game was on the big pitch which involved a lot more running. We played Château du Leman who had incredible mid-field players and played a very quick game involving lots of passes. We lost 3-1 however the goal by Anna was amazing: she shot right off a pass into the corner of the goal. Later, after warm showers and changing into fresh clothes we traveled by metro to the older part of Stockholm to have dinner.
After again piling into the bus again after the 6:30am wake-up call we found our way to the changing room through the rain, cold and puddles. Our first game against SIS Stockholm began a lot earlier than yesterday so we had to warm up quickly. We lost 3-2. We were fully capable of beating them, but unluckily some simple shots were missed and we gave them too many opportunities to score. Maya performed amazingly, defending their shots one after the other. After this game, we braved the weather and went to cheer on the boy’s team who made it all the way to the finals. Our final game was against the team that won the whole tournament last year, Team Nations from Geneva. Overall their play wasn’t especially skillful, but their strength and determination lead them to beat us 3-2. Our goals were scored by Samara – from a free kick outside the goalie box – and Annika – a knock in from the corner. This defeat eliminated our chances of winning the tournament and getting through to the finals, but we managed to secure fourth place. The team we played in the last game went on to win the whole tournament 1-0 beating Chateau du Leman. After trying to dry off and change into any warm clothes we could find, we went and bought hot chocolates and set out in search for the Basel dug out to support the boys playing in the finals against Team Nations from Geneva. It was a very intense game but after playing back to back games and the skill of the Geneva players, Basel lost 4-1. After this, we walked to the Stockholm school for the award ceremonies which was about 10 minutes away. Mikey won ‘the most goals scored in the boy’s tournament award and Robert won the ‘all-star team’ award for the boys along with Alex for the girls. Considering the girls were going into this tournament with no previous wins under our belts, coming fourth place was definitely a result we are all proud of, and can honestly say we worked our hardest to achieve.
By Alex (DP1)