Residing in caravans at the Vauxhall Holiday Park, the girls ignored the thunder storms and entertained holiday-makers by dancing with a live band on stage; went swimming, quad biking and zip wiring on site and also managed to fit in playing seven games of football at the nearby Mill Lane Sports Ground.
Playing teams from across the county, we were unfortunate to lose our first two games 1-0 and 2-0. In the final game of the first day, however, against a local Norfolk side, the plucky Saints battled back from being 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2, with two goals from Danielle Tyler and a fantastic solo effort from Alice Tello, who took the ball out of defence and ran the full length of the pitch, beating 5 players before firing past the ‘keeper.
During the second day of football, we played three fine games of football and were deserved winners in all! The first was a superb 2-1 victory over Sprowston’s u13s with both goals coming from the tremendous right boot of winger Shauna Smith. In our second game, against a respected Long Lane of Essex side, we were victorious by 1-0 after a wonder-goal from leading goal scorer Danielle Tyler, who launched a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box, which soared into the top corner of the goal with only a minute remaining! The final match of the day was a 2-1 win against FC Bradwell, where Millie Leavold excelled in goal to make three fine saves to deny their talented striker. Emily Schofield, meanwhile, was busy making threatening runs throughout the game and was rewarded with a deft touch to put City 1-0 up. The winning goal came once again from the boot of Alice Tello, who volleyed a fine ball from Romy Kelleher into the net.
These fine results pitted us in the semi-final against Long Lane, who we had played the previous day. Despite being the stronger team in terms of possessions and shots on target, the crossbar denied us and our luck had unfortunately run dry as the opposition caught us on the counter-attack to end our hopes of winning the tournament.
The girls finished in third place and enjoyed meeting ex-Arsenal and England player Ray Parlour at the presentation evening. The icing on the cake came, however, in the form of the Fair Play Award, which we had been nominated for by the referees, who commented on the girls honest and sporting behaviour. This is testament to what we stand for as a club, and I was very proud to bring this trophy back to St Albans.
The girls, myself and all accompanying adults had a fantastic time on tour and would like to thank the Club for all their support; Morrisons and Tesco for allowing us to bag pack; St Albans City station commuters for their support and donations; the Alban Arena for fundraising opportunities and St Albans Van Hire for their kind rental deal.
For team bonding, enjoyment and football development, the tours which we have gone on for the past two years have been unbeatable and I would strongly recommend other squads to undertake a similar opportunity next season.
Report by Sarah Kropman