The Sheffield United Academy wants to ensure that their players get a range of football experiences as well as personal ones and as part of their development we look for opportunities for players to attend tournaments abroad.
Members of our Under 12s and 13s have recently returned from a short visit to Gdansk in Poland. It meant an early start from Doncaster Airport and then then a few busy days playing football against teams from across Europe as well as some cultural visits.
Amongst those taking part in this tournament were teams from some of the well known clubs in Holland, France and Italy.
The players were a little disappointed in their performance overall but it gave them an opportunity to compete on an international stage.
Callum, one of the players, said: "The hotel we are staying is really nice but the food is different to what I am used to back home. We went to visit the Old Town in Gdansk, where we walked around the Christmas markets and got to see all the decorations. We also visited the World War 2 Museum, which was interesting.
Another player, Will, commented: "The tournament was tough with all the good teams here like PSG, Inter Milan, Juventus and Feyenoord. We didn't help ourselves in the games as we couldn't put our chances away but it was a good experience to play against such big teams from abroad."
Ryan Laight, one of the coaches who accompanied the players, said: "Tournaments abroad are a massive benefit to our players both on the field and off the field. Even though the primary purpose is to play football and compete in these tournaments, it is also an opportunity to test them socially. It is good to take them out of their comfort zones and to see how different individuals adapt."