Brighton’s Youth Team took the opportunity to use their Development Fund for a pre-season cultural football experience. The Seagulls flew south to say “bonjour” to Le Havre Athletic Club (Le HAC) where the apprentices took part in training sessions, a match with a local side and a coaching session with local schoolboys.
The ‘Gulls trip to France kicked off with training sessions at local club Gonfreville, just outside the harbour town of Le Havre. Morning and afternoon training went well and in the evening the lads were able to experience the essence of a French town.
A visit to Le HAC’s training ground, St Laurent, gave the boys a chance to watch the professionals train and the hosts offered them a guided tour of the training ground. Some much needed rest followed in preparation for their match scheduled for the evening against a representative eleven.
Youth Team Coach, Vic Bragg, was pleased with the result,
“The boys acquitted themselves quite well and played some good football. They were rewarded with a 3 – 0 victory. The match was played in good spirits from both sides.”
Their final day allowed the players a chance to polish their linguistic expertise when they took part in coaching sessions with a group of over 30 local schoolboys. The children, aged from 7 – 14 years, were split into smaller groups and the apprentices coached the youngsters on different activities.
“The boys took great pleasure in coaching the French children and were pleasantly surprised by some of their skills.” (Vic Bragg, Youth Team Coach)
The squad quickly built good relationships and found it a very enjoyable and productive morning. The schoolboys said how much they enjoyed the coaching and throughout the session the apprentices and school children were able to practice their French and English language skills with each other.
An evening meal for the players and coaching staff was thoroughly enjoyed after a final coaching session back at the training ground at Gonfreville.
Vic Bragg summed up the trip:
“The boys learnt a lot about the culture and lifestyle of the French, and they made us very welcome. The boys were also impressed with the training ground facilities at both Gonfreville and Le Havre.”
“It was an enjoyable and beneficial week in which our relationships with Le HAC were further enhanced. The apprentices were well behaved and a credit to the club, they also benefited from the cultural and sporting experience.”
The squad returned to Brighton just in time to watch the Seagulls 1st team friendly against Fulham on Friday 20th July.