The U16 Steamboat Girls team comprised of twelve girls from ages 13-15. As a group, some of the players were meeting for the first time, and this was the first time they would play as a group. The team played two friendlies in Denmark combined with the U18 girls. Combining the teams limited the ability to become a cohesive unit.
This changed quickly once the group arrived in Olso, Nowary. The group entered into their new lodging situation. Twelve girls, one classroom, cots, and fish paste for breakfast. Nothing will bond a group closer than sharing a tight living space. This showed on and off the field.
The group played four games in the tournament. All of their games were hard-fought. Each game, I watched as the girls played better together.
Unfortunately, the team faced a very tough opponent in the first round of playoffs and quickly exited the tournament. But the purpose of the trip was not medals and trophies, it was about an experience seeing the game of soccer from a different point of view.
The girls watched a U14 girls team from Palestine play on grass for the first time in their lives. The girls had the opportunity to watch the joy in the Palestine girls faces as their won their first game – ever. Steamboat exchanged scarves with the team at the end of their game and noted this as one of the best experiences of the trip.
As a coach, my aim is to create lifetime lovers of the game and exceptionable hardworking and giving team players. Norway provided the perfect platform for this vision to be achieved. I look forward to watching these girls grow in life and mature in their passion for the game.
– Coach Helen Brown