Day 17 and 18-Overtime in Paris

Day 17

Everyone was all prepped and ready to go as we boarded the bus and ready to chrck into the airport at 9.15am. Within a minute of us boarding the bus we were notified our flight had been cancelled. There were cheers!! 

Once we had been allocated a hotel for the night we gave the girls the option to shop til they dropped at a mall....and they did. 

We finished the night with dinner as a team and all went to bed early for breakfast at 5.30am.

Day 18

There were many sleepy heads this morning at 5.30am breaky. We arrived at the airport, spent a long time checking in and waiting for our flight; however the girls LOVED it! More time to spend with each other and laugh...alot. Thr 12 hour flight to Singapore saw the squad make friends with another touring team for entire 12 hour flight; not a lot of sleeping occurred. Upon arrival in Singapore it was smooth sailing! The airline was waiting for our group and provided us with all the information we required. No dramas, no issues-Singapore Airlines was impecable! There were some extremely rushed goodbyes as some left straight away; however the majority of us were but up in the Crowne Plaza inside the International Terminal for the day as we had a 12 hour + stopover. All girls got to shower, eat plenty and sleep! 

Not long now and we will all be home with our families!!!  

 

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Day 15 and 16-Louvre, PUC Game and time to go home

It has been a very big 24 hours. We did a drive by of all the sites we have seen in Paris so far and then hit the Louvre. The girls enjoyed their time here and some went and saw the Mona Lisa. 

We versed PUC in our final match. It has been such a pleasure for us 4 coaches to see the girls progress and improve in leaps and bounds. It was a tough games and the girls battled from behind to finish their final game with a draw. We stayed back for an extra hour and mingled with the opposition and their families who had cooked a variety of french foods for us. 

Our final night was spent together, signing shirts, a little gift given to all the girls from the staff and typical tears and laughter. We are on our way to the airport now to check in and leave around 12pm. 

There will be more tears at Singapore no doubt but many friendships have been made and many memories shared! 

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Day 14-Paris

All the girls request I name one thing: 

1. Effiel Tower -highlight of the day! Thr girls spent a good 3 hours here taking hundreds of various photos; from smiles, to random poses, to juggling the soccer ball in front of it! Plenty of trinkets were purchased to remember the moment. Most girls opted to climb the tower and look out at the expansive and condensed city! 

Overall the majority of the day was spent exploring the city of Paris with our guide; Summer who captivated the girls' attention with her fluent english (with a french accent) guiding us to the highlights of this wonderous place. I can tell you the girls were so excited, many walked away with over 200 photos taken on their phones today alone!

Tomorrow is our final day in Paris; we are off to the Lourve and play our final match of the tour. The girls are most excited for their final game! 

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Day 13-Battlefields and Paris

What a long day! We have just settled back at the hotel after a massive day of exploring Australian WWI memorials, trenches and general battlefields. The girls walked in the footsteps of those who survived and fell on Western Front, paid their respects to all the fallen soldiers and represented Wanderers Australia and their country perfectly.

We hit Paris in the late evening-Arc De Triumph and the Effile Tower! We rode the metro and had one adventurous day! They are very slowly learning their own sign languagr and adding mercì at the end of their orders for food or when purchasing items.

Time for us to hit bed for another big day of adventuring around Paris tomorrow. Bonsoire!  

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Day 12-London to France

Today we made a quick stop at Covent Gardens before jumping back on the bus and making our way to Dover to catch the Ferry across to Calais, France 🇫🇷!

The girls enjoyed the just over an hour ride on the ferry, before we enjoyed the evening sun through the bus and across the French landscape. Outside was a chilly 8°!  

Dinner was a at your own leisure, with most of us dinning at a Japanese buffett....all in french! Wasn't there some confused expressions and a lot of sign language going on!

Tomorrow we are off to the Battlefields!

Day 11-Chelsea and Charlton Athletic Game

This morning we left the stunning Heythrop Park and enjoyed our drive out of Cotswold and onwards to Chelsea to explore Stamford Bridge. 

The girls dominated the Chelsea shop (not surprised) and explored Stamford Bridge. The echoes of "aussie, aussie, aussie. Oi, oi, oi" rang out as the girls made it well known Australia was represent! 

The girls had a great game against Charlton Athletic, with one player pulling off a stunning free kick! We were a little short on legs today with a few minor injuries and flu knocking a few out of being able to play. We came away with a narrow loss with there extensive number of subs to ours. Nevertheless, the girls worked hard and demonstrated some quality skills! 

Tomorrow we head to France! 

 

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Day 10-Cotswolds

The girls were flying high as kites after their second billet experience last night. We spent the day exploring the Cotswold area-rolling green hills, fields of canary yellow grape seed, cotswols stone walls,  sheep and new born lambs and beautiful cottage home. 

We caught up with 98 yr old Dorothy who still gets up at 5am to bake her Bakery bread and pastries. She loves the aussies; so we coaxed her outside for a photo. 

After a day of exploring, we travelled to Heythrop Park where it looked like we had stepped into Downton Abby! The girls had an early dinner, some hit bed early, while others took the time to explore the grounds, make use of the oool facilities or jumped on board playing golf with the coaches. Let's just say they need to stick to soccer/football.... 

Tomorrow we take off to Stanford Bridge to tour Chelsea FC Stadium and take on Charlton Athletic Girls in the evening for our final game in England!

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Day 9- Bristol Ladies

Today was a cracker of a day weather wise and by cracker we mean 21° and we were all in shorts and tshirts until 3pm; then the cold front whipped in. Our girls performed admirably with a win and a loss under our belts. The girls worked hard for each other, we got a couple of knocks and bruises but walked away with new lessons learnt. 

The girls met their host families and we all met up for a BBQ later tonight. All the girls were looking happy and a little tired after such a big day but are ready for another day of exploring tomorrow! 

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Day 8-Anfield and Manchester City vs Hull

We were suppose to leave at 8am on the dot.... a visit was made to the occupants of one of the rooms, loud knocking on the door and a small head popped out asking "yes?"  The coach's response was "Ahhh girls you are now 10 minutes late for the bus". It was like a light bulb had gone off! The girls had slept through their alarm. Frantic shoving of clothing in bags and quick changing....5 minutes later we did take off. Anfield here we come! 

Anfield....we were all speechless! An extensive tour let us sit on any chair we wanted in the home bench, take a gazillion photos and sit in The Kop as You Will Never Walk Alone echoed throughout the stadium. The girls ransacked the LFC store before we hit the road for a quick lunch stop and then an EPL Game. 

The girls experienced their first ever EPL game with Manchester City vs Hull. A little scrappy at the start but then the home team brought home the 3 points. The girls experienced a little vertigo with walking down the stairs ans then went and spent a quick 10 minutes in the Man City shop. 

The evening was spent telling riddles and telepathic communication. They still dont know how the coaches know what the other coach is thinking about hahaha. 

We are all a little tired after a busy few days, so we get a sleep in before we head to Bristol for games tomorrow. 

Sweet Dreams from England ! 

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Day 7-Liverpool FC Academy and Rainhill Game

The girls were able to watch the 14 and 15 boys train; the boys loved the attention and explored the facilities the academy has to offer to its members. What everyone found is very different to Australian Football is at LFC Academy education is just as important as football; if you are not performing at at school...football will cease until these improve. It is nice to see a country/academy that is looking after the welfare of its players.

The day progressed with us attending Rainhill, where LFC Academy send their academy kids. The girls really stuck it to their opposition, with a draw and a win under our belts at the end of the day. It was a cool day but the girls ran riot on the pitch; with many combinations and leadership displayed.

The girls are flying high as kites as tomorrow we tour the one and only LFC Anfield and watch EPL game: Manchester City v Hull!

Game on and bring on a rest day!  

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Day 6-Leicester and Wigston Academy

With the sun shining, the girls arrived at the bus after their night with their first English host families. There were plenty of laughs, smiles, hugs goodbye and chatter as the girls clambered onto the bus. The next 3.5 hours were spent traveling up to Leicester to visit current English Premier League title holders Leicester City FC- King Power Stadium! Time was not going to permit a tour of the stadium; however the girls still explored the grounds and shop of LCFC.

This afternoon the girls took on Wingston Academy. The squad should be highly commended on their efforts today. With a win and a last minute loss to our hosts, the girls demonstrated their ability to take on board and apply advice provided by their coaches. The girls experienced playing on 3G artificial turf and took a little time to adapt to the smooth running and quicker pace of the ball; however settled into their element within 10 minutes.

We have discovered against all our opposition so far, they are in awe that Wanderers Australia have been able to provide this tour opportunity to the young girls, as it is unheard of for our English counterparts. The girls are constantly more than happy to provide our hosts with insight into Australian life and what they have learnt on the trip so far.  

All girls should be happy with their efforts today and we look forward to tomorrow, where we take on Rainhill; a school well known for taking on the Liverpool FC Academy players!

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Day 5-Riddlesdown Collegiate Games

After a sleep in and some breaky we travelled 3.5 hours back to London to take on Riddlesdown Collegiate Girls. After a small detour to find the school we eventually found ourselves at the base of a very steep hill with a cobblestone path leading into the woods; not far from being described as woods you would often find in Beatrice Potter novels. While we trundled up this hill with our soccer/football bags and hoping one of our coaches had got the directions from the school reception correct, it was a gorgeous site to behold. We eventually discovered the school up and over the hill and in the middle of the picturesque woods. The girls were welcomed with open arms and an array of food, a jumping castle, hand-spun fairy floss and a photo booth by the Riddlesdown Girls. When the girls took to the pitch the comradery between the two sqauds continued. Gabe and Rhali's girls had a very comfortable win against Riddlesdown girls; while Ellie and Alisha's girls may have found themselves down at halftime but fought hard and brought home the win also. There was a final game where the girls demonstrated sportsmanship beyond their years and showed what the spirit of the game is all about. A short presentation where both squads were commended for their efforts, was followed by picking up bags and off to host families for the night. Tomorrow we travel to Leicester to take on Wingston late in the afternoon. All girls should be commended on their performances today; all coaches are proud as punch and excited for the games to come. 

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Day 4-Warwick Castle and Aston Villa vs QPR

After a lovely sleep in and a hearty breakfast we travelled 90 minutes away to Warwick Castle. We spent the next 2 hours roaming the stone pathways, stairways and green pastures of this grand and fairytale castle. The girls attended The Birds of Prey show where a variety of eagles and vultures skimmed over their heads and they experienced the breath of a wing across their faces. The girls climbed winding staircases and the castle walls; some tried their hand at archery with a few obviously should have been archers back in the medieval times they were so spot on. The late afternoon was spent roaming Star City (it is not quite what it use to be ) but the girls found amusement in their trip. The evening was spent sitting 5 rows back at Aston Villa vs QPR! The crowd was loud, the chants were as you have heard the stories and the girls watched in awe as two Australians (Mile and Longo) battled it out against each other. Aston Villa got up in the first 5 minutes and then the competition got fierce. Mile with his strong and solid defensive prowess and Longo with his sleak and sharp skills. The second half was a tough battle and QPR were unfortunante to not come away with a point. The home team Aston Villa took home the 3 points in front of a crowd of 27, 154. Tomorrow we travel back to London to embark on our second day of games. Stay tunned for another update tomorrow evening. But for now good night! 

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Day 3 - Game Day

Today we participated in our first games as a squad, against some of the finest academy teams: West Ham, Tottenham Hotspurs and QPR. All games were closely contested and the girls showed the world renown fighting spirits. We demonstrated that despite only participating in one training session together; we can hold our own when we are still learning all of each others names still! The girls demonstrated a wide range of skills, determination and the most important thing in sport: friendships. The girls became close friends with Tottenham Hotspurs players and were frequently found in a circle between games laughing, smiling and discussing typical soccer and teenage girl topics. The girls demonstrated an array of skill sets and sportsmanship; frequently offerring to play positions if we did not have someone available to play. We walked away with a few battle brusises but more importantly fond memories. We returned to the King and Castle for dinner and are now all nestled up in our beds on this cool evening. Tomorrow we explore further English Castle History and attend the hotly contested Aston Villa vs QPR match tomorrow night. We will back tomorrow evening for another update! 

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Day 2-London

Day 2 started off with a few players late...so they were charged with 5 push ups per minute they were late to the bus for training.... at some point of the day at the coaches discretion. We had a squad training session, breathed in the fresh country air and ran out rhe cobwebs. A mini world cup was played and the lucky maroons team played a grandfinal match against the coaches! They held there own that is for sure! The rest of the afternoon the squad spent the day exploring Lilly Whites (a bit of retail therapy for all); onwards to the Tower of London (no we did not leave anyone locked up) where everyone re-lived and explored some of the richest history the world has to offer! It was before our departure to Windsor, the push up punishment was performed, led by 2 x coaches (video to be upload shortly or can be viewed on twitter). We do believe there will be greater punctuality these days! Dinner at the Windsor at The King and Castle was a jolly affair and plenty of laughs were had. We returned home shortly after 8pm so the girls could have some needed sleep before our first game on Monday! 

Day 1 -England

Good Morning Everyone from a lovely SUNNY England! We hit the ground running from 5.25am yesterday morning. We do apologies for a delay in the blog but we have experience technology issues which we have now resolved. We were welcomed by the abundant chimnies and houses used to film the old time favourite: Mary Poppins, followed by visiting Buckingham Paris, Trafalgar Square (Mary Poppins would be disappointed we cannot feed the pigeons based on the no feeding signs there) and tested our bike riding competition skills (not super fab). We viewed the National Gallery, Big Ben, the changing of the guard, Houses of Parliment, Westminster Abbey, walked down the Mall and drove past Harrods. Reading vs Leeds was phenomenal and the girls loved the experience. We all returned home to our beds exhausted and raring to go all over again today! 

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