OBRIGADO SANTOS !
Santos FC 2019 Trip – Brazil
I would like to thank SANTOS FC various departments for welcoming us to their home during this month. In my opinion one of if not the best academies in the world with a proven track record of developing World Class players . First I would like to thank Rafael Kyiasu for welcoming us into the Foundation Phase Futsal Dpt , first our U12 player Charlie McCormick had the opportunity to train with the squad and experience a great level of futsal . Also a massive thank you to Felipe Sa , Santos FC Head Coach for all age groups from 6-10 and probably the LEADING name for youth Futsal in Brazil and in the World for allowing me to actively follow the sessions for a week and ask questions/discuss the development plan behind it , it was an incredible experience to be able to participate of such a good learning environment . It’s no coincidence that Santos is well known for developing talent , the level of the players , coaches and sessions in general were unreal . Lots learnt , friendships made and memories created . Another great chapter of our trip was being able to watch Santos FC Professional Football training session closely , Enrico & Charlie met all the players/coaches including Argentina last world cup manager Jorge Sampaoli who gave the boys each a gift . I appreciate how hard it is to watch a professional football session in any part of the world and that being Santos First session in the year they allowed external visitors , the boys also featured in the club’s social media channels and website ,great experience which was only possible with the help of the PR & Marketing department . Another massive thank you to my uncle Carlos Alexandre Lee for making it happen . They should have us more often as during the period we have been at Santos they managed to get 8 straight wins and reach top of the Brazilian League table !
MEETING A LEGEND
Another priceless moment was having lunch with LIMA , part of Pele’s Squad in the 60’s with 696 appearances for a team that conquered the world with 37 titles including 2x World Club championships and 6xBrazilian league titles . Lima also featured for Brazil in the 66 World Cup in England . After he retired Lima continued to be part of the Santos FC Staff and worked with the youth players at the academy some of which are very famous now (Neymar , Felipe Anderson , Ganso etc)… I couldn’t stop asking questions to this man who has lived everything Football has to offer and continues to be a humble & kind man . We discussed youth development , his time as a player , the friendship with Pele and much more … I could listen to him for days and would still be impressed , that was a day I will take with me forever . The story that impressed me the most was about when Santos Stopped a war in Africa in the 60’s for 2 days so they could play against the countries .
MENINOS DA VILA SANTOS FC (SOCCER SCHOOLS)
We were also welcomed in different Santos Soccer schools across brazil , thank you very much to : Guilherme Passos – Rio de janeiro – Enrico&Charlie trained with the futsal side in Rio , amazing experience Marcio – Santos Carlos – Campinas – Campinas is the place we spent the most time in , Enrico&Charlie participated in various football sessions across the weeks and played some games representing the club too . We definitely made some long life friends and Charlie presented one of the boys Jhonnynho with his Finta Futsal Shirt ! Jhonnynho is now one of us ! Enzo our youngest member also managed to have a couple of sessions =) A Family gift A Pele Signed brazil shirt that has been in my family for years has now been passed onto me . I couldn’t be happier to hold on to such a valuable item and will be forever grateful to my uncle Carlos Alexandre Lee (I love you uncle).
Final thoughts ,
I couldn’t finish this post without saying how grateful I am for the trust the McCormick family (Christian , Tracey , Connie & Charlie) travelling all the way across the world only on our word . I am extremely happy with the outcome of the trip and being able to spend time with you guys , also being able to provide Charlie with these opportunities . Another special thank you to Rafael who at the end of the trip presented me with a Santos FC shirt signed by Robinho , one of my all time favourite Santos players . I will be forever grateful for the way we have been welcomed and the doors of our home in the Uk will be always open for you guys , everyone from the Academy to the soccer schools that have treated us like family during the period we have spent with you ! Lots of Success to all of you and we will be seeing each other soon ! We have now opened a new door of opportunities for our players in the UK , there is always the possibility of going to Brazil . THANK YOU ! OBRIGADO ! BRASIL/ENGLAND !