Arsenal Gap Year Part 1 - GDM Club. Manica, Mozambique travel blog

This morning, before training, we were told the devastating news that our 3 o'clock coaching session had been cancelled to accomodate a 3 o'clock meeting.

On this bombshell we participated in training and began with a warm up using both tennis and footballs. One did kick ups with the tennis balls while the others worked on dribbling and turning in pairs.

We then moved onto an assault course Miguel had set up which would've even made Spartacus sweat and tire.

It involved 3 lines of cones and hurdles which we either had to side step, jump or side step backwards through. At the end of the lines we ran back past the goal and had to do squat jumps touching the cross bar when in the flight phase.

Training ended in the usual match type situation with even teams this time (in terms of player ability).

After lunch it was time for the meeting and we discovered the topic of conversation was about the impending visit of 2 visitors; one from Fifa and the other from Street Soccer Therefore we discussed to stage 2 tournaments over 2 days for all the age groups. Hence the Saturday tournament would be for the U11s and Girls while the Sunday tournament would be for the U14s and U17s. These tournaments were important to put on a 'show of force' to the visitors and also to show them the various projects and community work which GDM is involved in. We all felt very priviledged and honoured to be given the responsibility of the organizing. Although it would the same concept as our regular Saturday tournaments just on a slightly bigger scale.

Schalk was due back this coming Friday and the whole point of the guests visit is to ascertain whether GDM is eligible for a FIFA Football For Hope Centre at Futeco Park. If we got this centre it would provide us with a valuable resource and make Manica a great sporting center for the whole of Mozambique! Personally I believe the community and club definitely deserve it and I have my finger crossed for them.

Their visit could also enable fresh, much needed funding and sponsorship for GDM which would be very welcome.

The meeting went well and everybody was assigned a group and each group were given a job. The jobs ranged from organizing the pitch to making food... it should be an excellent ocassion I can't wait.

For dinner we had buttered shrimps with Sudza and then watched the biggy in the champions league. The club house was packed with people and even the Premier League is popular in Mozambique. Arsenal vs Barcelona was on and it was a great game full of superb, quick passing football which you would expect of 2 of the best passing teams in the world. Arsenal won 2-1 which gave us credit as coaches seeing as their our employers, cue great clelbrations and delirious scenes.

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