This week in Manchester the players were treated to a presentation on what they can expect if they wish to join the end of season tour.

As part of the IH Manchester opportunities and progression plan for the players, the coaches and management team are exploring the option of an end of season European tour with the players.

Closed-season and pre-season tours overseas are now very popular with professional football teams, with clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City often travelling to the US, China and various other countries to play in tournaments. The past-closed season also saw football league new commers, Wrexham FC, take on a US tour following on from their success both on the pitch and in the Netflix documentary ‘Welcome to Wrexham’.

For these professional teams, the tours are all about pre-season training and are often undertaken for commercial reasons. However, IHM Football Academy prefer to use an overseas tour as a fantastic experience in itself as well as providing a host of opportunities for the players at the end of their year at the academy.

For this reason, the IHM team welcomed Mr John Higgins, from “Got The Tour”, into the academy to talk about two options for an end-of-season tournament. The Gothia cup and the Donosti Cup. Both are amazing tournaments which host some of the top academy teams from around the world.

The Gothia cup is the world’s largest and most international cup. Hosted in the amazing city of Gothenburg, Sweden, the tournament welcomes around 1900 teams from 80 different nations each year. Players are treated to professional opening ceremonies and are able to showcase their ability on a massive scale during the games. With this being the biggest showcase of youth football in the world, the clubs scouts from across Europe are always in attendance, with a number of professional clubs entering teams in the event.

The Donosti Cup is the biggest of the Spanish football tournaments, based in San Sabastian, and hosts around 850 teams each year. Many of the top European clubs attend the event along with a number of US college teams. Once again, this is a venue where club scouts are in attendance to look for the best players and find their next star.

During the presentation in Manchester this week, John Higgins showed the boys the highlights of the events and presented the tour schedules. This not only included the tournament, but opportunities to train and attend cultural tours in both countries as a team.

The hope is that we can gather together a team from Manchester to go to one of these events this season and in the future. These types of events are fantastic opportunities for young players, not only to be seen, but to put into practice everything they have worked on throughout the season. Not only that, they will give the players an experience of a lifetime.

IHM Director John O’Leary said:

“It was great to have John here today to present this fantastic opportunity.

As part of our academy and constant drive to improve the programme, we want to be able to offer this opportunity to players and add this experience and exposure to the professional game for them. There is no doubt that for those who wish to take this chance it will be a great experience, and then who knows what further can come from it?

We’d love to be able to take a team from Manchester and be able to showcase the ability that these young international players have. Looking at recent years we would have had a really good shot at success in the tournaments, and this year we look to already be a strong team, so we could really finish off the season on a high here.”

Over the next few days the coaching and management staff at the academy will talk further with the players to gauge interest and then hopefully be able to confirm participation of an IHM team in one of the events. Then the excitement and the preparation can begin.

If you would like to know more about the IHM Football Academy in Manchester or would like to join, check our contact details on our website and you too could be joining the team in Europe for the end of season tour.