It is a moment of pride that three of St. Andrews School’s ex-students, W. D. Rahul, K. Milind and Sai Kiran (batch of 2014-15), were selected to travel to Barcelona, Spain between the 11th and 16th of July 2017 to participate in the IBER Cup on behalf of the Football School of India. They attended a rigorous training camp in Vashi, Mumbai from the 7th to 10th of July just before setting off.
At the IBER Cup, the chosen three footballers competed in five matches against teams from Finland, Kenya, Scotland, Norway and the USA and finally stood in the fourth position. The three world-travelers said that their time spent training and playing for the IBER cup was a ‘good learning experience’ and that it went by ‘too quick’. They also found that their opponents had a lot of speed and coordination and were excellent at controlling the ball. On the whole, they found the time spent at the FC Barcelona Stadium – ‘Camp Now’ to be useful as this was where they learned to better themselves in positioning and maneuvering under the coaches’ guidance.
Barcelona was described as a ‘beautiful city’ with ‘friendly’ and ‘open minded’ people by the three intrepid footballers. The bit of sightseeing that they did was to explore the market where they met a lot of Indian shopkeepers and found a huge variety of goods such as clothes, electronics and delicious chocolates. They even visited the beach where they watched paragliding in action.
When asked who has inspired them, all three footballers agreed, with a hint of nostalgia, that it was their coach Tony sir at St. Andrews. They described him as a very supportive man who taught them to ‘fight their weaknesses’ and encouraged them to train hard. They were also inspired by the success of the St. Andrews School football team which at the time had been winning the Sachdev Tournament in Hyderabad for 11 straight years.
These skilled footballers were the only three selected from the state of Telangana to participate in the IBER Cup.