Our #EFAO U15 team embarked on a memorable journey to Spain on July 2nd, eager to compete in the famous Donosti Cup. They faced challenges head-on, demonstrating resilience and sportsmanship, all while immersing themselves in the lively Spanish and Basque culture.
Donosti Cup - Open Ceremony Summary
Their experience in the U15 tournament, which included 72 teams from 10 different countries, was a tumultuous rollercoaster of emotions. They kicked off their journey against one of the tournament's eventual finalists, the Top Tech Academy from Barcelona, which resulted in a loss. They subsequently experienced a second defeat in a game they could have potentially won, followed by a last-minute loss in their final match of the regular stage.
However, they managed to shift the narrative in their favor, securing an extraordinary victory in a playoff game that reached its climax in a suspenseful penalty shootout.
Nevertheless, their run in the official competition concluded in the round of 16 at the Donosti Cup. Fresh from their first victory in the tournament, they encountered a local team from San Sebastian that resulted in a 3-1 defeat. Despite the setback, their morale stayed strong. They were aware that they had represented their academy and Okinawa with immense pride and dignity on the global stage.
With their tournament journey over, the team turned their attention to embracing San Sebastian's vibrant local culture. Engaging with supportive local families, they fostered stronger team unity. This interaction added depth to their journey, transcending the boundaries of football.
Indeed, this journey marked a significant milestone in the personal and athletic development of our EFAO players. Carrying forward the valuable lessons from this year's tournament, memories of the Spanish culture, and the strong bonds they've established, they continue to exemplify the spirit of the European Football Academy Okinawa.
A heartfelt thank you goes to the EFAO staff and parents who travelled and supported our U15 team delegation for their relentless efforts to make this enriching experience possible. We eagerly anticipate the team's return on July 11.
- The EFAO Team