From Bentleigh to Barcelona

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26 September 2016

The Mediterranean International Cup (MIC ) is a youth soccer tournament celebrated in the Costa Brava (Spain) with teams and national teams coming fromImage 1 - William Doumanis on his tour of Spain. Image 2 - The Bentleigh Greens playing soccer in Spain. different countries with ages from 12 years (D class) to under 19s (A class). MIC aims to give an opportunity to young soccer players from all around the world to play with the best international teams and players and hosts more than 250 teams representing 40 nationalities from five continents.

As captain of the U14 Bentleigh Greens team, William Doumanis from St James College, Bentleigh East, had the ‘trip of a lifetime’ playing in this tournament earlier this year.

As a young student I was living my dream participating in the MIC Cup, where I played teams such as Manchester City, Villarreal, the Asian academy of Barcelona, and squads from Japan and Argentina. 

Captaining the U14 Bentleigh Greens team, my teammates and I trained at Villarreal’s facilities for five days and played the U14 Villarreal team and Argentina academy. After our tour was done at Villarreal we travelled a good six hours to the coastal region of the Costa Brava which was packed with teams from all over the country. 

Over the course of the tournament we played seven games winning three and losing four. This showed us the level of talent and hard work it takes to become a soccer player. I was also impressed with the amount of technical skill some of the youngsters had and their ability to read the game. 

Before the tournament I got to see one game, Barcelona vs Villarreal, and it was an absolute cracker. The crowds from both teams were immense and the stadiums facilities were even better. What amazed me most was seeing my football icons like Suarez, Messi and Neymar and I will never forget the commentators screaming the name Cedric Bakambu. 

Overall, I have returned to Australia with a determined mindset. Having played in Spain has given me a glimpse of what I can do and what I want to aspire towards. This is only the first step and I can’t wait to further improve in the profession I love.