Burlington Youth Soccer, from Boston, USA, recently travelled to Iceland to participate in the 2018 Rey Cup – an International football festival held in Reykjavik.
We caught up with Team Manager, Gene Visco, to see how he and the boys got on during the tournament and how he found the experience of working with Rayburn Tours.
“Rayburn were great to work with. I couldn’t have done it without them. They were always available and took care of all the details.”
Burlington Youth Soccer
1. Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your team?
I am the third coach of our boys’ team, I act mostly as the team manager. Our team for the tournament consisted mostly of players from our top U14 town team and a few additional players from other teams to complete our roster. Many of the players on our tournament team also play together on a club team. We are considered a strong team, with a good win/loss record.
2. You recently visited the Rey Cup, on a Sports Tour with Rayburn Tours, how did you find the competition?
I found the competition really good and the standard of play to be very high. In the U.S. the majority of youth football is community or town based, servicing recreational football leagues available to everyone. A small percentage of players, the very best players, also play on club teams. In the U.S. the higher level of youth football happens in the club leagues. I would consider the play at the Rey Cup to be equivalent to our club teams, or the strongest of our town teams. I found the standard or play at the tournament to be excellent.
3. What was it that the Rey Cup offered that most appealed to you and your team?
The tournament takes place in a contained and safe environment where the kids can freely move about and explore when they are not playing football. There is an atmosphere for the kids to interact and meet other players, from other countries. They are not just playing football and only spending time with their team.
4. Did you go on any excursions whilst you were there?
We did a tour of the Golden Circle. We all very much enjoyed it…even with a lot of time on a bus!
5. What was the highlight of the trip?
For my players the highlight of the trip was the freedom to get out of their room and explore the facilities. They loved being able to go outside their room to the school yard and play with the other athletes staying at the school. They spent hours playing basketball, small sided football in the boarded court, 4 square, etc. They also loved using the pool facility provided by the tournament. The very best part was that they were meeting other kids and making friends.
6. Would you recommend the Rey Cup to other teams? If so why?
I would definitely recommend Rey Cup to others. It is a well-run tournament with great competition. Additionally, it is great fun for the players. I would look at it like a 5 day summer camp which includes an amazing football tournament.
7. How did you find working with Rayburn Tours?
Rayburn were great to work with. I couldn’t have done it without them. They were always available and took care of all the details.
8. What did your team gain from the tournament?
I think my players all walked away from the tournament with a great respect for the teams and players from Iceland. And they all came away with a love of Iceland itself too.
9. Finally, can you summarise your experience in only 3 words?
Eye-opening, exhilarating, exhausting.