Here are brief answers to the most commonly asked questions.
ITINERARY FOR GOTHIA CUP
What is the itinerary for the week? Unlike a tour where you have an agreed plan before the trip, our itinerary is completely decided by the match draw and which matches the teams win and lose. We expect the teams to have one group match on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the knock-out to start on Thursday morning with up to three matches a day. However the Under 11 and Under 12 age groups do not have knock-out games. They play in leagues and so will play everyday from Monday to Friday.
We will have a better idea of our programme when the draw is announced in June, but even then things might change depending on the weather, match results and if the boys are tired or the coach feels they need an extra training session! Generally players will get free time after they have played their final match each day.
When are the matches? Our B11 and B12 teams will play Monday to Friday. All older teams play group stages Monday to Wednesday and then a knock-out. The tournament final for the older age groups is usually on the Saturday. We might, depending on how many teams are still in the tournament organise a Friday Football Festival for our B13/G13 teams who have been knocked out so that these players will play matches on the Friday.
When will they play their last match? The Under 11s (B11) and Under 12s (B12) will play their last match on Friday afternoon. The Under 13s (B13) and older will go into the knock out which starts on Thursday morning. Their final is likely to be on Friday evening or Saturday morning. All of this is subject to the match schedule.
When do we know the match schedule? The draw is made late-June and will be published on the Gothia Cup website. It will also be available on the Gothia Cup App.
PARENTS TRIP TO GOTHIA CUP
Parents’ Trip We always recommend waiting until we have booked fights and confirmed drop off times before parents wishing to attend book their trip.
How many parents will attend the tournament? It is impossible to predict, but we’d expect around 70% of parents to attend at some point of the tournament. Some parents choose to only attend for a couple of days whilst other parents will attend for the whole week. The players will be fully supervised so parents do not need to attend although of course they are very welcome to come and support the teams.
I want to support for a couple of days. Which days should I attend? An impossible question without knowing the results of matches! In general we’d recommend the start of the week as you will see games, should get some free time with the players and you will see the Opening Ceremony on Monday evening. Arriving on Sunday evening and staying until Wednesday afternoon is usually a popular trip that works well, but don’t blame us if you decide that you just can’t leave!
How do parents book to attend? Parents can book accommodation and flights themselves or by contacting the official tournament travel agent World Youth Tournaments on [email protected] Please ensure you mention that you are travelling with the squads organised by Dan Abraham.
How will I know when I can spend time with the players while I’m in Gothenburg? After every game, the team’s Team Leader will have a meeting with the parents. During this meeting he will update parents and explain the itinerary leading up to the next match. This will include details of any free time the players will have and when and where they can be collected. We can’t pre-plan this as it might depend on factors such as how tired the players are feeling and match results.
Do I need tickets for the matches? No the matches are free to attend, but you will need a ticket for the Opening Ceremony. We recommend buying a Gothia Cup card which includes an Opening Ceremony ticket and free use of the city’s transport system. These can be bought from World Youth Tournaments up to 31st May([email protected]) or are included if you book accommodation through World Youth Tournaments.
Which hotel should I book for myself? Clubpin World Youth Tournaments can offer advise and book hotels for parents but, while parents will have individual needs, our recommendation is to book near to Central Station or Heden Centre.
I’m not going to Sweden, how can I find out the scores? We would strongly recommend all parents download the Gothia Cup App. This will provide live coverage of goals and goalscorers for each match. Alternatively, the results are available at www.gothiacup.se
When can we drop players off if we bring the players out to Gothenburg ourselves? This will depend on what time your team’s flight arrives. The drop off options will be published on the team’s Flight information page on the website.
My son/daughter is a non-flyer. When should I book our flights? We strongly recommend waiting until after the team flights have been booked so that you know the correct drop-off arrangements.
Can I book a one way ticket on the team flight? No, the airlines don’t allow this. You either book a return trip and not use the return leg (note you can’t use the inbound journey if you have not used the outbound leg) or you will need to make arrangements for your son’s flight.
Do we have to make our own way to the airport in UK? Yes, the squad will meet at the airport. Due to the geographical spread of players we do not offer a pick up service.
Where do we pick up the players after the tournament? Players should be collected in the arrivals hall. A time for meeting is posted on the flights page on this website.
Why are some flights not to Gothenburg? Rather than getting a connecting flight and then a transfer bus from Gothenburg airport, we’ve arranged bus transfers from airports which are within driving distance of Gothenburg, This means players don’t have to wait in airports for connecting flights therefore reducing the travel time to Gothenburg. It also reduces the chances of bags going missing – a too common problem when changing planes or of missing connecting flights. We want a trouble free and as short a journey as possible so in some instances we’ve hired luxury coaches for the final leg of the journey.
Should the players fly with the team or parents to Gothenburg? We recommend playing with the team. The journey itself is important for getting to know the other players in the team and being with the team from the start fo the trip means the players won’t miss any important training sessions. It also means parents can fly out later which is more suitable for them.
Why do you offer for players to fly with their parents? It can save some money for parents, or parents may not be arriving from the UK or returning to the UK after the tournament. We would advise travelling with the team if possible.
Why is the cost of the player’s flight sometimes higher than the price I can find on the internet? Although ticket conditions do vary between airlines, usually the tickets which are sold in the internet are not suitable for booking groups. Instead we have to purchase group tickets, which have different terms and conditions. These are priced differently and are usually more expensive compared to tickets which can be bought by individuals on-line. Often our tickets appear more expensive when they are booked but as you get closer to the tournament they are cheaper than available on-line.
Why are most flights not direct? In recent years BA and Norwegian Airlines have offered direct flights. BA have released very few group seats this year and Norwegian Airlines have not yet released their summer schedule and look likely to go into adminstration before next summer. Therefore we have had to seek other routes to get everyone into Gothenburg.
My son/daughter is flying out with the squad. When will be my first chance to see them? The first chance for parents to see the players will be after their match on Monday. You can find out the venue and details for this match from the Heden Centre information desk or on this website. Players will not be given free time with parents over the first weekend as they will be very busy getting to know each other, training and preparing for the tournament.
My son/daughter is not flying with the team. How do we know when to drop them off with the team? Once the team flights have been booked we’ll confirm details of drop-off times.
My son/daughter is flying home with me, when can I collect them? Please liaise with his Team Leader in Gothenburg to arrange asuitable pick up time. Players can be picked up after their last match which will be Friday afternoon for the G11/B11 and G12/B12 teams. For the other teams it will depend how far they progress.
My son/daughter’s flight back to England is on Friday. Aren’t the Finals on Saturday? The return flights are in heavy demand and given a choice between flying back on Friday and waiting until Monday or Tuesday the following week, we have decided to get teams back to England on the Friday. The earliest Under 13 and older teams can be knocked out is on Wednesday so we do not want to risk the possibility of players waiting 5/6 days for a flight home. If a team reaches the final on the Saturday it will be a good problem to have to solve!
OTHER TOURNAMENT QUESTIONS
Will parents get a list of what players need to take and details of where they are staying? Yes, everything will be published on this website in plenty of time before the tournament. Dan Abraham has been taking teams to the Gothia Cup for 15 years and will ensure parents have all the information they need.
Who do I contact if I need to get hold of a player or their coach? If you need to speak to your son/daughter or their coach then ring their mobile phone. In an emergency (only) situation, contact Dan Abraham on 07880565751.
Do players have to look after their own money? All money taken to the tournament is done so at the players/parents risk and the coaches or the Club will not take responsibility for money that is lost or stolen. However, the coaches will offer to look after money for the players as long as its in an envelope with the players’ name on it.
How many a-side are the games? The age groups Boys 11 and Boys 12 are 7-a-side, the B13 games at 9-a-side and the older age groups are 11-a-side.
Are our teams ranked in ability? No although we may keep some A squad players together as part of the process. Teams are put together using various criteria including which players played together last year, A squad players, which Training Camp players are attending and each players’ playing positions. A great deal of time is spent putting together each team. Each team is then randomly given a team number.
Do you select a team in each age group made up of the best players? No we don’t. Firstly we don’t know the players well enough to do this, secondly we prioritise putting together those that have played at Gothia Cup together in previous years. We want all the players to have a great time. All the players were selected at the trial and while inevitably some teams will turn out to be stronger than others, our intention is to give every team a chance to progress in the tournament.
My son wants to take his iphone, ipod and ipad. Is this a good idea? We strongly suggest not taking any expensive valuables. Whilst we have never had a security issue t the School players do leave/forget things and taking valuable items is not recommended. All players should bring a mobile phone, but we don’t recommend bringing the latest model! Players will not be allowed to use their phone overnight.
The teams stay in schools. Why don’t they stay in a hotel? Staying in a School works very well and is excellent preparation for the players. The school accommodation offers many benefits including 1. The price – hotels are extremely expensive during the Gothia Cup especially when booking a large group. 2. Players become separated when in different hotel rooms and don’t bond as a team 3. The schools provides access to a canteen, training facilies, common room areas which are ideal. 4. Meals can be served in the canteen at the school whereas in a hotel the players would need to be dining in restaurantr os McDonalds each evening. 5. The school has security whereas a hotel creates a number of supervisory and child protection issues for staff. 7. In a hotel it is hard to supervise issues such as players watching TV in their rooms late at night. 8. Corridors are open areas and players can be disturbed at night by other guests. 9. Hotels do not provide facilities for holding team meetings, discussions and talks which are an important part of our education programme and preparation for matches whereas at the School we can use classrooms. 10. We create a fantastic ‘Team Lions’ feel to the School and players get to meet and make new friends from other teams.
I’m worried my son/daughter will get homesick. Any tips? We do understand that being away from home can be very difficult for some players. Our coaches have a lot of experience of how to deal with homesick players, but some players do still get upset. We strongly recommend not using texts as a way of communicating and clearly agreeing set times when players can call you. We strongly recommend once in the morning before breakfast and once around 8pm before bedtime. Back and forth messages and phone calls usually makes things much worse for everyone. Evenings can be particularly difficult when players are tired, so parents should be very clear that players can only call them once in the evenings but assure them that you will be available in the morning to answer their call. This gives them somethng to look forward to but makes it absolutely clear that they need to get on with the trip in the meantime. If there is an emergency the coaches have your number, so there is no need to keep answering the phone or sending text messages. A clear agreement between player and parents regarding when you will make contact and the manner of that contact will be a huge help to everyone.
WHEN ARE THE 2022 TRAINING CAMPS
Camp 1: 30th March to 1st April 2022 at Tonbridge School
Camp 2: 12th April to 14th April 2022 at Tonbridge School
My son/daughter can’t attend the same Camp as their friends. Can they attend the other one? Absolutely! That’s why we run Camps over different dates. They’ll end up knowing even more people than everyone else once the get to Gothia Cup!
I am worried my son/daughter will wet the bed. Do ensure that Dan knows well before the Camp so a mattress protector can be fitted onto their bed.
I am worried my son/daughter will get homesick. Any ideas to help? We do understand that being away from home can be very difficult for some players. Our coaches have a lot of experience of how to deal with homesick players, but some players do still get upset. Sometimes homesickness can be made worse by well meaning parents. We always recommond not using texts as a way of communicating and clearly agreeing set times when players can call you. We strongly recommend once in the morning before breakfast and once around 8pm before bedtime. Back and forth messages and phone calls usually makes things much worse for everyone. Evenings can be particularly difficult when players are tired, so parents should be very clear that players can only call them once in the evenings but assure them that you will be available in the morning to answer their call. This gives them somethng to look forward to but makes it absolutely clear that they need to get on with the Camp in the meantime. If there is an emergency the coaches have your number, so there is no need to keep answering the phone or sending text messages.
My son/daughter is not in a team with his best friend. Can he/she change teams? We know being away from home can be daunting for both players and parents, but we do not actively encourage players to be in the same team as their friends. The programme at the pre-Gothia Training Camps is designed to help players integrate and make new friends. We expect players to recognise that this is a representative team and be willing to meet and mix with new people is part of our set-up. At the Training Camps we do some activities jointly across several teams, so players do get a chance to see friends in other teams and at the Gothia Cup all our teams stay in the same school so players from different teams can mix in the evenings. We do not expect ‘cliques’ to appear in our teams and hope players will be willing to intregrate and make new friends which is part of their development as an individual as well as a footballer.
What is the ‘A’ Squad? These are the top 16 players in each age group. They play matches in the UK in the Spring term. The A Squad players are also given priority on places for the trip to Gothenburg and the Training Camp.
What does the Development Squad do? The players will work alongside top coaches, physiotherapists, play with and against some outstanding players and get to represent their District. Players get the opportunity to play in the most prestigious youth football tournament in the world, meeting and playing against players from different cultures and backgrounds. An amazing experience both on and off the pitch.
Do ‘A’ Squad players get priority on minutes at Gothia Cup? The A squad do not get priority on minutes. All players are treated equally and we will ensure everyone has had equal minutes at least by the end of the Group stage.
Will my son/daughter play enough football? In general parents worry that the players will not play enough before the tournament and then once they are in Gothenburg parents tend to worry that the players are playing too much! We take sensible sized squads and ensure playing minutes are even at the end of the group stages, however we can’t always plan for injuries, illness etc. The tournament can consist of up to three matches a day in warm weather and clearly some players will be fitter then others and so we do not insist that our coaches keep even playing minutes in the knock-outs. Clearly the further the team progresses the more football the team will play.
How many players were selected at the trial? It varies between age groups but usually just over 50% (52% in 2016, 50% in 2017, 54% in 2018) are seelcted for the Development Team or ‘A’ Squad. This ensures our squads are of a high level and players will benefit from playing with other talented players.