Photos: Vasco In U11 Tournament In The Azores

April 2, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Vasco Youth Program’s under-11 team just finished taking part in the 16th International U11 Football Tournament of the Azores, which was held on 27, 28, 29 and 30 March 2024.

A spokesperson said, “The tournament, organized by Clube União Micaelense based in Ponta Delgada, Azores, was an exciting display of 7-a-side football from 32 teams personally invited to attend, spanning 8 different countries with over 650 athletes participating. In addition to Bermuda, there were teams from throughout the Azores, Madeira, mainland Portugal, the USA, Canada, Italy, Malta, Cabo Verde, and Australia.

“FC Porto won the tournament overall with Juventus placing 2nd, followed by Sporting Club of Portugal and the hosts, Clube União Micaelense, placing 3rd and 4th respectively.

“The Vasco Youth Program had its best performance ever, finishing 9th out of 32 teams. When Vasco made its debut in 2019, the team placed 9th out of 20 teams. Last year, the team placed 17th out of 24 teams.

“The team drew its first game against Club Sport Marítimo of Madeira [2-2]. They won the rest of their group games against Grupo Desportivo São Roque of the Azores [3-1] and Sporting Clube Campomaiorense of mainland Portugal [4-1]. Outside of the group phases, Vasco won its games against Mini Foot – Aveiro of mainland Portugal [2-0]; Clube Desportivo Os Oliveirenses of the Azores [4-0]; and Soccer Performance Academy of Canada [3-0].

“The Vasco Youth Program team to the Azores comprised: Austin Viera; Cai Williams; Charles Mitchell; Cole Prior; Damian Moniz; Eben Oosthuizen; Jasper Herrick; Lucas Amaral; Mason Barioni; Nikolai Shaw; Roman Gaglio; Ryan Renaud; and Seth Neil.

“Accompanying the team were: coaches Enio Vieira and Reed Gaglio; Vasco technical director, Leo Burgess; Vasco Youth Program director, Germano Botelho; and Vasco president, Richard Ambrosio.

“The Vasco Youth Program is also pleased to note that Roman Gaglio, who played in a striking or attacking midfielder role throughout the tournament, was individually honoured by the tournament organizers as one of the best seven players throughout. This is now the second time that Roman has received this distinction, and it follows his attendance at football trials with Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon in June 2023.

“Roman won several “man of the match” awards while in the Azores. However, he was joined by Mason Barioni who also won the award for one of his matches.”

Germano Botelho, Director of the Vasco Youth Program, expressed how proud he and the coaching staff were of the team: “Our players did a fantastic job during the tournament. The athletes experienced football at a level they were not used to but they stepped up and played beyond their normal abilities. Their adaptation to the European style and physicality was awarded with a 9th place finish.

“They held their nerve against teams preparing their youngsters for professional careers. On behalf of the entire coaching and support staff, let me just say how proud we are of the group.

“I would also like to acknowledge the achievements of Roman and Mason who were individually recognized by the tournament organizers at various points.

“Let me also highlight just how much of a cultural experience this was for the boys. They got to visit the Azores, which for many was their first time. They met teams from throughout Portugal, the rest of Europe, Cape Verde and the USA. I trust and hope that they have made friends for life here.”

Richard Ambrosio, President of Vasco da Gama, who was present at the games, thanked everyone involved as follows: “Despite all the challenges inherent in an initiative of this nature, from the logistics of getting our team to the Azores, to the weather conditions that didn’t help us, our team has nothing but praise for Clube União Micaelense and the dozens of volunteers who contributed to the success of the Tournament.

“Thanks to Germano Botelho and his team of hardworking coaches and volunteers who met those challenges and who played a critical role in making this visit happen.

“I also want to give a special thanks to Arsénio Sampaio Furtado, the Director-General of Clube União Micaelense, who has been a strong and consistent partner for us. He traveled to Bermuda in January 2024 to help our fundraising efforts. He and his team have responded to all the questions, concerns and requests that have arisen over the past year.

“The Tournament holds a special place in our institutional history. It was the key moment that helped create the “Vasco Youth Program”, which in five years has grown from strength to strength, counting among its ranks more than 160 athletes at various levels.

“Finally, from a personal perspective, I am always looking for opportunities to strengthen cooperation between our two islands. 25% of Bermuda’s population has Portuguese roots. Sport is an important vector for this kind of connection, and I’m pleased to see that the Tournament has become a way of bringing Azoreans in the diaspora closer to their ancestral land.”

During their time in the Azores, the team were also received by Deputy Mayor of Vila Franca at City Hall, and had practice matches with Soccer Performance Academy of Canada and their Azorean namesake, Vasco da Gama FC of Vila Franca do Campo. Outside of the football pitch, the Team explored the Azorean capital Ponta Delgada, visited the picturesque Lagoa das Sete Cidades and marveled at boiling fumaroles in the still volcanically active village of Furnas.

After arriving at Ponta Delgada Airport

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (1)

Portas da Cidade [“Doors to the City”] in Ponta Delgada

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (2)

City Hall, Vila Franca do Campo

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (3)

Posing with Graça Melo, Deputy Mayor of Vila Franca, and Conceição Quental, City Councillor

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (4)

Practice match before tournament

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (5)

Lagoa das Sete Cidades [“Lake of the Seven Cities”]

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (6)

Lagoa das Furnas [“Furnas Lake”]

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (7)

Caldeiras das Furnas [“Fumaroles of Furnas”]

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (8)

Terra Nostra Garden Thermal Water Pool, Furnas

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (9)

Gorreana Tea Factory

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (10)

After practice match with Soccer Performance Academy of Bradford, Ontario

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (11)

During practice match with the team’s namesake, Vasco da Gama FC of Vila Franca do Campo

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (12)

Entering field for Opening Ceremonies

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (13)

Family members in the stands

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (14)

Supporters waving Bermuda Flags

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (15)

Roman Gaglio and Jasper Herrick being interviewed by local press

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (16)

Best seven players of the tournament, including Vasco’s own Roman Gaglio

Vasco Bermuda April 1 2024 (17)

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