Over the February half term, Michael Pieri and Harry Theodorou’s Omonia Youth FC Under 18 White team embarked on a football tour to Cyprus…and it was a resounding success.

The team flew out to Larnaca on February 12 and returned to London on February 18. The team trained on Finigoudes beach to prepare for three matches against academy sides Anorthosis Famagusta, Omonoia Nicosia and New Salamis.

The first match against Anorthosis was played in Dromolaxia, Larnaca with the team finding out very early on that at this level the pace of the match and the skill level was very high. The boys acquitted themselves superbly and came away with a very credible 1-1 draw. Captain Sami Hristov scoring the goal for Omonia Youth.

The second match was to be played at Omonoia Nicosia’s Elias Poullos training ground – a wonderful opportunity for the squad to experience the facilities where one of the giants of Cypriot football train. This was an altogether different footballing experience as one of the best youth sides on the island put on a show of speed, movement, power and skill to run out 7-2 winners. Sami Hristov got both goals for the Omonia Youth Under 18s.

Finally, the Under 18 White played New Salamis in Larnaca for their final match of the tour and they were superb in a match where they created many goal-scoring opportunities. An outstanding save by Stefanos Pieri kept the opposition at bay. Unfortunately, the Omonia Youth Under 18 White could not score the goal to get the win their performance deserved, so an entertaining game ended 0-0.

Looking back, the tour was a huge success; the team got to play against academy teams and the intensity of playing three games in four days against good quality opposition will hopefully bode well for the rest for domestic season. However, the tour was more than just about the football as it was an opportunity for the squad to celebrate their youth football journey which comes to an end at the end of this year. The tour was an opportunity for team bonding and nowhere was this seen more than on Wednesday evening when as guests of Omonoia Nicosia, the whole squad went to watch the Cyprus Cup Semi-Final between Omonoia Nicosia and APOEL at the GSP stadium.

Reflecting on the tour Michael Pieri said:

“As a tour this was an opportunity for us all to celebrate the boys’ youth football journey and I hope we have done that. There have been so many positive things to look back on this trip; the opportunity to play against football academies is an obvious one but the training and bonding among the group has been hugely encouraging and very positive. Every member of the squad on the trip has contributed in some way to make it memorable. I would like to take this opportunity to thank AGK Partners who sponsored our kit, to Hydra Capital and Golden Boy Entertainment too for their contributions. The donations from individuals too has been heartening and their generosity and kindness has meant this trip was able to take place. The hospitality shown to us by Anorthosis, New Salamis and especially Omonoia Nicosia was wonderful. For Omonoia to gift us 25 tickets for their cup semi-final but to also give every member of the squad a bag of goodies was beautiful. I do hope that this trip can become a regular occurrence with many other teams from our club experiencing the unique opportunity of playing football in a foreign country. It was a trip where memories were created, bonds formed and I hope all the boys will reflect in years to come and remember what a great trip we had. I would urge every team at the club to organise this tour for their team.” 

Well done to all the players, parents, sponsors and coaches for making this trip happen. The club are proud that the good name of Omonia Youth FC was enhanced by this trip.

Under 18 White Squad: Stefanos Pieri, Andreas Fereos, Kevin Milenkovic, Andre Bacchus, Andreas Stavrinou, Louie Socratous, Nicholas Theodorou, Michael Pavlou, Yianni Sophocleaous, Igor Gomes-Matos, Christian Pempestios, Viktor Borisov, Billy Cook, Tom Morgan, Sami Hristov (captain), Rohan Biswas, Edwin Abbassi, Michael Mina, Godwin Obeng and Noel Allen.

Should you feel enthused and want to know more about Omonia Youth FC, you can contact the club at [email protected], via the contact page on the club’s website www.omoniayouthfc.com as well as following the club on twitter @OmoniaYouthFC and Instagram @omoniayouthfc1994.

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