Chelsea FC Foundation coaches had an emotional climax to their week in Cyprus at the International Football Academy of Cyprus (IFA).
Foundation coaches were working with IFA to provide grass roots football to males and females of all abilities their facilities in Nicosia and Larnaca. There they are passing on their footballing expertise to IFA players and coaches, who will continue using Chelsea Foundation football coaching methods throughout the year.
Chelsea FC Foundation coach David Monk sums up the final three days in Cyprus below:
Day three of the IFA and Chelsea FC Foundation training camp saw us deliver sessions with the main emphasis on one-v-one flair play; which the players were extremely fond of.
They were encouraged to express themselves and try individual skill or flair to beat an opponent and then apply a productive technique such as a pass or shot. Although the weather was cloudy it didn't dampen the enthusiasm and enjoyment for both coaches and players.
The sun returned for day four to bring good fortune in the form of a visit from Mike Walker (ex-Norwich Manager) and Peter Theo (ex-arsenal striker).
Both were excited to see the smiling faces of 64 Cypriot players participating in conditioned small sided games, players had a chance to show case what they have learned from the past three days of coaching from the Chelsea FC Foundation staff.
The day came to a fantastic conclusion with the official IFA press conference where Cypriot media had a chance to gain a larger knowledge of what is involved in the partnership with Chelsea FC Foundation.
The press conference had an emotional finale when the grandfather of a player who participated in the training camp on its first day spoke. Unfotunately the grandson had sustained an injury while playing and told the coaches he was unable to play anymore football.
Not wanting him to miss out on the fun we'd decided to invite him along to assist the coaching staff for the remainder of the camp.
His grandfather spoke for five minutes about how he'd witnessed a positive change in his grandson's attitude since assisting the coaches. He was waking up early and we had reignited his love for football and helping others younger than himself.
We were privileged to hear the story and also have his grandson (Martin) helping us throughout the week. I was personally touched and it really reinstated the feeling of passion towards being involved in projects like this in Cyprus through the Foundation, which was fantastic!
The final day of the camp was a chance for the Chelsea FC Foundation staff to see the IFA coaches in action for one session.
We observed the coaches and gave feedback during a post-course coaching workshop to build a stronger understanding of how the Foundation coaches operate in the UK.
The children played in tournaments for an hour before the grand finale - a presentation in which we awarded individual prizes for all participants and also the prestigious Player of the Week Award!
The presentation was a fantastic conclusion to an amazing week here in Cyprus, we finished by getting all the players and parents to perform the 'Chelsea Bouncy' dance. All in attendance were eager to get involved even Charlie Yisemis!
We hope to visit again soon and continue our relationship with IFA here in Cyprus. On behalf of the coaches and myself I would personally like to thank everyone involved for their wonderful hospitality and especially all the players for their hard work - it made our time here a truly memorable experience.